The Code of Practice for Official Statistics promotes the production and dissemination of official statistics that inform decision making, and supports the continuous improvement of those statistics. It is a concise and specific statement that requires sound judgement and interpretation.
The Code applies to all UK bodies that produce official statistics. It encourages and supports them to maintain their independence and to ensure adequate resourcing for statistical production. It helps producers and users of statistics by setting out the necessary principles and practices to produce statistics that are trustworthy, high quality and of public value.
Compliance with the Code is a statutory requirement on bodies that produce statistics that are designated as National Statistics through the Office for Statistics Regulation’s Assessment process.
While the formal scope of the Code is official statistics, many of the principles and practices are likely to be helpful to producers of other data such as management information and those outside of official statistics such as third sector and private sector organisations.
Standards on the Quality Assurance of Administrative Data and for Statistical Reporting support the Code. Examples of practices consistent with the Code and further guidance from the National Statistician are also available.
The Code is consistent with the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the European Statistics Code of Practice.
Occasionally we recognise an exemption or exception to a specific practice within the Code. A breach occurs when an organisation producing official statistics fails to meet the standards outlined in the Code and where an exemption or exception does not apply.
We have recently undertaken a review of the Code of Practice and consulted on a draft refreshed Code of Practice for Statistics, Edition 2.0. Our response report has now been published.