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Survey Control Unit


Survey Control Unit (SCU) aims to promote good survey practice, prevent poor quality or unnecessary surveys and ensure that respondent load is measured and minimised.

It is independent of areas that conduct surveys and it serves to ensure that survey control procedures are followed by all parts of government, including ONS.

Particular emphasis is placed by the SCU on ensuring that:

  • new survey proposals are clearly justified
  • alternative sources are thoroughly examined
  • regular surveys are subject to periodic review, and
  • the respondent load is clearly measured and minimised


The work of SCU ensures that burden on data providers is minimised and the promotion of survey best practice is continued across Government.


During 2010/11, a GSS-wide Respondent Burden Task Force has been considering the methodology used to calculate the compliance costs (or administrative burden costs) associated with statistical surveys.

A new methodology for calculating compliance costs has been developed and approved by the GSS Statistical Policy and Standards Committee (GSS SPSC) and GSS Heads of Profession.

This recommendation will be implemented as soon as it is feasible to do so.

Further information about the work of the GSS Respondent Burden Task Force will be available soon.

SCU also continue to monitor the administrative burden costs placed on business and local authorities by producing the Annual Government Statistical Surveys report.

Please see the ONS Simplification Plan for more information on reducing respondent burden.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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