Law 23/1998, on statistics in Catalonia, commissions to Idescat the promoting the training and professional development of statistical staff, actions which are addressed to its own statistical staff and all the staff working within the entire Statistical System of Catalonia, as well as to the group of users of official statistical information. The Statistical Plan of Catalonia, and the subsequent annual programmes it deploys, foster training in methods and procedures applied to the design, production and dissemination of statistical results.
The subjects that are the focus of training and promotion range from statistical procedures (statistical regulations, statistical methods and specialised programming) to instrumental tools supporting these procedures (application of information and communication technologies), and they attempt to cover everything from the most basic contents to the most advanced aspects within the realm of official statistics.
From an operational standpoint, the annual programmes of activities promoted by Idescat are deployed in many different ways. Thus, the annual scheduled programme includes the organisation of in-house courses and seminars, attendance of external courses, educational co-operation with local university education through student internships and arranging group visits at the Institute's headquarters.
Idescat also fosters the dissemination of statistics by supporting congresses and workshops, and regularly participates in the following promotional activities:
- Statistics Day, promoted by the Catalan Statistics Society and held in Catalonia since 2001, with the organisation rotating between different Catalan universities and Idescat itself (Statistics Day 2006 and the World Statistics Day 2010). Idescat is also participating in the holding of the International Year of Statistics 2013 (Statistics2013), promoted by different associations and professional entities.
- Student Applied Statistics Contest, organised annually in conjunction with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and aimed at university students in general throughout Spain, in order to stimulate their interest in statistics and similar disciplines.
- Nursery Competition for Surveys and Experiments, organised by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University of Barcelona and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, to foster interest in statistics among secondary school pupils.
- Statistical Extension Workshops, organised by Idescat in potential collaboration with other institutions and aimed at professionals in different fields, where understanding and interpreting statistics can play an important role in providing added value to the information they offer, with the aim of becoming a new and permanent channel for dissemination.
2. Calendar of activities
The calendar of statistical training and dissemination activities organised or promoted by Idescat contains the list of specific activities already held or planned to be held, indicating the title, the audience, the number of places, the inscription form, the dates and the place where they are to be held. The calendar is basically completed by contributions from the different areas of Idescat, but also includes other contributions by initiative of the personnel and associations of bodies in the statistical system and the general public.
3. Management of training and promotion activities
The Department of Standards and Quality is the unit that manages the training in statistical procedures activities organised and promoted by Idescat, as well dealing with consultations and requests regarding the matter. The aforesaid Department systematically caters for the following issues:
- Training activities, with require the formalisation of an enrolment that is channelled through the Idescat website. These include courses, seminars and workshops organised by itself or in collaboration with third parties, aimed at staff working in statistics and usually held in the Idescat head offices. They also include the holding of technical sessions, of a relatively restricted nature, aimed at documenting the content taught in other training activities or at presenting projects/good practices regarding matters of official statistics. Once the enrolment form on the website has been filled in, it should be sent electronically to the Department of Standards and Quality (aeq at idescat dot cat) or faxed to the number provided on the enrolment form.
- Academic work experience in the Idescat offices is generally regulated by educational cooperation framework agreements, with the respective university education systems. Calls for specific internships are governed by these agreements and the participant student and the scheduled work plan should be outlined in a specific agreement. Of particular note, due to the number of internships, is the UB-UPC Interuniversity Masters in Statistics and Operative Research, with which Idescat is a collaborating entity. The Department of Standards and Quality should be contacted regarding new framework agreements (aeq at idescat dot cat).
- Group visits to the Idescat head offices by university and secondary students, in order to learn about the activities, products and services available.
4. Other training programmes in the field of statistics