Code of Practice for Statistics

V1: Relevance to users

Users of statistics and data should be at the centre of statistical production; their needs should be understood, their views sought and acted on, and their use of statistics supported.


V1.1 Statistics producers should maintain and refresh their understanding of the use and potential use of the statistics and data. They should consider the ways in which the statistics might be used and the nature of the decisions that are or could be informed by them.

V1.2 Statistics producers should use appropriate ways to increase awareness of the statistics and data, communicate effectively with the widest possible audience, and support users and potential users in identifying relevant statistics to meet their needs.

V1.3 User satisfaction with the relevance and usefulness of the statistics and data should be reviewed routinely. This should consider the timeliness, accessibility, clarity and accuracy of the statistics and data.

V1.4 Statistics producers should engage publicly through a variety of means that are appropriate to the needs of different audiences and proportionate to the potential of the statistics to serve the public good. An open dialogue should be maintained using proactive formal and informal engagement to listen to the views of new and established contacts. Statistics producers should undertake public engagement collaboratively wherever possible, working in partnership with policy makers and other statistics producers to obtain the views of stakeholders.

V1.5 The views received from users, potential users and other stakeholders should be addressed, where practicable. Statistics producers should consider whether to produce new statistics to meet identified information gaps. Feedback should be provided to them about how their needs can and cannot be met, being transparent about reasons for the decisions made and any constraints.

V1.6 Statistics producers should periodically review whether to continue, discontinue, adapt or to provide the statistics through other means, in discussion with users and other stakeholders.

Description Link Source
A webpage that brings together resources about working with users of statistics, including guidance documents, case studies from GSS departments and links to useful external content. Guidance on working with users GSS
Guidance that presents recommendations for improving user engagement alongside case studies, examples of good practice, and links to further resources. Guidance on improving user engagement for official statistics (2012) GSS
Practical guidance and other resources about communicating and disseminating official statistics. There is also information about networks and events that you get involved in to help improve the way you communicate statistics. Guidance on communicating statistics GSS
Guidance on how to use a standard and straightforward way of assessing comparability of their statistics with other parts of the UK. It also allows users to better understand what is comparable so that they can quickly get to the numbers they want. Guidance on comparing official statistics across the UK GSS
Guidance that provides a common approach to aid the clear communication of uncertainty and change. It can be applied to all sources of information, including surveys, censuses, administrative data and other sources, as well as estimates derived from a combination of these. It includes examples of good practice, as well as standard wording to be used when appropriate. This document is scheduled for revision in 2018 to reflect version 2.0 of the Code. Communicating Uncertainty and Change: Guidance for Official Statistics Producers GSS
Guidance for statistical output areas across the GSS for best practice in relation to the release of statistical publications. This document is scheduled for revision in 2018 to reflect version 2.0 of the Code. Guidance for the GSS on Preparing First Releases GSS
A blog about the work by the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP) Client Statistics Branch to develop a variety of formats for releasing their statistics, to cover a wide range of users' needs. GSS data blog: Transforming the release of statistics in DWP GSS
A GSS blog about Ofqual's statistics transformation programme in early 2017 to refresh its releases. The objectives were to make their statistics more engaging, informative and targeted to different types of users. GSS data blog: Ofqual statistics transformation programme GSS
The government has published a revised set of government consultation principles. These principles give clear guidance to government departments on conducting consultations. Guidance on public consultations Cabinet Office
Government Digital Service (GDS) guidance on using social media in the public sector. It aims to raise awareness of the digital transformation of government services and to share GDS best practice. Social Media Playbook GDS
A tool developed by the Medical Research Council, Chief Scientist Office and the University of Glasgow that guides readers through a series of questions to help them to review and interpret published health research papers. Understanding Health Research tool Medical Research Council
A guide by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) that helps producers of statistics explain the sources and methods for producing statistics (metadata). Getting the Facts Right: A guide to presenting metadata (PDF) UNECE

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