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a result." Subsequently, the NCES management proposed a series of bi-weekly professional development seminars. Eleven seminar topics were suggested but a program was never implemented. The management staff was asked to consider other kinds of in-service training as well. More recently, NCES has developed a modest on-the-job training activity, the Administrator's Fellows Program, which encourages supervised research by mid-level staff. Limitations on staff resources have made it impossible, however, to release personnel for extended training programs outside the agency.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in Commerce encourages its employees to take evening courses in work-related subjects by financially supporting such training. BEA also provides in-house seminars on the national economic accounts and econometric modeling.'
the five major centers (the Economics, Statistics, and Cooperatives Service in USDA, the Census Bureau, NCHS, NCES, and BLS), BEA in Commerce, and the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards (OFSPS). Junior and journeyman professionals should be encouraged to rotate every 2 to 3 years either within the social sector agencies (NCHS, NCES, the social and demographic side of the Census Bureau, the social statistics side of OFSPS) or within the economic sector agencies (USDA/ESCS, BLS, BEA, the economic side of the Census Bureau, the economic statistics side of OFSPS). Skills acquired are largely transferable across agencies within a given sector. A rotational assignment to OFSPS would include experience from a different perspective in statistical planning and coordination, clearance of proposed survey forms, confidentiality, and other crosscutting issues, and budgeting. If junior and journeyman professionals are reluctant to rotate this frequently, consideration should at least be given to one such rotation while they are at the GS-9-13 level. This kind of exposure to the work of another statistical agency should help stimulate the creativity and development of the individual professional.
Since entry level professionals (GS-5 and 7's) are new to the Federal Government and the Federal Statistical System, it is proposed that they obtain as broad a view as possible of the scope of activities of the statistical agency to which they are assigned and of other agencies, if possible. The best way to obtain this broad view appears to be through formalized rotation programs, fully supported by agency management staff. Rotation to at least three different divisions within the statistical agency to which the individuals are assigned is recommended. Employees should be given a real work assignment in each rotation. This diversity in substantive experience would also expose employees not only to evaluation and counseling by different supervisors but also to different working environments. Employees would be better prepared to decide what type of work and kind of working environment best suited their interests and talents.
It is also proposed that junior and journeymano professionals in the GS-9-13 grades participate in a rotation program across statistical agencies, including
In addition, a rotation of managers' (branch chiefs and division directors) at the GS-14 and 15 levels is recommended for consideration by the statistical agencies. Depending upon the degree of transferability and agency workloads, professionals at this level, who have a more highly developed knowledge of a particular functional area, should be encouraged to rotate either within the statistical agency to which they are assigned or across statistical agencies. Rotations to other management positions would enhance the professional's breadth and ability to assume top management responsibility and would provide the agencies with more well-rounded managerial staffs so that vacancies could be filled without gaps in essential understanding of program areas. Individuals would be more challenged, and constructive participation in program planning for the functional area would be enhanced. Rotations of this nature should occur at more natural junctures, not necessarily every 2 to 3 years, but when appropriate to the individual's or the agencies' needs. In-Service Training
Work-study programs similar to the former Junior Professional Training Program of NCHS seem most
*R. Boyd Ladd, “Professional Development.” Unpublished memorandum (based on a May 17, 1971 speech by Barbara F. Reese to the Department Career Service Board for Mathematicians and Statisticians), National Center for Education Statistics, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, May 19, 1971.
A few of the major statistical agencies have offered international staff training programs for foreign statisticians. However, these programs will not be described in this paper because they do not directly contribute to professional staff development in the United States.
•Note: The terms "entry level," "junior professional," "journeyman” and “manager" as employed here may not coincide exactly with those used by the Civil Service Commission. In addition, the grade levels (GS-5 and 7, GS-9-13, and GS-14 and 15) here associated with these terms are approximate. For example, it is recognized that some entry level professionals are above GS-7, and not all GS-14 level professionals are managers.
suitable for entry level GS-5 and 7 professionals. The The ASA seminar referred to earlier pointed out study aspect of this kind of program should entail not how in-service training programs could use outside only seminars but also intensive courses in applied faculty to enhance the course material with the latest statistical techniques, such as sampling, analysis of theoretical and academic research results. sample survey data, and report writing for Government publications. Seminars could be offered
Managers at GS-14 and GS-15 levels in statistical
agencies are not as much in need of technical training in by each statistical agency (probably preferable for
statistics but, like managers in almost all fields, may entry-level professionals) or could be conducted on a
need to develop supervisory skills. There are many rotating basis by the six major statistical agencies (the five centers and BEA). Each agency could be
kinds of training programs available to meet this
need. The Civil Service Commission sponsors proresponsible for one seminar every 6 weeks. The
grams in Washington and 2-week and longer retreats OFSPS could present an orientation seminar for all entry-level professionals in the six agencies.
outside Washington to deliver management training.
