This paper is from Session 6E: Statistical applications in the workplace
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 6: Statistics education, training and the workplace

(Friday 16th, 11:00-12:30)

Helping make government policy analysts statistically literate




Evidence-based decision making increased the demand for government policy makers to have basic numeracy and statistics skills. Statistics New Zealand’s response was to create a Certificate in Official Statistics specifically for policy analysts that aims to give them the skills to critically evaluate statistical releases, research reports and published policy or media documents for their appropriateness and quality (of data, survey design, analysis and conclusions made) for some given policy question (e.g. how to reduce unemployment). Both statistical and non-statistical aspects are covered. Four of the units in the Certificate have learning done in traditional classrooms using small group workshops. Both the learning and competency based assessment are focused around real case study publications. In the final (major) unit students undertake and present an analytical report relevant to their own workplace. This paper reports on evaluations of the success of the certificate using the first three cohorts of students.