The reference groups are made up of a variety of experts who can comment on methodology, sense check results and suggest publications. The members are mainly local authority experts who provide a detailed local perspective.
There are two types of reference group: Technical Reference Groups and Local Insight Reference Panels. Technical groups assist in the development of new methodology and provide knowledge of local trends and effects while Local Insight groups focus on local emerging impacts of the improvements made. Terms of Reference and Membership of the panels are shown in Annexes B and C of the Quality Assurance Strategy (in the download section).
Members are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding, confirming they agree to the terms of reference and their roles and responsibilities. Members must maintain confidentiality, and provide their expertise to help improve population estimates as a whole. Membership of these groups may change over time.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) plans to publish notes of the reference group meetings, summarising the discussion and actions arising, but without identifying individual input.