What it means to be an Official Statistics and National Statistics provider

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and its governance board the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) identified the need for public bodies that produce statistical information to be seen as authoritative and trusted. The UKSA published a Code of Practice for Statistics (UK Statistics Authority 2009) to outline principles of good practice for statistical products and it is against this code that UKSA assess statistics to ensure their quality.

As a producer of Official Statistics in Scotland the SSSC is encouraged to comply with the Code and must comply with the pre-release access rules set forth in the Pre-release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008.  Our 2011 Workforce Data report published in October 2012 was our first Official Statistics publication.

Publications with the National Statistics (NS) kitemark are assessed by the UKSA to ensure they are complying with the Code of Practice (this assessment process is the key difference between OS and NS documents). The report on the MHO Survey was approved as a National Statistics publication when it was undertaken by Scottish Government, and the SSSC took over responsibility for it from December 2012.  The UKSA have assessed the SSSC’s MHO publication for compliance with the Code of Practice and the letter of confirmation of National Statistics status can be found here. National Statistics publications must also comply with the Pre-release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008.

To comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics, the SSSC has produced the following documents to set out its practice in relation to quality assuring data, revisions and corrections to publications and confidentiality:

The SSSC also complies with the Regulatory Standard for the Quality Assurance of Administrative Data (QAAD) issued by the UKSA in January 2015. The Standard recognises the increasing role that administrative data is playing in the production of Official Statistics and sets out what the Authority expects producers of Official Statistics to do to assure themselves of the quality of this data. Full details of the Standard are available at: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/monitoring-and-assessment/monitoring/administrative-data-and-official-statistics/

Below is the technical report produced in 2017 in response to the requirements of the UKSA QAAD Standard covering the administrative data used in our Official and National Statistics reports: