The UK Statistics Authority has approved the amendment to the Code of Practice for Statistics to enable alternative release times to be used, when granted by the Director General for Regulation.

David Norgrove, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority said:

“This update to the Code of Practice for Statistics provides more flexibility on release times for producers if necessary to meet users’ needs.

During the pandemic, official statisticians responded brilliantly to massive interest in statistics and data from decision makers, policy officials and the public at large. It has been a test of speed, agility and professional practice to produce the numbers we all need, and present them in usable formats.

Statisticians know their numbers best, the best way to communicate them. While we envisage most official statistics releases will remain at the standard time of 9:30am, enabling producers to consider alternative release times is going to help bring more of that expertise out to the public, and I welcome it.

We rarely make changes to the Code, but we do keep all the principles under regular review, to check they are relevant and fit for purpose. After a period of reflection, we think this change will support the statistical system well.”

The standard release time for all official statistics remains as 9.30am. An alternative time can be requested where the head of profession (Statistics HoP) believes that it enables the statistics to better serve the public good. The alternative standard time is to be used consistently by the producer for those statistics and should be announced in advance. 

Further details about the changes and the consultation conducted by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) are given on the OSR website. The Code changes will come into force on 5 May 2022.

Further Information

Please see information of the consultation OSR conducted to consider the Code of Practice for Statistics release time changes. 

Please see OSR’s policy guidance to assist requests for a release time change.

If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact