The UK Statistics Authority has today published a Regulatory Standard for the Quality Assurance of Administrative Data.

The Authority produced this Standard in response to concerns about the quality of administrative data that emerged during its assessments of statistics on police recorded crime. The Standard recognises the increasing role that administrative data are playing in the production of official statistics and clarifies the Authority’s expectations for what producers of official statistics should do to assure themselves of the quality of these data.

The Standard encourages risk-based judgement and supports a proportionate approach, recognising that not all administrative data sources are high risk. As a result, the Standard is pragmatic, and the toolkit that supports it provides helpful guidance to statistical producers about the practices they can adopt to assure the quality of the data they receive.

Ed Humpherson, the Statistics Authority’s’ Director General for Regulation, today said:

“The Standard encourages statisticians not to take data at face value, but to be willing to question the data they receive and to convey this scepticism to the users of their statistics. We are grateful for the advice and input we have received from Government statisticians and others in the development of this standard and are confident that statisticians will be capable of implementing the Standard’s principles; indeed, many already are.”