The British Polling Council (BPC) is an association of polling organisations that publish polls and are committed to promoting transparency in polling.
The principal objective of the Council is to uphold standards of disclosure that ensure that consumers of survey results entering the public domain have an adequate basis for judging the reliability and validity of the results. By promoting high standards of disclosure the Council aims to encourage the highest professional standards in public opinion polling and to advance the understanding and interpretation of poll results among politicians, the media and the general public. The BPC also provides interested parties with advice on best practice in reporting of polls, for example via our resources page.
The words “poll” and “survey” are used to describe a variety of data collection exercises. The BPC is concerned only with polls and surveys that set out to measure the opinions of representative samples, for example the views of all adults, or all voters. Membership is limited to organisations who can show to the satisfaction of the BPC that the sampling methods and weighting procedures used are designed to accurately represent the views of all people within designated target groups (such as all adults, or voters etc).
The BPC is run on a day-to-day basis by a President, a Secretary/Treasurer and a Committee Member. We hold an AGM in January of each year, to which all members are invited. The Council is also able to draw on the advice and input of practitioners, journalists and academics with particular experience in the field of polling on specific activities, one example being through its Sub-Committee on Disclosure.
The BPC was modelled on the National Council for Published Polls in the USA (www.ncpp.org). We are grateful for the help and advice given by the NCPP in setting up the BPC.
If you are thinking about making a complaint about the failure of a member to adhere to the BPC’s rules on disclosure, please follow these guidelines.
Please contact the Secretary if you have any questions relating to an issue covered by the BPC’s terms of reference.