On this page you can find a glossary of terms used across the Code of Practice for Statistics website.
If you can’t find the term you’re looking for, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accredited official statistics are a sub-set of official statistics that have been independently reviewed by the Office for Statistics Regulation and confirmed as complying with the standards of trustworthiness, quality and value in the Code of Practice for Statistics. Accredited official statistics are called National Statistics in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.
Ad hoc official statistics are statistical analyses produced and released where there is a pressing need for official statistics in the public interest.
Coherence is the degree of similarity between related statistics and the fuller insight achieved by drawing them together.
Collaboration means working jointly.
Limitations are inherent weaknesses in the quality of statistics, data or statistical methods that should be understood in order to ensure their appropriate use and interpretation.
Management information is the aggregation and summary of operational data as statistics, to inform business decisions.
National Statistics are official statistics that the regulator (the Office for Statistics Regulation) has independently reviewed and confirmed comply with the standards of trustworthiness, quality and value in the Code of Practice for Statistics – from September 2023, they are also known as ‘accredited official statistics’. OSR maintains the List of Accredited Official Statistics (previously known as the List of National Statistics) on our website. It is a comprehensive list of all statistical outputs that OSR has reviewed and accredited. Under the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, producers must maintain their compliance with the Code when producing and publishing their accredited official statistics.
In cases of serious non-compliance OSR would cancel the accreditation – an improvement notice will be issued explaining the decision, requiring action to address the issues, and an entry will be made in the List of Cancelled or Suspended Accreditations (previously called the Register of De-designations). Where the producer becomes aware of a serious issue and raises it with OSR, the accreditation will be suspended while remedial action is taken. An improvement notice will also be issued for suspensions by OSR and an entry made in the List of Cancelled or Suspended Accreditations
Official statistics are statistics produced by Crown bodies and other organisations listed within an Official Statistics Order, on behalf of the UK government or devolved administrations. They provide a factual basis for assessment and decisions on economic, social and environmental issues at all levels of society.
Accredited official statistics and official statistics in development are types of official statistics.
Official statistics in development are official statistics that are undergoing a development; they may be new or existing statistics, and will be tested with users, in line with the standards of trustworthiness, quality, and value in the Code of Practice for Statistics. They were formerly known as ‘experimental statistics’.
The public good is defined in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 in terms of the UK Statistics Authority’s statutory objective to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good.
This includes informing the public about social and economic matters; assisting in the development and evaluation of public policy; and regulating quality and publicly challenging the misuse of statistics.
Quality in statistics refers to data and methods that produce assured statistics.
Quality means that statistics fit their intended uses, are based on appropriate data and methods, and are not materially misleading.
Quality requires skilled professional judgement about collecting, preparing, analysing and publishing statistics and data in ways that meet the needs of people who want to use the statistics.
Transparency means being clear and open, for example, about the choices being made, and not holding back or being opaque about decisions.
Trustworthiness refers to confidence in the people and organisations that produce statistics and data.
Trustworthiness is a product of the people, systems and processes within organisations that enable and support the production of statistics and data.
Trustworthiness comes from the organisation that produces statistics and data being well led, well managed and open, and the people who work there being impartial and skilled in what they do.
Statistics have value when they support society’s needs for information.
Value means that the statistics and data are useful, easy to access, remain relevant, and support understanding of important issues.
Value includes improving existing statistics and creating new ones through discussion and collaboration with stakeholders, and being responsible and efficient in the collection, sharing and use of statistical information.
Voluntary application of the Code is for any producer of data, statistics and analysis which are not official statistics, whether inside government or beyond, to help them produce analytical outputs that are high quality, useful for supporting decisions, and well respected.
A commitment to Trustworthiness, Quality and Value offers the opportunity for an organisation to:
- Compare its processes, methods and outputs against the recognised standards that the Code requires of official statistics
- Demonstrate to the public its commitment to trustworthiness, quality and public value
The approach is flexible and entirely optional.