Social survey microdata are a useful research tool for a range of users. Microdata files of different degrees of disclosure risk are made available to other government departments, and to academic and other researchers. This is in accordance with Principle 1 of the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice for Official Statistics (CoP).

This policy provides guidance on releasing microdata in accordance with the CoP, specifically Principle 5: Confidentiality. It also conforms to the Statistics and Registration Service Act (2007), specifically Section 39.

The main section discusses how the CoP and SRSA affect the release of microdata, and includes examples of our good practice.

Appendix 1 contains guidance on preparing microdata so that they are not personal information. Further appendices contain reference information.

This document has been approved as GSS Policy by the GSS Statistical Policy and Standards Committee.

Open Data guidance - An additional document is included giving guidance on the steps to follow when releasing Open Data, record level data made available to the public with no registration required.

Send queries or comments to the Statistical Disclosure Control team: