Senior Analyst Data Assurance

£38,261 - £51,044 + pension
24 Aug 2021
16 Sep 2021
Contract Type
0-25% Travel

Job Summary

This is a dual banded role at grade 8/9.

In some specific roles the OfS operates a system of dual pay banding. This enables candidates to be appointed to an appropriate pay band depending on their skills and experience, as demonstrated, and assessed through the selection process

Pay Band 8: £38,261 - £39,838
Pay Band 9: £48,402 - £51,044

Plus generous civil service defined benefit pension

Based Bristol with regular travel and occasional overnight stay.

The Role

The Data, Foresight and Analysis (DFA) directorate provides data and analytical support for the Office for Students. It supports a range of data collection, analysis and research activities that underpin the regulatory functions of the OfS.

This role sits in the Data Assurance Team within the DFA directorate. The purpose of the role is to provide assurance over the data used to inform regulatory interventions. This involves carrying out data audits and other types of reviews to determine data quality at the individual higher education providers.

We also carry out an annual data verification at the point of submission of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and Individual Learner Record (ILR) returns. Our work is used to advise the Compliance and Student Protection directorate about the extent to which providers are meeting conditions of registration F3 and F4. These conditions require providers to supply accurate information in a timely manner to the OfS and to the designated data bodies.

In this role, the post holder may support Strategic Resource Unit projects from time to time.

Job Description

Contribute to the effective delivery of the annual data assurance plan

  • Deliver assigned data assurance activities
  • Produce high quality, evidence-based reporting to minimise the risk of providers challenging the outcomes of assurance work
  • Gain and maintain an excellent knowledge of areas of activity
  • Report findings appropriately to ensure complex or particularly sensitive issues are escalated to be resolved effectively
  • Maintain adequate documentation of processes and individual engagements

Contribute to the identification of assurance work 

  • Identify appropriate approaches to assurance to ensure they are effective
  • Contribute to identification of new areas of assurance work in collaboration with the Head of Data Assurance, the data assurance team and OfS colleagues, as appropriate

Support OfS directors and colleagues in making judgements over the quality of data

  • Contribute to overall judgements about the level of assurance that can be gained over individual providers and items of data across the sector. In particular:
    • Based on your assurance work, offer information to OfS colleagues to assist with effective judgements about compliance with conditions of registration including F3 and F4
    • And the extent to which data can support current and emerging regulatory interventions
  • Identify opportunities for providers gaming of data and potential means to mitigate this

Support the OfS and the designated data body to collect high quality data

  • Support annual HESA and ILR verification process to minimise the post collection data amendments
  • Identify and flag any systemic data issues to the designated data body so they can make appropriate changes to their systems and processes to minimise the risk of undetected data issues
  • Identify and report any systematic issues with OfS collections through data assurance work, and suggest appropriate mitigations


  • Develop effective relationships with internal staff to ensure delivery of the data assurance team plan
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with the designated data body to ensure efficient and effective working
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with providers undergoing assurance work
  • Minimise and resolve any conflicts professionally and effectively

About you

The key person attributes to fulfil this role are: 

Understanding of data

  • Ability to gain good understanding of the technical rules for data collections (including the ILR and HESA student rules). The need to have the aptitude to understand complex technical rules and the logical links between the various values collected.

Data assurance

  • Ability to assess whether data returned by Higher Education providers is accurate and complies with the rules for the relevant data collection, including through considering supporting evidence from providers.
  • Understanding of wider impact of errors and ability to follow the teams’ and Head of Data Assurance’s guidance with regards to risks associated with errors/issues.​


  • The post holder will be expected to plan and deliver own work and work with a high degree of autonomy. 

​Communication and report writing skills

  • Ability to communicate clearly via a variety of media.
  • The post holder will have excellent written skills as report writing is an integral part of the role.

Relationship management skills

  • The post holder will need to build effective professional working relationships with all levels of staff both internally and externally.
  • Ability to manage difficult relationships on the ground, often delivering difficult messages whilst remaining professional.

What is required to succeed in the role?

The Office for Students currently uses enablers to evaluate your strengths and ask that your application describes what you’ve done and how you’ve done it. The enablers for this role are: 

Knowledge and learning

  • Experience of working with data
  • Logical thinking and ability to understand data definitions and be able to develop audit approaches to test compliance


  • Ability to work with high levels of autonomy
  • Ability to plan and manage own workload including being reactive to changing priorities
  • Identification of risk


  • Ability to write clearly and precisely on technical matters using plain language that conform to house style
  • Ability to communicate complex technical issues verbally

Relationship management

  • Ability to build and maintain professional relationships

Professional Qualifications

  • A degree in highly numerical subject is desirable

Working for us

The OfS regulates the higher education sector on behalf of all students. We value diversity and the wealth of perspectives, experience and ideas that it brings to our work, and we strive to embed equality of opportunity in everything we do.

We recruit based on fair and open competition and welcome applications from candidates regardless of age, disability, race and ethnicity, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and socio-economic background. To attract the widest possible field of qualified applicants, flexible working, for example job share and part time working, apply to this role.

Closing date for applications: 16th September

Interviews: 29th and 30th September

As part of the assessment process, selected candidates will be asked to take a data related test and make a short presentation at interview.