About this guide

This publication was created in November 2023 to clarify guidance and incorporate the new terminology following OSR’s review of the National Statistics designation.

This guidance replaces the previous experimental statistics guidance.

This guide sets out the Office for Statistics Regulation’s expectations regarding the production and handling of official statistics in development – formerly called experimental statistics. They are a subset of official statistics that are going through development and evaluation, in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

It is a temporary label, supporting the development and release of timely and relevant statistics. Even though the statistics are going through development and testing, the producer is confident that they are useful. The producer provides information with the statistics about the nature of the development, such as about the methods, and any implications for their quality, to guide the appropriate use of the figures.

After the development is complete and following testing with users, the producer will decide if the statistics should continue to be published under the guidance of the Head of Profession for Statistics. Producers can then remove the ‘in development’ label. They should always be clear with users on why they are confident that their official statistics are suitable for use.

Key Message

Official statistics in development should include two elements in their release, whether they are brand new statistics or existing statistics being improved:

1. An upfront description at the beginning of the statistics in development publication covering:

    • An account of the methods used and quality of the statistics
    • How you are involving users and how you will keep them informed about the development and its progress

2. A published development plan outlining who, why, what, when.

Back to top