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Census coverage survey mobile team leader

Role details

Application window

25 January to 29 January 2021

This role is not yet open for applications

Keen to make your mark on Census 2021? Our supervisors manage a team in their local area. Their job is to make sure people feel motivated, supported and inspired. They’re organised and know how to create a great team. They receive the training they need to be smartphone savvy, understand shift patterns and know everyone’s roles. They’re ready to deal with issues as they arise and keep the whole team up to speed.


You’ll need a good knowledge of your local area. While line management experience is useful, it’s not essential because we’ll give you training and support. What matters is that you can lead and coach a range of people, and clearly communicate what’s expected. You understand it’s important to support their learning and make sure they follow procedures. You’re comfortable with working independently and from home. You’re also a natural ambassador for what we’re trying to achieve. You’re resilient, and you use initiative to solve problems and make decisions.

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 the majority of time in the evenings and weekends, as this is when we are more likely to find people at home. 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

Given the unique nature of the census coverage survey, ONS need to have some flexibility to react to any situation that may arise. 

To support this need, we have developed census coverage survey mobile team leader roles and by accepting these roles, this will mean that:

  1. You’ll be assigned a region, but you may be sent anywhere across England or Wales, where you’ll take on responsibility for managing the census coverage survey interviewers and coordinating the field operation. You could be assigned one area or several different areas during the operation, or
  2. You will manage a team of census coverage survey mobile interviewers and travel with them to one or several locations across England and Wales where additional resources are needed

As a census coverage survey mobile team leader, you’ll be responsible for managing and coordinating the field operation in your assigned area. You’ll be given an initial work location, but throughout the operation you’ll be required to travel to locations across England and Wales where additional resource is required. The main purpose of your role is to motivate and manage a team of interviewers to complete doorstep interviews in your assigned area. You’ll lead and support approximately 12 interviewers, and need to drive and guide your team through the different phases of the operation.

After undertaking your own training, you may induct interviewers. You will oversee their training and assist them with any difficulties they may have, as well as accompanying them while they visit addresses in the field, to help settle them into their role.  

As interviewers will be working remotely, excellent communication skills are a must, and using these you will ensure that interviewers feel supported, through regular contact, calls, and team meetings. You’ll provide support, encouragement and motivation, identifying and cascading best practice and sharing the lessons learnt from any problems and issues. You’ll deal with any incidents, and escalate them as necessary. The teams will be working mainly at evenings and weekends, so you’ll need to work flexibly to ensure you’re available to support them.

You’ll be part of a wider area team and report to the area manager, who will provide support, assistance and guidance as required. During your working hours you will also have the support of a census staff help line, as well as an online help facility.


  • increase response rates to the census coverage survey
  • build up the census’ reputation
  • help us deliver a high-quality census

The six vital behaviours of a census ambassador


  1. Ensure everyone is working -

    ensure everyone is working effectively, monitoring performance to quickly identify and resolve issues
  1. Ensure your team is equipped -

    ensure your team is suitably equipped for their role with learning and equipment, escalate any issues to ensure prompt resolution
  1. Ensure your team is safe -

    ensure your team are safe and working safely at all times
  1. Ensure your team are driving their 6 vital behaviours -

    motivate and support – observe and provide feedback to team members to deliver successful results
  1. Use local knowledge to improve response -

    use management reports and share knowledge to improve response, react and respond appropriately to changing demands
  1. Make visible and help remove barriers to achieve the above -

    dealing with escalated issues – proactively identify problems and barriers to response, driving and supporting prompt resolutions

Main responsibilities

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

  • oversee the management of your interviewers in the field and be their main point of contact throughout the operation
  • use team meetings, 1-2-1 and coaching to motivate and support your team and ensure that your team understand and achieve their performance goals
  • prepare for the start of your team by getting to know their roles, carry out their right to work checks, inductions and oversee their training
  • be the main point of contact for your team and keep in touch with them regularly
  • manage your own working pattern, and that of your team, to ensure sufficient cover is available throughout the operation
  • manage any issues, such as sickness, disciplinary, grievance and dismissal procedures, supported by HR. Ensure all procedures are followed correctly
  • accompany your interviewers in the field, complete observational reports and provide coaching
  • support your team during the field operation, resolving operational issues, escalating where appropriate and offering leadership throughout
  • provide daily updates and accurate weekly progress reports to your area manager and liaise with HQ team where required, including participating in evaluation and debrief activities
  • review and analyse the performance of your teams, suggesting and implementing improvements to aid response
  • ensure your and your teams’ time and expenses sheets are accurate, before authorising and submitting them promptly
  • be able to travel throughout your assigned area, this may involve long distances in rural areas
  • ensure confidentiality and security of census information at all times


Essential skills and experience 

You’ll need to:

  • have previous experience of managing a team
  • 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, follow and deliver detailed written and verbal instructions
  • be confident using a smartphone, laptop and various applications
  • be professional at all times, and remain calm in challenging situations
  • take responsibility for making effective and fair decisions, in a timely manner


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.

Other requirements

You’ll need to:

  • be prepared to use your home as an office and for storage of boxes of field staff materials (you’ll also need to let your insurance company know that you work from home)
  • be able to receive supplies, assemble and distribute them accordingly


You need to be able to travel throughout England and Wales with no less than 24 hours’ notice and be prepared to stay overnight and for longer periods as required to meet the needs of the operation. You’ll also need to be able to travel to, and around, your assigned areas to visit addresses (the distances will vary dependent on whether you’re in an urban or rural area).

You will be supported with arranging accommodation where needed and will be paid necessarily incurred expenses in line with the policy.

Driving requirement

For this role, you will need to hold a current full UK driving licence and have the use of a motor vehicle (insured for business use) for which you’ll be paid a mileage allowance 

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.

This role is not yet open for applications, however, you can register your interest to work on Census 2021.