Assessment and Compliance Checks: A guide for Statistics Producers

1 July 2020
Last updated:
14 December 2022

Compliance Checks and Assessments

We conduct compliance checks and assessments against the Code of Practice for Statistics, to ensure that all official statistics meet the standards of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value.

Compliance Checks

Compliance checks are a short, focused review, providing a high-level investigation of the extent to which the statistics meet the standards of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value. Some are pre-planned, but our programme is flexible enough to respond to salient issues as they arise, and we are flexible in the coverage of each check to focus on those matters that are most pertinent to the particular statistics.

We undertake compliance checks with one or more of the following objectives in mind:

  • to confirm compliance with the Code of Practice in those areas investigated, and hence that the National Statistics status should continue
  • to identify whether any immediate enhancements are necessary for the producer to be able to maintain National Statistics status, or whether National Statistics status should be withdrawn
  • to help evaluate and decide whether a full re-assessment would be appropriate to explore the statistics more deeply

The role of a Statistics Producer in a Compliance Check

Our domain leads or Assessment Programme Lead will generally discuss possible compliance checks with your Head of Profession for Statistics (HoP) as part of our business planning. We will discuss any issues that have triggered the check and its specific focus.

Our first stage is to carry out desk research to evaluate strengths and weaknesses against the Code of Practice. We would draw on material already in the public domain, along with anything we already know from users and stakeholders. We do not necessarily speak to users but may speak with them or other stakeholders if needed to help us form our judgements. We do not require statistical producers to provide any evidence but will focus on material that is in the public domain, to carry out our investigations.

Once we have some provisional thoughts (including gaps in our understanding and other questions), we discuss these with the statistical team to get a complete picture, and to give them an indication of our conclusions and proposed way of disseminating our findings.

Once we have finalised the findings of the compliance check, we will publish them on our website in the form of a letter, with a more detailed report in some cases. The letter will provide a deadline for responding to any areas of improvement found during the check.

We ask you to inform us of how you have addressed the requirements by sending a written response that sets out your actions.

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