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Non-compliance officer

Role details

Application window

15 February to 19 February 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 in the evenings and when necessary weekends, as this is when we are more likely to find people at home. As well as an attractive pay rate, you’ll be given full training and support to carry out this vital role.


The role

As a non-compliance officer, in an assigned working area, you’ll work in pairs with a non-compliance assistant to encourage census completion. You will report to a non-compliance field manager who will provide support, assistance and guidance as required.

The main purpose of your role is to engage with members of the public who may be resistant to your requests to complete a census questionnaire. You will receive a daily workload of addresses that have yet to submit a census questionnaire. You will encourage householders in your area to complete census questionnaires. For this you may have to manage challenging situations. If they persist in refusing, you will be required to conduct formal interviews and witness statements. This formal documentation will form part of legal proceedings in court.

The addresses will cover a wide geographical area and transport to the addresses will either be in your own or in the non-compliance assistant’s vehicle.

After your employment has finished, you may be required to attend court as a witness and give evidence (expenses will be covered by ONS).


  • convince non-responders to complete the census which will increase response rates
  • build up the census’ reputation

The six vital behaviours of a census ambassador

  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
  2. Ensure your team is safe -

    ensure your team are safe and working safely at all times
  3. 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
  4. Supportive

    – engage and encourage the public on their doorstep
  5. Compliant

    – keep accurate and timely records
  6. Integrity - keep the public's data safe

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:

  • plan and manage the workload of addresses given to you via an app on the smartphone provided to maximise the number of visits
  • check all documentation to ensure the correct procedure and appropriate approach to the visit is made
  • understand the level of risk involved by completing a dynamic risk assessment for each visit, taking reasonable care to ensure the safety of yourself and others
  • encourage the householder to complete a paper questionnaire providing assistance where necessary
  • if the householder refuses to complete a questionnaire, you will conduct an Interview Under Caution which the assistant will record on paper. You’ll then complete a witness statement
  • return information on completed investigations in a timely manner
  • follow ONS procedures, especially those regarding security and your safety
  • provide households with paper questionnaires and carry other documentation which you may need when calling at addresses that you will hold in your bag on a daily basis
  • provide regular reports on progress to your field manager (including supply orders) and attend team meetings
  • submit your pay and expenses claims promptly, providing receipts where required
  • ensure confidentiality and security of census information at all times
  • participate in evaluation activities and debrief
  • be prepared to travel around your large geographical area to visit addresses (the distances will vary dependent on whether your area is urban or rural); overnight stays may be required

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

It would be desirable for you to:

  • have experience of working with the public, possibly in a legal role such as enforcement or exposure to confrontational situations
  • be risk aware


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

You’ll 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 a mileage allowance for travel 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.

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