Such training involves courses in organizational The most critical period for professional development, team building, and other conventional development, versus exposure which is important at the and innovative management techniques and skills. entry level, is the GS-9-13 level. A seminar series at this Such programs generally lead to better managers; this level could be conducted biweekly or monthly, and participation should be encouraged by the leadership likewise could be offered by each statistical agency for of the statistical agencies in an attempt to increase its own junior professionals or on a rotating basis by the productivity and efficiency. six major statistical agencies. Suggested topics for such seminars include the following:
In addition to obtaining supervisory skills, those
senior level statisticians who are entering 1. how to do a needs assessment
management assignments need formalized training in 2. how to choose a study or survey method in
accounting, budgeting, organizational structure, light of objectives and data needs
personnel administration, and interpersonal as well
as interagency relations. Training leading to a better 3. how to design statistical survey questions and
understanding of the use of information by questionnaires
policymakers would further enhance the manager's
ability to perform effectively in a statistical agency. 4. how to design statistical survey methodology
On-The-Job Experience and Exposure 5. how to design reliability and validity studies and quality checks
Junior professionals, to be fully developed
professionally, need exposure to all facets of a 6. how to analyze statistical data-analytic
statistical agency's operations. Beginning early in techniques
their career development, junior professionals should be 7. how to use a computer for analytic purposes
encouraged to attend as observers all kinds of top level
working sessions. These should include not only in8. how to write a statistical report
house meetings, such as policy staff meetings and 9. how to write an RFP
long-range planning meetings, but also meetings with
program agencies concerning data needs and with 10. how to monitor a contract
external advisory groups to the statistical agency. 11. how to negotiate and write contract Junior professionals should also be given a variety of amendments
experience in applied statistical activities, such as RFP 12. how to respond to and prepare budget
writing, report writing and contract monitoring. Such assignments should prove challenging to the
individuals and should assist the agency in 13. how to respond to and prepare planning broadening its ability to cope with competing exercises, and
deadlines when the necessity arises. 14. how to relate statistical activities to needs of specific Federal programs.
Another kind of on-the-job experience is exposure to other agencies' programs and techniques for
handling statistical problems. Attendance at local Seminars on topics (4) and (6) above could be sup- professional association meetings should be enplemented by formal university courses to which couraged. The Washington Statistical Society, the employees could be sent at agency expense.
Washington, D.C. chapter of the American
Statistical Association, has an extensive program of meetings covering a wide range of statistical issues and programs. Its audience extends well beyond the employees of the major statistical agencies. The Washington Statistical Society program could, in addition, serve as a vehicle for fulfilling the needs for presentation of certain seminar topics (see in-service training, above). Pre-Service University-Based Training and Exchange Programs
At the present time, the majority of the colleges and universities in the United States offer insufficient emphasis in their statistics courses and degree programs to prepare college graduates for the applied statistical work which dominates the Federal Statistical System. In addition, there is no strong linkage between those universities with developed statistical training programs and the statistical agencies in the Government. The Federal Government should consider funding, on an experimental basis, two or three university-based training programs for undergraduate and graduate students which include a work-study relationship with the Federal Statistical System. Such programs would have the potential of attracting more fully trained statistical professionals into Government service after completion of their education. As noted in the ASA Seminar on Transfer of Methodology between Academic and Government Statisticians, an even broader impact could be obtained through improved packaging and dissemination of Government data series for use in university coursework.
In addition, university professors with statistical expertise might spend a year or more in service with the Federal Government, possibly on an exchange basis with top level Federal statisticians. The Census Bureau, NCHS, and NCES have or have had university fellows working for them under 1 or 2-year agreements. In addition, the American Statistical Association, in cooperation with the Census Bureau, has recently been granted funds by the National Science Foundation to finance 1-year assignments of university professors and graduate students to work at the Census Bureau on different assignments over a 3-year period. The value of exchanges which involve a close working relationship between the outside scholar and the Federal employee in bridging the gap between government and academic statisticians should be recognized through continued Federal support of these initiatives.
Bureau of the Census are no longer operational, a new program combining the best components of the two could be designed for use by the major statistical agencies. An analysis should be made, perhaps by an interagency committee, of the content and success of the various components of these former programs. Comparable, and in some ways complementary, curricula for work-study programs should be developed for use by each of the major statistical agencies.
