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Our standards

We work to meet the highest professional standards, by:

  • operating a rigorous approval process for research projects
  • peer reviewing our research
  • working to specific protocols developed with the Office for National Statistics (ONS)


Our Project Quality Approval Board must review and approve all social research projects before they begin. This ensures that the research will be of the appropriate quality and will achieve its aims.

Peer reviews

Once the research is complete, in most cases we send the final project report to be peer reviewed by two external experts. We choose peer reviewers for their knowledge of the subject and their expertise in the methodology used for the research.

Academic and practitioner peer reviewers can download copies of our peer review proformas here.


Many of our key statistical outputs are ‘National Statistics’. This means they must meet certain criteria. This includes being:

  • fit for purpose
  • methodologically sound
  • politically independent
  • transparently produced

Data designated as 'National Statistics' provide an up-to-date, comprehensive and meaningful description of the UK's economy and society.

We produce statistical documents according to:

  • the Framework for National Statistics
  • the National Statistics Code of Practice, and supporting protocols

Read our Home Office statement of compliance with the National Statistics Code of Practice and Protocols to find out how we meet these criteria.

Statistical release practice

The Release Practices Protocol requires the Home Office to publish and maintain a statement describing how the standards set out in the Protocol apply to each of our statistical releases.

Read the Home Office statement of compliance with the National Statistics Protocol on Release Practices.

Publication schedule for National Statistics

Home Office’s National Statistics publication release dates are pre-announced on the ONS website.

For more information about the application of National Statistics protocols within the Home Office, please email the Head of Profession for Statistics (email:

See also:
The ONS Code of Practice and Protocols

Related links
ONS website

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