RSS policy groups

The RSS has expert groups that focus on the Society’s policy work in specific areas:

Steering group

Sheila Bird
Simon Briscoe
Daniela de Angelis
Jon Deeks
Peter Diggle
Christl Donnelly
Scott Heald
Chris Holmes
Nicholas Jewell
Guy Nason
Sylvia Richardson (chair)
Jennifer Rogers
David Spiegelhalter (chair)

The Covid-19 Task Force
Formed in April 2020, our Covid-19 Task Force is co-chaired by RSS president Sylvia Richardson and past president David Spiegelhalter and supported by a steering group. It engages a network of members who are active on Covid-19 and expert in diverse aspects of applied probability and statistics.

A key aim of the task force is to ensure that the RSS can contribute its collective expertise to UK national and devolved governments and public bodies, regarding statistical issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.


  • Supporting the production of evidence-based analyses
  • Emphasising the importance of fundamental statistical principles and best statistical practice in relation to the analysis of observational data
  • Contribute to the design of future data collection
  • Engaging in increasing public understanding of statistical issues linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact.
  • Coordinating policy responses to Covid-related inquiries or calls for evidence.

You can contact the task force by emailing


AAAG members

Jon Forster (chair)
Mark Briers
Rhian Daniel
Theodore Kypraios
Adele Marshall
Emma McCoy
Claire Miller
Natalie Shlomo
Darren Wilkinson

The Academic Affairs Advisory Group
The Academic Affairs Advisory Group (AAAG) is a volunteer-led group with an interest in policy surrounding statistics and academia. The purpose of the group is to provide formal recognition within the RSS of statisticians working within UK universities and to give guidance and support for the Society’s activities relating to this community. It is chaired by the RSS vice-president for academic affairs. Membership is at the invitation of the chair, ideally taking into account diversity and experience of potential members, to ensure there is a breadth of expertise and backgrounds.

The group’s activities include:

  • Reviewing and monitoring the strength of statistics as an academic discipline in UK universities
  • Supporting the work of the Society and of individual fellows in liaising with Research Councils and with other learned societies
  • Contributing to responses to consultations and policy initiatives that may have an impact on academic statisticians
  • As required, advising Council on the Society’s arrangements to support academic statisticians.

For more details about AAAG please email


NSAG members

Steve Penneck (chair)
Paul Allin
Giuliana Battisti
Michael Baxter
David Caplan
Mike Hughes
Rebecca Killick
Alison Macfarlane
Guy Nason
Jia Shao
Geoff Tily
Dev Virdee

The National Statistics Advisory Group
Official statistics provide the cornerstone of the evidence needed to generate informed debate and drive good decision making. The National Statistics Advisory Group (NSAG) is a group of volunteers with a strong interest in a range of policy issues surrounding the UK's official statistics system. It helps to develop the Society's policy on official statistics on behalf of RSS Council, and in an advisory capacity to the RSS President.

NSAG has, over the years, had a significant impact on the development of official statistics in the UK. It has contributed to the RSS’s work in areas such as inflation measurement, influencing the legislation on data sharing and improving the UK Statistics Authority's 'Code of Practice on Official Statistics'. UKSA described the Society's contribution to the Code as 'excellent and very helpful'. It has also given evidence to parliament on the further development of UK’s statistical system. For more details about NSAG, please email


EPAG members

Sharon Witherspoon (chair)
Stella Dudzic
Elinor Jones
Roger Porkess
Neil Sheldon
Nigel Walkey

The Education Policy Advisory Group
The work of the Education Policy Advisory Group (EPAG) seeks to influence education curricula and policy to improve the quality of the teaching, learning and assessment of statistics and data.

The EPAG provides advice and helps to formulate the Society’s consultation responses, research and policy work in statistical education. The EPAG also liaises on behalf of the Society with other key influencing organisations on education research and policy.

It holds at least one meeting each year, usually at the Society’s London office, and occasional telephone conferences as needed. To find out more, contact: