ARCHIVE: Veterinary surveillance: Quality Framework
As part of a 10-year UK Veterinary Surveillance Strategy (VSS), the private sector and interested parties have been working with Defra to improve and assure the quality of data used in animal health and welfare veterinary activities. This is in support of gathering and making best use of data from a wide range of sources. Effective policy relies on good evidence and decision makers depend on reliable surveillance data on which to base important strategic decisions. This does not mean that Defra necessarily doubts the reliability of information given in good faith but it does believe that there needs to be a greater understanding of the credibility of the data and its limitations for particular purposes. For example, when there is a disease outbreak epidemiologists and modelers need to know the quality of data they are using so that they may analyze the extent, distribution and likely consequences of the outbreak.
The Quality Framework PDF (377 KB) aims to act as a means of reference so that data providers and users can access key documents and guidance that will describe and assure the quality of data in support of gathering and making best use of data from a wide range of sources.
Working with representatives from the private veterinary sector, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), BARQA, the Research Quality Association, the Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA), Institute of Animal Health , Animal Health Trust and the UK devolved administrations, Defra has agreed a new code of practice to assure the quality of veterinary data across animal health activities. The Joint Code of Practice for Veterinary Activities follows similar lines to the JCoP for Research and includes consistent standards for processes such as labelling and handling samples and aims to standardise and improve confidence in data obtained from diverse sources. The Code is voluntary for data providers that are not directly funded by Defra but compulsory for those that are funded.
A key objective of the VSS is that all surveillance reports should be flagged with a quality indicator that specifies the quality of the data on which the report is based and its intended purpose. The UK’s Rapid Analysis and Detection of Animal-related Risks (RADAR) system provides both data extracts and reports for use by a wide customer base. Quality statements for RADAR reports are based on categories drawn from Eurostat, the Office of National Statistic guidelines and UK e-government metadata Framework (e-GMF). To ease accessibility, we have been simplifying reviewing and refining these quality statements so that they meet a wider range of customers’ needs. .
Prototype quality flags (Figure 1) are being developed to help customers assess data quality. Feedback to date has been encouraging although more development is required to ensure that the flags are clear and of added value.
Figure 1 - Prototype quality flags
- Veterinary Surveillance Strategy - provides more detail about the strategy.
- What the Veterinary Surveillance Strategy will do for you - identifies who can benefit from the Strategy and what those benefits could be.
- Getting involved - describes
how different interests are represented on the implementation of the
Page last reviewed: July 9 , 2007
Page last modified: April 22, 2010