Methodology

Quality Assurance   UN NQAF

UN NQAF (of 2012)

The development of the Template for a Generic National Quality Assurance Framework and the Guidelines to accompany the Template (UN NQAF) was undertaken by the Expert Group on NQAF in response to a request by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its forty-first session in 2010. The Template is intended to be used as a tool to provide the general structure within which countries that choose to do so can formulate and operationalize national quality frameworks of their own or further enhance existing ones.

Additional work carried out by the Expert Group included: a mapping of the Template to existing quality frameworks (i.e. the European Statistics Code of Practice, the International Monetary Fund's Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF), Statistics Canada's quality assurance framework, and the Proposal for a Regional Code of Good Statistical Practice for Latin America and the Caribbean); a Glossary of quality-related terms; and an inventory of national and international quality references.

A Global Consultation was undertaken to seek comments about the Expert Group's work from senior management of statistical organizations and to gather feedback to assist the Expert Group in finalizing its report to the next Statistical Commission. The Expert Group is grateful to the respondents from the various national statistical offices who sent valuable comments and suggestions, and has taken them into consideration to the extent possible in the course of finalizing the related documents.

The Report of the Secretary-General on national quality assurance frameworks (E/CN.3/2012/13) (item 3(j) of the provisional agenda) was discussed at the Statistical Commission. The updated "Guidelines for the Template for a Generic National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF)" - which includes the generic national quality assurance framework template, lists of tools and references specific to sections 3 and 4 of the template, the detailed mapping showing the correspondence to several existing quality frameworks, and links to the online NQAF glossary - was submitted to the Commission as a background document.

At its forty-third session in 2012, the Statistical Commission fully endorsed the generic national quality assurance framework template and encouraged countries to use it. Furthermore, it asked the Expert Group to develop an action plan to assist countries in the implementation of their national quality assurance frameworks and supported the proposal to pilot the generic national quality assurance framework template in some countries with different types of statistical systems. For the complete text of the decisions on national quality assurance frameworks, see decision 43/110 in the Report on the forty-third session (E/CN.3/2012/34).