Empowering Field Operations






2 years

Connecting 36,000 remote workers to the latest field guidance

Every 10 years since 1801, the UK census has collected vital information that informs government policies and plans for running the country. For census 2021, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are recruiting and mobilising over 36,000 field staff to capture this data with tight training schedules.

Previously, the ONS had never had any online support for any past census, having relied on large printed manuals in the past. Costly to produce, inconvenient in the field, and lacking both immediacy and sometimes relevance.

To enable census takers to be self-sufficient in the field en remain supported by up-to-date ONS guidance, WORTH developed a mobile-first online and offline Self Help Facility. The Self Help Facility is an entirely novel solution championed internally by the ONS team and collaboratively designed and developed by WORTH. The Self Help Facility maximises the opportunities and quality of data collected because, after all, it's important to get it right.

"We have enjoyed working with such knowledgeable and professional staff in a truly agile fashion to complete the technical development in such tight and challenging timescales."

Senior Programme Manager Digital Services & Technology, Office for National Statistics, 2019


  • Dramatic reduction of print manuals

    The SHF replaces 90% of the content of previous print manuals for field staff, reducing paper wastage, significantly increasing portability and availability, and relieving pressure on content publication.

  • Halving call centre load

    With searchable and bookmarkable content to hand at all times, field staff can access key info on demand and be truly self-sufficient, reducing call centre support by over 87%.

  • Real-time feedback and updates

    As a living content system, new information in the field can be processed and updated back to the ONS with publishing updates in less than 30 minutes, allowing ONS to keep staff safe and supported with the latest guidance.

Alan ‐ Agile Delivery Manager UK

“We built the Self Help Facility hand-in-hand with ONS in a phased Agile delivery, including a fully remote phase during COVID19 lockdown yet staying in continuous conversation throughout every day of the project to keep decisions fast and maintain a focus on value.”

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