Assessment and Compliance Checks: A guide for Statistics Producers

1 July 2020
Last updated:
14 December 2022


This publication was updated in December 2022 to migrate the contents to HTML and improve accessibility.

The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority. We aim to enhance public confidence in the trustworthiness, quality and value of statistics.

Trustworthiness: trusted people, systems and processes

Trustworthiness means that the statistics and other numerical information are produced free from vested interest and are based on the best professional judgement of statisticians and other analysts.

Trustworthiness is a product of the people, systems and processes within organisations that enable and support the production of statistics and other numerical information.

Quality: robust data, methods and statistics

Quality means that the statistics and numerical information represent the best available estimate of what they aim to measure at a particular point in time and that they are not materially misleading.

Quality is analytical in nature and is a product of the professional judgements made in the specification, collection, aggregation, processing, analysis, and dissemination of data.

Value: statistics that serve the public good

Value means that the statistics and numerical information are accessible, remain relevant, and benefit society, helping the public to understand important issues and answer key questions.

Value is a product of the interface between the statistics or numerical information and those who use them as a basis for forming judgements.

National Statistics

National Statistics logo

The designation of National Statistics provides confidence to the public that the statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and value.

All official statistics should comply fully with the Code of Practice for Statistics. They are awarded National Statistics status following an assessment by OSR’s regulatory team. We consider whether the statistics meet the highest standards of Code compliance, including the value they add to public decisions and debate.

It is the statistics producer’s responsibility to maintain compliance with the standards expected of National Statistics. If they become concerned about whether statistics are still meeting the appropriate standards, they should discuss any concerns with us. National Statistics status can be removed at any point when the highest standards are not maintained and reinstated when standards are restored. This might call for a full re-assessment or a compliance check.

National Statistics products should state when the National Statistics status was awarded through the most recent assessment or re-assessment against the Code of Practice for Statistics. They should also refer to any compliance checks which have led to continued designations and outline how outputs have been developed since the latest confirmation of National Statistics status. More detail is available in our guidance.

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