Consultation on Standards for Ethnicity Data

Closed 30 Aug 2022

Opened 5 Jul 2022


As part of Inclusive Britain, the Government’s action plan for racial equality, by the end of 2022 the Race Disparity Unit (RDU) has committed to "consult on new standards for government departments and other public bodies on how to record, understand and communicate ethnicity data." This will "ensure more responsible and accurate reporting on race and ethnicity".

This is the consultation on these new standards, currently in draft. They are based around the three pillars from the Code of Practice for Statistics:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Quality
  • Value

The standards set out detailed considerations for the collection, analysis and reporting of data, with the main focus on the quality pillar. There are more general considerations related to trustworthiness and value.

Not in the standards

We have consciously excluded from the standards some specific aspects of quality such as data governance and data management, because they do not relate specifically to ethnicity, and government guidance already exists in this area. For example, we have not covered some of the aspects listed in the 'Commit to Data Quality' principle in the Government Data Quality Framework. However, we would value user views on that decision through this consultation.

Who the standards are for

The standards are intended to apply to people in government departments or public bodies who are:

  • collecting data about people's ethnicity - for example, in surveys or administrative data collections
  • analysing data on disparities between different ethnic groups
  • presenting or reporting on data about ethnicity - for example in statistical releases or other publications

But they might also be useful to other people outside of the public sector who collect or use ethnicity data.

The proposals

This consultation asks for your views on three proposals:

  • Proposal 1: we will publish the draft standards as they are presented here
  • Proposal 2: RDU will work with the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) to monitor the use and impact of the standards
  • Proposal 3: we will develop similar standards for data on other groups of people

Copies of the draft standards are available on GOV.UK and in the Related Documents section below.

How to respond

  • Please read the draft Standards for Ethnicity Data
  • Read the proposals
  • Answer the questions in the online consultation

If you would prefer to review the proposals with additional details before completing the consultation, a version is available in the Related Links section below.

Following this consultation, we plan to publish the data standards by early 2023. This consultation is part of a wider plan of engagement with users both inside and outside of government.

Why your views matter

Your input will ensure the standards are useful, relevant and have impact. We will use the standards to improve the quality of reporting on ethnicity data.

What happens next

This consultation is now closed.