For the love of statistics: Full Fact welcomes new Code of Practice

22 February 2018 | Cassie Staines

Statistics are not just spreadsheets

Statistics can inform the decisions you make in your own home, like which school you send your kids to.

They can tell you how well services are being provided, and how easy it might be for you to access the things you need, like treatments from your local hospital.

And they can inform the big decisions politicians make every day, like how to spend the Budget.

Decisions, whether big or small, should as far as possible be based on the best quality information.

A new Code of Practice

Today, the UK Statistics Authority has published an updated Code of Practice for Statistics. This important document sets out the rules for how statistics should be produced and communicated in a way that increases their value to the country.

Full Fact has worked closely with the UK Statistics Authority's Office for Statistics Regulation on the content and shape of the new Code. Our Head of Communications and Impact Phoebe Arnold sat on the Code of Practice Stocktake Steering Group to provide advice based on Full Fact's experience of factchecking claims.

Through our factchecking work we’ve seen how and where statistics can be used and misused by a range of people and organisations. We worked with the UK Statistics Authority to share what we have learned and gave extensive feedback on the proposed changes.

We welcome the new Code, which provides government departments and other bodies that produce statistics with clear guidelines for ensuring the accuracy and accessibility of statistical outputs. It also makes clear to Ministers and departmental press offices that they are covered too.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.