The UK Longitudinal Studies Centre (ULSC) aims to promote best practice in the collection, management, documentation, dissemination and analysis of longitudinal data. In doing so it develops standards in these areas.

The Centre has undertaken the following initiatives and taken the lead in the following areas:

  • Developed standards for Quality Profiles for Longitudinal Studies
  • Encouraged longitudinal surveys to develop their own quality profile following our proposed standards
  • Worked in collaboration with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the standardisation of longitudinal response rate information provided by longitudinal surveys Quality Profiles for Longitudinal Studies

The team has also developed a framework for longitudinal survey quality. This document sets out and describes the dimensions of quality that are relevant for longitudinal surveys, particularly in the case where the survey is intended to become a research resource for a broad research community. It can be used as a general reference and is particularly intended to be useful when designing systems and procedures for controlling, monitoring and reporting quality.

We have also produced a template for a quality profile for longitudinal surveys. This draws upon the general framework and sets out a structured list of aspects of study design and implementation that should be recorded in a standard report known as a Quality Profile.

We have produced a Quality Profile for the British Household Panel Survey to serve as an exemplar. This has been updated periodically every few years.