Working Group

ACSS Assurance Working Group

The overall aim of the ACSS assurance working is to explore how best to facilitate assurance of the quality, value and impact of social science in the FSA.

Last updated: 28 April 2022


The work of the group is currently focused on the development of a ‘good science’ quality assurance checklist/toolkit to support the commissioning of high-quality research across our sciences. The group is also facilitating expert advice on research methods and data interpretation (from the Working Group itself or of experts they nominate), to support the FSA’s new workstream on behavioural insights. 




Terms of reference 

The original terms of reference for the working group are set out below. These are currently being reviewed to reflect activities completed under these objectives, as well as new areas of work.  

i. Develop a method for evaluating:  

  • processes by which social science projects are developed, prioritised and commissioned 
  • how the portfolio of social science projects is quality assured  
  • how and whether social science evidence is used appropriately in FSA decision-making 
  • the implementation of social science evidence  
  • Social Science capability and networks. 


ii. Oversee the evaluation of (1a-e) above. To include 

  • reviewing plans and documents;  
  • interviewing key stakeholders; 
  • tracing projects from inception to delivery (the package of behaviour change projects have been identified as key candidates). 


iii. Provide advice and recommendations relating to  

  • how FSA practices relating to each of (1a-e) above might be enhanced to ensure best practice and  
  • identification of the parameters by which they might best be presented in the annual report to the FSA Board 



For the most recent update on working group activity pleased see the update provided in Paper 8.2 of the 8th Open ACSS meeting

The majority of the working group’s output has related to internal processes and guidance. For example, as referred to in the Dec 21 FSA board paper, the working group has improved how the impact of our social science is measured, and has developed guiding principles for the appropriate consideration of other legitimate factors in the risk management process.