The National Statistician presents the Quality, Methods and Harmonisation Tool
The Code of Practice for Official Statistics sets out our aim to promote and safeguard the quality of our official statistics. Moreover, it is essential for all of us to be able to assure ourselves and our users about the quality of what we do. With this in mind, the Quality, Methods and Harmonisation Tool (QMHT) has been revised and improved to assist statistical producers in assessing their surveys and outputs. QMHT helps to identify good practice and areas for improvement by asking the questions that a methodologist would ask. Following completion of QMHT sections, recommendations are provided to guide producers in their continuous quality improvement.
The Code of Practice for Official Statistics includes a requirement that survey producers “seek to achieve continuous improvement in statistical processes, by for example, undertaking regular reviews”. The use of QMHT and implementation of the resulting recommendations will help us achieve that aim, and show that we are doing so.
With your help I would like to see QMHT become widely used across the GSS, to help ensure that we can be confident in the quality of our statistics.
I would like to thank all those who have been involved in the further development of this important tool. Further feedback is, of course, welcome.
What is the Quality, Methods and Harmonisation Tool?
The Quality Methods and Harmonisation Tool (QMHT) is a self-assessment questionnaire designed to aid producers of statistics in reviewing their surveys and outputs. As such it helps them work towards continuous improvement and becoming compliant with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. In particular it helps statistical producers to meet Principle 4, Practice 5 of the Code of Practice which states that they should:
" seek to achieve continuous improvement in statistical processes by, for example undertaking regular reviews...."
QMHT covers all stages of the statistical process and aids producers of statistics in reviewing their surveys and outputs.
The tool was originally created by the Quality Centre in ONS, Strategy and Standards Directorate, but was developed further by the GSS Quality Task Force, and cognitively tested by GSS members across various government departments. Subsequent improvements have been made to QMHT, including a new interactive facility, which is more user-friendly and provides methodological recommendations for the user.
QMHT has received endorsement from the National Statistician, has been signed by the GSS Statistical Policy and Standards Committee, and has been ratified by the Heads of Profession.
QMHT is now ready to use as a tool to conduct quality reviews. Before using QMHT, you may find the Guidance and frequently asked questions helpful, which you can download from this page.
How can I access the Quality, Methods and Harmonisation Tool?
Two formats of QMHT are available to download from this page:
i) QMHT_Static: (2.6 Mb Excel sheet) Original spreadsheet version of QMHT
ii) QMHT_Interactive: The improved, interactive version of QMHT, which produces recommendations for the user
For more information about using QMHT, please contact the Survey Control Unit: Survey.Control.Unit@ons.gsi.gov.uk