How GORS works

The Government Operational Research Service is a professional association within the UK Civil Service, co-ordinating the recruitment, training and career development of the Operational Research analysts working for the various government departments. You can learn more about Government Analysis and evidence gathering, and more on career paths.

Working in GORS

More than 25 government departments and agencies rely on our OR analysts to help them find solutions to complex organisational, management and social problems. The solutions are vital to improving the quality of life for millions of people across the UK.

GORS analysts help answer vital questions such as:

  • How can we measure and improve the quality of service in education, health, social security and other public bodies?
  • How can we visualise and make predictions about the UK’s transport, electricity, and other infrastructure networks?
  • How can the UK best decarbonise its activities and fight climate change?

If you have a background in mathematics, statistics, physics, engineering or other numerate discipline (see requirements) and want to use those skills for the benefit of everyone in the UK, then GORS is the place for you.

To learn more about the experience of working in GORS, see our Member Profiles or department pages.

History of GORS

Operations Research has been used by the British Government since its invention, originating with academics consulting for the Armed Forces on technology and strategy prior to and during the Second World War.

In 2018 GORS commissioned a project to document the profession’s history across the Ministry of Defence and civilian departments..

Download the history of GORS document (PDF, 927Kb)

If you are a current or former GORS member or have otherwise been involved with the organisation, we very much welcome your recollections, corrections, corroborations, anecdotes, stories and images. If you have anything to offer to enhance this work, please complete the below template and email to

Download the template (docx, 14Kb)

OR Society conference

See this YouTube video about the history of GORS given by Ministry of Defence Chief Analyst and GORS Chair Tony O’Connor at the 2018 OR60 Anniversary Conference. (Embedded)