Statistical protocols and compliance

'National Statistics' is a quality marker applied to certain outputs of the United Kingdom's official statistics. Statistics labelled as 'National Statistics' must meet certain criteria. They should be fit for purpose, methodologically sound, politically independent and transparently produced.

National statistics 

All National Statistics are produced in accordance with the 'UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Statistics' and comply with the principles embodied in the 'National Code of Practice for Statistics'. They are reviewed every five years for quality.

NISRA privacy notice

Important links


Pre-release access has not been granted to Economic and Labour Market Statistics Publications since July 2017.

To view the Department of Finance's Statement of Compliance in relation to the 'Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order (Northern Ireland) 2009', please click on the link below:

Information on exceptions to standard pre-release access procedures are available through the link below:

Survey compliance costs

The UK Code of Practice for Statistics requires all producers of National and Official statistics to report annually the estimated costs of responding to statistical surveys and to develop ways of reducing costs to individual organisations or people.

From 1 April 2011, the responsibility for the collection of data and production of official statistics on the labour market and economy transferred from DETI to NISRA, an agency of the Department of Finance (DoF). The latest NISRA report on compliance costs for the Northern Ireland Departments is available at:

DoF statistics revisions policy

Social media - Twitter account

Since October 2019 tweets relating to Economic and Labour Market Statistics have been posted on the NISRA twitter account.

Economic and Labour Market Statistics branch has had a Twitter account between June 2014 and September 2019.

Below are policies for user information:

Data security

DoF confidentiality statement

In accordance with Code of Practice for Statistics the statement below sets out the arrangements DoF has put in place to protect the security of its data holdings and to ensure the confidentiality guarantees provided by the Department.

Breach of the code of practice for statistics

Breaches from 2019

On 27 June 2019 the content management system which supports the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) websites failed. This prevented publication of the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) and Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) bulletins at 9.30am as previously announced. BRES was published at 10.00am and ABI at 10.30am

Breach of release practices - June 2019

On 12/03/2019 a Labour Force Survey data request was answered using annual data reweighted to 2017 mid-year estimates. Reweighted data was due to be published on 20/03/2019.

The table was published on the NISRA website at 10.53am and following discovery of the error, removed at 13.17pm

Breach of release practices - March 2019

User consultation and information

ELMS welcome feedback from users on all aspects of our statistics in order to develop and improve our products and ensure user requirements are met.

ELMS statistical user group meetings

In order to ensure that the statistics produced by DoF meet the needs of data users and, where possible, to identify any gaps in data provision, DoF statisticians meet periodically with customers and data users.  Details of the most recent meetings can be found below: