Skip to main content

Census officer

Role details

Location

2,737 roles across England and Wales

Salary

From £11.22 per hour dependent on location

Hours

37 hours per week

Contract duration

1 March to 29 April 2021

Working pattern

There are no fixed daily normal working hours. However, you are required and agree to work your duties within the hours detailed below: Monday to Saturday, between 9am and 8pm. Sundays and Bank Holidays, between 10am and 4pm. In addition, a minimum of 60% of these hours are to be worked during the following times: Monday to Friday, between 4pm to 8pm. Saturdays, between 9am and 8pm. Sundays, between 10am and 4pm.

Welcome events

28 December 2020 to 20 January 2021

Application window

23 November to 24 December 2020

Want to play your part in making Census 2021 happen? Our officers contribute to the overall success of the census. This involves visiting different properties in an assigned area, sometimes several times. The goal is to make people aware why the census is important and feedback information that keeps our address register up to date.

As the friendly face of the census, it’s important that you’re able to approach people from all walks of life. You will enjoy being part of a close-knit and supportive team, plus you will be smartphone savvy and flexible about your working hours. You’re also comfortable with working by yourself, resilient, and you've reliable access to transport. A different language could be useful. Either way, you’ve got great communications skills and the ability to build trust. It’s also vital that you stick to our processes and keep the information you collect confidential, safe and secure.

The census only happens every 10 years and counts every person and household in England and Wales. To help us do this, we at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) need a big field team to work within communities helping people to take part. In the field team for Census 2021, you’ll meet people from all walks of life and gain valuable experience. What’s more, you’ll be part of something that’s vital to us all. The information you’ll collect will help with decisions on planning and funding services in your community.

So, join the team and make a lasting impact.

With the flexibility to choose your own working hours, you can make this contract work for you, as long as you are available to work in the evenings and weekends, as this is when we are more likely to find people available. As well as an attractive pay rate, equipment will be provided and you’ll be given full training and support to carry out this vital role.

 

The role

As a census officer, in an assigned working area, you’ll be part of a team of up to 12 census officers, reporting to a census team leader. The main purpose of your role is to encourage the people in your area to complete their Census 2021 online questionnaire. You will receive a daily workload of addresses that have yet to submit a census questionnaire, which require a follow up visit to support and encourage completion. You will help residents understand the importance of the census, and the vital role they have in making it a success. You will help them overcome any objections or barriers they may have to completing, either helping them yourself or referring them to available support. You will be assisting people to complete their questionnaires, either on the doorstep or at completion events. You will work with the census engagement managers to support wider engagement at community events as required.

You’ll be working independently, out and about in your area, working hours within set guidelines stipulated in the working pattern above.  Your team leader will provide support, assistance and guidance as required, and will meet up with you when you are out working, to help settle you into your role.

 A number of officers will be recruited with the ability move into different areas across England and Wales, where they are most needed to support the census operation.

Purpose

  • increase response rates to the census
  • build on the census’ good reputation
  • help us deliver a high-quality census

The six vital behaviours of an ONS ambassador

  • Self-motivated

    – do the right job in the right order
  • Supportive

    – engage and encourage the public on their doorstep
  • Compliant

    – keep accurate and timely records
  • Integrity

    – keep the public’s data safe
  • Learning orientated

    – commit to complete your learning and understanding your job
  • Initiative

    – share your experience and local knowledge to support your team and remove barriers to response

Main responsibilities

First and foremost, your role is to promote the benefits of the census and to encourage a positive response from households. To do this you’ll need to:

  • visit the list of addresses given to you via an app on the smartphone provided and accurately record visit outcome
  • attempt to make contact with residents at each address you visit
  • encourage the householder to complete the questionnaire online, highlighting the important part they have to play in shaping the future
  • signpost respondents to census support functions
  • follow ONS procedures, especially those regarding security and your safety
  • provide households with additional information to help them complete their response, which will include questionnaires, cards and leaflets which you will carry in your bag on a daily basis
  • attend community completion events when required
  • assist respondents with doorstep completion where appropriate
  • build the secure access register to enable access to gated communities
  • provide regular reports on progress to your team leader and attend team meetings
  • ensure confidentiality and security of census information at all times
  • you’ll meet your line manager during your first week and receive your census officer kit (weighing approximately 10 kgs)
  • complete e-learning as required to achieve the necessary competencies and skills for the role
  • participate in evaluation and debrief activities
  • be prepared to travel around your designated area to visit addresses (the distances will vary dependent on whether your area is urban or rural)

Essential skills and experience

You’ll need to:

  • have good written and verbal skills in English (Welsh would also be an advantage if working in Wales)
  • have excellent customer service skills, including speaking to members of the public
  • have the confidence to deal with the public and local community
  • be well organised and able to plan and work within specified timescales
  • be confident working both independently and as part of a team, using your initiative
  • be able to understand and follow detailed written and verbal instructions
  • be confident using a smartphone and various applications
  • be professional at all times, and remain calm in challenging situations

COVID-19

We will ensure we follow all appropriate government guidelines to keep you safe whilst working for ONS. Appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including hand sanitiser and face masks will be provided to all staff; for your safety, you will be required to use and wear that PPE, as instructed, when you are working. Social distancing will be maintained throughout the operation.

Driving requirement

Dependent on your assigned working area, you may need to hold a current, full UK driving licence and have the use of a motor vehicle, insured for business use. You’ll be paid for travel expenses within your work area.

Annual leave

Annual leave allowance is a total of 28 days per annum, calculated on a pro-rata basis based on employment duration and hours worked.

Holiday will be taken in one block during the specified holiday week, which is the last week of the employment period. Unfortunately, due to operational reasons, it will not be possible to take holiday at other times.

 

Preparation before you apply

Before you apply for any role, please make sure you understand the criteria for working on Census 2021. Make time to read our guidance in preparation before you apply.

Ready to apply for a role? You can do this now, via the link below.