Skip to content
GSS > Policy and guidance hub > Gender identity harmonised principle for data collection (interim)

Gender identity harmonised principle for data collection (interim)

This principle has been published in an interim format because we want to understand how well it meets the needs of government departments and other researchers. The two PDFs attached to this page contain the gender identity harmonised principle for data collection (interim) and related background information, including potential next steps.

By sharing this interim principle and monitoring its usage and feedback, we hope to understand more about how it performs in action, in surveys and administrative data. We are keen to hear your feedback and answer any of your questions. Email:

Policy details

Metadata item Details
Publication date:16 July 2020
Author:GSS Harmonisation Team
Approver:Catherine Davies
Who this is for:Users and producers of statistics
Type:Harmonisation guidance and principles

Harmonisation is the process of making statistics and data more comparable, consistent and coherent. Harmonised principles set out how to collect and report statistics to ensure comparability across different data collections in the Government Statistical Service (GSS). Harmonisation produces more useful statistics that give users a greater level of understanding.

This principle is for researchers who are considering including a question about gender identity on their surveys or within administrative data collection.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Team and the GSS Harmonisation Team have worked together to develop this principle and the related background information.

The ONS has conducted extensive research, testing and stakeholder engagement on whether and how to collect information on gender identity. An overview of this work is available on the ONS gender identity webpage.

Review frequency:

This principle is interim. We will monitor its use and provide updated guidance in due course.



Gender identity harmonised principle for data collection (interim) (PDF, 0.24MB)



Background information to the gender identity harmonised principle for data collection (interim) (PDF, 0.19MB)


  • If you would like us to get in touch with you then please leave your contact details or email directly.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.