Strengths and limitations

Users need to know about the quality of our statistics. Use this section to explain how the data should or should not be used and to ensure users do not misunderstand the data.

This can include:

  • guidance on the accuracy and reliability of the data, for example, sampling error, time lag between collection and publication
  • information about uncertainty or comparability with other sources or countries’ data
  • whether this bulletin contains National Statistics or Experimental Statistics
  • further information or detail on the warnings used in the bulletin

See the October 2019 Labour market overview bulletin for an example.

National Statistics status

If the bulletin has National Statistics status, use the standard wording and format to detail when it was last assessed and subsequent improvements to the statistics.

Keep it brief and clear

This section should only include brief information critical to the way people use the data and so should not include any tables or charts. If necessary, link to relevant articles so that users can find out more about the quality of the data.

Break up this section with subheadings to make it easier to read and signpost users to the most relevant content.

If your QMI has a section that clearly explains the strengths and limitations of your data, link directly to it.

If the strengths and limitations from your QMI are crucial to interpreting the data and can be summarised clearly in a few short bullet points, include them under subheadings of “Strengths” and “Limitations”.

We are constantly improving based on research and best practice. Any significant changes to our guidance are available on the Updates page.


Our Uncertainty and how we measure it page explains the different measures of uncertainty clearly for users, such as standard errors, confidence intervals and statistical significance. Include a standard line that links to this page:

“For more information on how we measure and communicate uncertainty for our surveys, see our Uncertainty and how we measure it page.”

See the COVID infection survey bulletin for an example.

Next section: Related links