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
Practical guidance and other resources about writing about statistics, presenting statistics and peer reviewing statistics. Includes information about networks and events. 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. Guidance on comparing official statistics across the UK GSS
Guidance on what works best in communicating uncertainty and change, including: providing a set of standard definitions for common terms such as statistical significance, and communicating uncertainty when using methods like confidence intervals and coefficients of variation. Guidance on communicating uncertainty and change GSS
National Statistician’s guidance that brings out the key points of relevance for the Government Statistical Service (GSS) when preparing commentary for statistical first releases, along with examples. It is intended as supporting material for statistics producers in driving forward improvements. Guidance on preparing first releases (PDF) UKSA
A webpage that brings together resources about identifying those who use your statistics, and engaging with your audience. It includes guidance documents, case studies from GSS departments and links to useful external content. Guidance on working with users GSS
A statement that sets out the UK Statistics Authority’s (UKSA) expectations in relation to the drafting of statistical reports. UK Statistics Authority’s Standards for Statistical Reports (2012) (PDF) UKSA
Guidance that presents recommendations for official statistics producers to expand reach among and improve engagement with users of statistics. It includes case studies, examples of good practice, and links to further resources. Guidance on improving user engagement for official statistics (2012) (PDF) GSS
A UKSA brief that illustrates some of the uses of official statistics made by a wide variety of people and organisations. It includes a ‘framework of use’ that classifies uses of statistics. Monitoring brief on The Use Made of Official Statistics (PDF) UKSA
A letter from former UKSA Chair, Andrew Dilnot, introducing a Monitoring Brief (included in the letter) that reviews use official statistics by the voluntary sector. Letter about use of statistics by the voluntary sector (PDF) UKSA
A UKSA report that explores the current uses and future needs of official statistics by the financial services industry. Monitoring review of The Use of Official Statistics by the Financial Services Industry (PDF) UKSA
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
An overview of the work that the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP) Client Statistics Branch has done to develop a variety of formats for releasing their statistics to cover the wide range of our user’s needs. GSS data blog: DWP – Transforming release statistics GSS
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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