Code of Conduct
Posted on 17th October 2005; updated on 5th September 2007
'To ensure that the Statistical Information Service uses, and is known to use the best possible methodology and that it measures the quality of its outputs.'
The activities included under this code are:
statistical method;data collection;questionnaire design and testing; harmonisation of surveys with other agencies;classification and coding schemes;interpretation, presentation and dissemination of results.
'To conduct surveys efficiently in a manner which recognises the interests of providers of the data.'
To this end all surveys will:
be designed to ask for no more data than is absolutely necessary;offer convenient means for respondents to collate and transmit the data;set out sufficient and clear guidelines for respondents to interpret the requirements;respect the confidentiality of the data during the conduct of the survey;provide sufficient lead time for respondents to research and prepare their responses;allow respondents to verify their submitted data before publication of their own results;advise respondents of the purposes to which the data will be employed.
'To interpret survey results in an impartial and proper manner.'
To this end:
all compiling staff will exercise due rigour in validating survey data;analyses and interpretations will be scrutinised by a responsible supervisor;appropriate assumptions will be applied to account for missing values;the presentation of results will be considered for objectivity;survey reports will be provided in the sole name of CIPFA;
'To employ appropriate resources and techniques to enhance the efficiency of surveys.'
To this end:
plans will set targets and monitor turn-around times for surveys;suitable training will be provided to staff in relevant statistical theory and methods;training in appropriate software use and computational techniques will be provided;equipment for mechanising the survey and analysis processes will be employed;common and documented coding schemes for referencing data will be employed;proper archiving of survey results and analyses will be made to assist further research.
'To promote the survey findings in a manner which enhances the respect for our surveys.'
To this end:
consultations with data user groups and practitioner representatives will take place regularly;survey respondents will be provided with any material findings prior to publication;no data identifiable to an individual respondent will be published (in the public domain) unless it was made clear in the survey that this was the intention;survey data collected in confidence will not be identified against the respondent unless permission to do so has been obtained.use of the media to promote survey results will be regulated by the above principles.