The conduct of the entire 2021 Census operation will be scrutinised by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR), the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority, against the Code of Practice for Statistics.

The Code of Practice for Statistics promotes the production and dissemination of official statistics that inform decision-making. It helps producers and users of statistics by setting out the necessary principles and practices to produce statistics that are trustworthy, high quality and of public value.

National Statistics accreditation Phase 1

Our report “How the Office for National Statistics is ensuring the 2021 Census will serve the public” published 12 June 2019, is our first step towards measuring our progress against the Code and will form part of the OSR assessment.

Read the report: How the Office for National Statistics is ensuring the 2021 Census will serve the public.

The OSR has considered evidence from a variety of sources including its own research, information provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and, importantly, feedback from users and stakeholders connected with the census. Capturing the views of users and potential users forms an important part of OSR’s judgement about the statistics, including how they could be improved.

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are also responsible for providing evidence to demonstrate how their census undertakings are meeting the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Use the following links to see their reports.

National Records of Scotland (NRS) report

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) report

OSR response to ONS Phase 1 report

The OSR has carried out an assessment of how the three UK census offices are ensuring their 2021 censuses will serve the public. Their report “2021 Censuses in the UK – Preliminary findings ” published 4 October 2019, outlines preliminary findings for the ONS, NRS and NISRA. These findings cover what each census office needs to do to maintain National Statistics Accreditation for their census outputs.

We are grateful to census data users who provided information to the OSR as part of the process. We welcome the scrutiny and feedback, and would like to thank the OSR for its fair and helpful findings. We will use the feedback to develop an action plan (in collaboration with NRS and NISRA) on how we address the findings to inform census planning and conduct.

Response to OSR’s Phase 1 findings

The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) Phase 1 report, 2021 Censuses in the UK – Preliminary findings, identifies a range of initial findings from the ongoing National Statistics assessment. These findings require action on behalf of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) to strengthen our compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

The three census offices are working, together where necessary, to address these findings. They are working to enhance the public value, quality and trustworthiness of the data and statistics produced from Census 2021 information across the UK.

The report, Response to actionable findings from Phase 1 of the National Statistics Accreditation, published on 15 June 2020, details our response to the OSR’s findings. The report also provides further evidence of how we are complying with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

NRS and NISRA have also produced similar reports detailing their responses to the OSR’s findings.