In addition, the content of the former NCHS weekly seminar series should be reviewed with the intent of designing a professional seminar series for use by each of the major statistical agencies individually or collectively. Statistical personnel in major analysis or program agencies which are outside the major statistical agencies might also be included in such work-study programs and seminar series as well as in other in-service training programs for statistical personnel which are instituted.
Rotation programs within and across the statistical agencies could be reactivated where they are no longer operational and begun where they have never been tried before. Rotations across the statistical agencies might be coordinated by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards to assure a balance within the Federal Statistical System.
The feasibility of embarking on a linkage and/or exchange program with universities which have developed statistical training programs should be explored.
Role of Existing or Proposed Interagency Committees and Advisory Bodies
There are many interagency committees and advisory groups which could assist in the development of the components of a full-scale professional staff training program. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has a Career Service Board of Mathematicians and Statisticians which might be reactivated. The American Statistical Association (ASA) has advisory committees to the Bureau of the Census and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Graduate School. ASA in concert with the American Economic Association (AEA) also advises the Statistical Division of the Economics, Statistics, and Cooperatives Service of USDA. Also, the ASA has a subsection on Training of Statisticians. In addition to the ASA, AEA and other professional associations advise the Census Bureau and other statistical agencies. NCHS is aided by the U.S. National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, and NCES has the advice of its Advisory Council on Education Statistics, both of which are
Steps To Be Taken Since the professional staff training (work-study and rotation) programs of both NCHS and the
mandated by law. All of these groups should be It is anticipated that at least 6 months of planning consulted in the conceptualization and will be required to develop each of these types of developmental phases of a full-scale professional staff training programs, in order to draw on past training program. Each could review the components experience and to be creative in designing stimulating of proposed work-study programs and the outlines of and attractive programs. After programs are fully proposed professional seminar series.
conceptualized and planned, before full-scale In addition to the advice of these many advisory
implementation, a period of experimentation seems bodies, an Interagency Career Service Board of
appropriate. The Interagency Career Service Board
could designate: (1) one or more of the major Statisticians, chaired by the Office of Federal
statistical agencies which are willing and interested Statistical Policy and Standards and comprised of
for experiments with rotation programs at the GS-5 representatives of all of the major statistical col
and 7 level, (2) two or more agencies which are willection and analysis agencies as well as the U.S. Civil
ling for experiments with rotations across agencies at Service Commission, should be formed. This group could focus full attention on the training needed to
the GS 9-13 level, and (3) one or more agencies which foster a technically competent and productive
are willing for experiments with rotations of Federal statistical staff.
managers. Each of these experiments could begin 6 to 9 months after the formation of the Interagency
Career Service Board. Outline and Time Frame
Likewise, experimental professional seminar series
in one or more agencies could be instituted. The recommendations in this chapter should not Participation, at first, could be open to junior be understood as a prescription to the agencies to professionals outside of the agency delivering the establish all of the programs which are proposed. seminars or limited only to junior professionals in the Rather, the chapter embodies suggestions to the agency. Open enrollment at first might help each statistical agencies for programs to aid in ensuring a agency decide on the viability and utility of such a technically competent and productive statistical staff.
program for itself and its own employees. Such programs, or their components, are recommended primarily as a complement to comprehensive
The success of the experimental rotation programs university training, with the objectives of providing
and seminar series should be evaluated after a full the continuing education which is required to update
year's experience with them. skills in light of new theoretical or technical
The Interagency Career Service Board, with policy developments, broadening the expertise of those in
guidance of the OFSPS and the U.S. Civil Service applied statistical activities, and providing new skills Commission, should investigate the feasibility of for those who are moving into management linkages with universities with developed statistical positions.
training programs for work-study and exchange pro
grams. The Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards is prepared to take the lead in coordinating
Professional staff training programs will help the the development of a full-scale professional staff
statistical establishment to continue and maintain the training program for Government statisticians. The level of expertise currently present in the Federal first action would be the establishment of an Statistical System and, where necessary, to upgrade Interagency Career Service Board of Statisticians. the technical skills of the professionals in the After that group has been formed, its members would statistical agencies. In addition, productivity and concentrate on the design of work-study programs
overall job satisfaction should be increased as and the development of professional seminar series.
professionals are challenged and their skills are more This developmental work might well include, in ad fully developed. dition, the design of a needs assessment program for determining the types of skills required within and across agencies, and an examination of training Statistical Staffing in the Federal which would be needed for individuals to follow
Government various career paths in the Federal Statistical System. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Management Based upon an analysis of data in the Central Development Program and individual development Personnel Data File, the U.S. Civil Service Complans should be examined for possible applicability mission reported that 15,902 full-time professionals or implementation in other Federal statistical and paraprofessionals were employed by the Federal agencies.
