Local authority update - Quality Assurance process - LA registered

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Local authority update - Quality Assurance process

06 October 2021


Earlier in the year your authority volunteered to participate in the QA on the census estimates for your area. At that time, our approach was that the authority would attend a presentation of the estimates for your area allowing you the opportunity to share local knowledge that could be used to interpret the numbers.

Following approval from the National Statistician, we are now able to improve our approach for involving local authorities. The new approach means that we will now be sending provisional estimates for local review by LA representatives for two weeks rather than presenting it solely in a meeting.  This will now take place much closer to final estimates being prepared so is likely to begin from late January, before we publish the estimates which will now be due in late spring to allow for this important quality assurance step. We believe this improved approach will ensure the best possible census statistics. We are letting local authorities know about this improved approach before we publish details more widely.

We previously gave you the opportunity to nominate a small number of representatives to attend these sessions, and understand these representatives may now change given the new approach. We recommend the representatives are data specialists or someone with an understanding of census. Should you wish to change or remove any nominated representatives, please do get in touch with the Quality Assurance team (Census.Quality.Assurance@ons.gov.uk).

We aim to send provisional estimates for your Local Authority towards the end of January 2022. This date is dependent on our processing timetable and will be after we have completed our estimation of those who did not respond. We plan to allow access to the data for up to 2 weeks, allowing LAs to conduct their own analysis.

The Code of Practice for Statistics allows us to provide early sight of provisional estimates for quality assurance purposes, but it’s very important that these are treated as confidential. To comply with the Code of Practice, named individuals with access to the data will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

We will provide a ‘user pack’ to each local authority that participates which will detail how the provisional estimates will be accessed, what will be contained in the file and what won’t be. We will also issue an information pack to support the exercise and further information on security requirements for management of the file whilst with you.

Unless we hear otherwise, we assume you still wish to participate and we will also issue further details and the NDA to your nominated contact.

If you have any queries about quality assurance, please do not hesitate to contact the Quality Assurance Team (Census.Quality.Assurance@ons.gov.uk). For any other census queries, please contact the Local Authority Partnerships team (2021Census.LA.Liaison@ons.gov.uk).

Yours sincerely

Local Authority Partnerships Team

Contact us

LA Partnerships Team: 2021Census.LA.Liaison@ons.gov.uk

Office for National Statistics | Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol | www.ons.gov.uk