What is voluntary application?

Voluntary application (VA) 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 the Code pillars of 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

For example, a government department can use the pillars to help provide clear advice to ministers about evidence. A charity can use the pillars to provide reassurance to its donors about its fundraising and public services.

This blog post suggests some ways that analysts and organisations can show their voluntary commitment to the pillars of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value.

We have also developed a guide on how the Code pillars can help support the use, design and impact of evaluation.

Award for Statistical Excellence in Trustworthiness, Quality and Value (previously the Voluntary Application Award)

If you choose to voluntarily apply the Code, you will be eligible to apply for the Award for Statistical Excellence in Trustworthiness, Quality and Value.

The award recognises excellence in the voluntary application of the pillars of the Trustworthiness, Quality and Value (TQV) of the Code. The award is given by OSR, in partnership with the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). Civil Service World is the media partner for the award.

Entrants will need to demonstrate how they meet each of the following criteria:

  • A stated commitment to applying TQV in producing and sharing their information
  • Examples of how TQV have been applied to innovate or improve their information or processes
  • A demonstration of how public value has been enhanced by their application of the pillars

The winners of the first award were announced in October 2020. The winners of the second award were announced in July 2021. We announced the winners of our third award in July 2022. You can read about past winners and runners up in our case studies.

Community of Practice

We’re in the process of building a Community of Practice where, if you choose to voluntarily apply the Code, you’ll be able to meet other adopters of the code and share best practice.

Contact us

If you have any questions about voluntary application of the Code, please contact Penny Babb, head of Policy and Standards at the Office for Statistics Regulation, by emailing regulation@statistics.gov.uk.