Regulatory guidance – Publishing official statistics and National Statistics

31 October 2018
Last updated:
30 June 2022

Labelling the status of the statistics

How should we make clear the status of the statistics, particularly as we move to publish in a digital form rather than in PDF bulletins?

To build public confidence in statistics, users need to understand the provenance of the information. The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 requires official statistics
producers to show the designation as National Statistics when the statistics have been so assessed by the UK Statistics Authority. The designation is shown by using the National Statistics logo.

Consider the design of your website or release to clearly show when the statistics are designated as National Statistics.

For example, ISD Scotland of NHS National Services Scotland has developed a new web publication for its acute hospital activity statistics.

Department for Work and Pensions publishes official statistics on the income-related benefits and makes clear that they are official statistics.

Statistical releases can include both official statistics and National Statistics. For example, compendia releases may present relevant official statistics, experimental statistics, and statistics for other countries. It is important to help users appreciate the status of each set of statistics. In this example, DWP makes clear the different statuses of its benefit statistics.

Where non-official statistics or data are published, it is helpful for users if the status of the data, relevant links, and brief explanations are given. For example, Ofsted publishes management information releases on its inspections of children’s homes and provides a clear notice about the status of the data sets.

Ofsted also provides an overall schedule for the release of its management information and official statistics.

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