Government in the statistical occupational series in
December 1974. The occupational series in this count include professional statisticians (the 1530 job series), mathematical statisticians (1529), economists (110), operations research employees (1515), actuaries (1510), and social science analysts (101). The paraprofessionals included are those classified as statistical assistants (the 1531 job series). This number clearly underestimates the count of employees working in Federal statistical programs, because not all employees working in Federal statistical programs are in these six occupational series.
The Subcommittee on Census and Statistics of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service of the U.S. House of Representatives published six biennial reports on the statistical activities of the Federal Government from 1961 to 1971. The 1971 report of the Subcommittee indicated that 45,687 employees, representing 27,499 man-years of effort, were involved in Federal statistical activities. The Subcommittee surveyed all agencies listed in Statistical Services of the United States Government and/or in the Federal Statistical Directory. This criterion partially explains the substantially larger counts reported by the Congress. The second reason for the higher counts is that Congress included all persons employed in statistical work even if their occupational classifications were not in the Civil Service Statistical Series. In fact, in 1971 the Congress included all employees of eight organizations, regardless of their job classification. The congressional reports also listed all agencies, excluding those in the Department of Defense, with reported salary costs of $1,000,000 or more for statistical activities. In 1971, 29 met this criterion. Only 18 of the 29 are also identified as major statistical agencies in this Framework. Numbers of Statistical Personnel in the Federal
Agencies According to the Civil Service Commission's data, 76 Federal agencies had one or more statisticians in December 1974.' The Social and Economics Statistics
'U.S. Civil Service Commission. Unpublished data (December 1974) from the Central Personnel Data File, Bureau of Manpower Information Systems.
*U.S. Congress, House, Subcommittee on Census and Statistics, Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, 1971 Report of Statistical Activities of the Federal Government. 92nd Cong., 2nd Sess., 1972, H. Rept. 92-926 (pp. 12-21). Subcommittee on Census and Statistics, Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, 1969 Report of Statistical Activities of the Federal Government. 91st Cong., 2nd Sess., 1970. H. Rept. 91-1085 (pp. 10-17).
'Detailed tables displaying the distribution of the statistical personnel employed by the Federal government as of December 1974 are available upon request from the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards.
Administration (SESA), which was at that time composed of the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, had the most statisticians, 721, or 33% of the total. The other four agencies with more than 60 statisticians were: the Statistical Reporting Service (SRS) in USDA (395); the Health Resources Administration (HRA), of which NCHS was a part, in DHEW (146); the Department of Labor, which includes BLS, (91); and the Internal Revenue Service in Treasury (81). The Office of Education (OE), which included NCES, was 15th in the number of statisticians, having only 21. The five major statistical centers—SRS in USDA; the Census Bureau, here represented by all of SESA; NCHS, here represented by all of HRA; NCES, here represented by all of OE; and BLS, here represented by all of the Department of Labor-accounted for 63% of all of the statisticians in the Federal Government.
Forty-nine agencies employed all of the mathematical statisticians on the Civil Service rolls. The top seven agencies in number of mathematical statisticians in December 1974 overlapped with those with the most statisticians. SESA (composed of the Census Bureau and BEA) in Commerce had 105, SRS in USDA had 40, and the Department of Labor had 34. The two agencies with the most mathematical statisticians were in the Defense Department-Army (132) and Navy (118). The other two in the top seven were both in DHEW-the Social Security Administration (45) and the Food and Drug Administration (34). NCHS in HRA ranked 14th with 15 mathematical statisticians, and NCES in OE ranked 15th with 14. The five major statistical centers together employed 25% of all of the mathematical statisticians. The Department of Defense (DOD) alone accounted for 36% of the total.
Economists employed by the Federal Government were even more widely dispersed; they worked in 102 different agencies. Those with the most economists included only two of the statistical centers—the Labor Department, including BLS (830), and the Census Bureau and BEA in SESA (227). The other agencies with over 200 economists each were the State Department (954), the Economic Research Service in USDA (518), the Army in the Department of Defense (225), and the Domestic and International Business Administration in Commerce (222). The NCHS and the NCES employed only 6 and 4 economists, respectively. SRS in USDA had none. The five statistical centers, taken together, employed 23% of the economists in the Federal Government.
The three auxiliary statistical professionsoperations research employees, actuaries, and social