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National Classifications

Standaard Beroepenclassificatie 1992
(SBC 1992)

Country / Area: Netherlands

Classification category: Occupation classifications

General information
1 (a)Name of the current national classification (full name in official national languages and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Standaard Beroepenclassificatie 1992 (SBC 1992); Netherlands Standard Classification of Occupations 1992 (NSCO’92)
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?Dutch, we have a translation in English of the occupational levels, the occupational classes and of the classification criteria: skill level, skill specialisation and main tasks.
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.Yes, http://www.cbs.nl/nl-NL/menu/methoden/classificaties/overzicht/sbc/default.htm
Classification structure
2 (a)Please describe the structure of the classification: How many levels does the classification have? (Please provide labels, such as “Division”, “Class”) How many categories exist at each level?For classifying occupations in the SBC92 we use 3 criteria: the first two are level and specialisation of the most adequate training programme. We distinguish 5 levels, 13 major skill specialisations and 87 minor skill specialisations. The third criterium is operationalised with a list of 128 task clusters. For approximately 16000 job titles the criteria are determined, and grouping of job titles with similar criteria results in a classification of 1211 occupations. For statistical applicability the occupations are rearranged into occupational groups, occupational classes and occupational levels.

Occupational level: 5 levels
Occupational class: 43 classes
Occupational groups: 121 groups
Occupations: 1211 occupations

2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.Occupational level: first digit, for example: 1, elementary

Occupational class: the first two digits for a combination of skill level and skill specialisation, for example: 62 higher pedagogical occupations; 6 higher level, 02 teaching staff in field of education, both codes are added up.

Occupational groups: the first three digits for the combinations of skill level, major and minor skill specialisation, for example 892: academic (para)medical occupations excluding technical; 8 academic level, 092 medical paramedical training in the field of medical paramedical, the codes are added up.

Occupations: 5 digits, the first three digits of the occupational codes are formed by adding the code for minor specialisations to the code for the level. The last two digits are a sequence number for the differentiation to the main tasks.

Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.We use the same criteria, skill level and skill specialisation as in ISCO , there is however no direct link between both classifications.
3 (b)Is the classification structure identical to the international standard or, if not, how does it differ? (e.g. have additional levels been added to the international standard or have changes been made within the level of the international structure, such as aggregations or additional breakdowns)No, we have an additional level and have operationalised the criterion of skill specialisation explicitly into a list of 87 fields of skill specialisation. Next to these criteria we use 128 task clusters in order to be able to further differentiate between job titles with similar level and skill specialisation.
3 (c)Please describe deviations from the international standard (in terms of structure, methodology or application rules). Please use examples, if a general statement is not possible.Differences between the NSCO’92 and the ISCO’88

We choose skill level and skill specialisation as the main criteria for our new classification. Because these criteria are the same as the criteria used in ISCO’88, it would have made a sense to translate ISCO’88 into Dutch. In this section, we will give the arguments why we decided to develop a national classification instead of a translation of ISCO’88.

ISCO’88 classifies jobs according to the required skills. These are divided into two dimensions: skill level and skill specialisation.

Skill level
ISCO’88 skill level was defined as ‘a function of the complexity of the range of the tasks and duties involved’. The operationalisation of these criterion by ISCO differs in three ways from the NSCO’92:

-The first difference in the operationalisation in skill level is that ISCO’88 contains four skill levels, while the Netherlands Standard Classification of Occupations contains five skill levels. In the table below this difference is shown. In our classification the second skill level of ISCO’88 has been divided in the first and second stage of secondary education. In the Netherlands this difference is extremely important. It is the difference between skilled workers and almost unskilled workers. Furthermore, more than half of the labour population has an occupation in these levels, so we need criteria to diversify them into more detailed categories. Therefore, for the Netherlands, it is important to distinguish at least five skill levels to make a valid description of supply, demand and substitutability on the labour market. Moreover, the difference between the second and third skill level in NSCO’92 is important for research on social stratification, as this difference is important for social status.

The skill levels of ISCO’88 and NSCO’92

1 Primary education
2 First and second stage of secondary education
3 First stage of higher education
4 First stage of higher education

1 Primary education
2 First stage of secondary education
3 Second stage of secondary education
4 First stage of higher education
5 Second stage of higher education

- The second difference is, that in ISCO’88 the concept of skill level was not applied in the case of the major groups ‘Legislators, senior officials and managers’ and the ‘Armed forces’. The reason for this was that the skills for executing tasks and duties of occupations belonging to each of these major groups vary across countries. In the case of the Netherlands, it was possible to link skill levels to the jobs in these major groups.

- The third difference is that skill level two in ISCO contains four major groups. This means that the first digit of the occupational code does not immediately make clear what the skill level of the major groups is. In fact, the skill level and skill specialisation are mixed to come to the major groups. In the NSCO’92, we do not mix any of the criteria, but reserve one digit for the skill level, one for the major skill specialisation, one for the minor skill specialisation and two for the main tasks.

Skill specialisation
The second dimension of skills in ISCO’88 is skill specialisation, defined as ‘the field of knowledge required, the tools and machinery used, the materials worked on or with, as well as the kind of goods and services produced’. This has not been operationalised explicitly, but it points to a mix of skill specialisation and the main tasks as we used these terms for NSCO’92. Because skill specialisation had not been operationalised explicitly, it is difficult to control the classification on the application of the criteria. For instance, teachers in secondary education are not categorized according to their field of knowledge in ISCO’88, while differences in the field of knowledge are considerable (unless the practice of teaching as such is considered to be a field of knowledge, and not the specialisation of the knowledge required).

These considerations led to the conclusion that translating the ISCO’88 into Dutch would not result in an adequate description of supply, demand and substitutability of the labour market in the Netherlands. Therefore, we decided to make a national classification, which differs substantially from ISCO’88, but which fully reflects the structure of the labour market in the Netherlands.

3 (d)At what level of the international standard can data be reported for international comparison? (Please provide examples of programmes / indicators if reporting takes place at different levels of the classification.)We developed a computer-assisted coding system that is designed to function almost independently of the actual occupational classification. We have separate operations for coding occupational information from surveys and classifying jobs in one of the classification categories. In practice, we use so-called provisional occupational codes. These provisional occupational codes can be converted into the NSCO92 and the international classification on occupation (ISCO88 and ISCO08) at the most detailed level.
3 (e)If no links to international classifications exist or no international standard is used, please state if there are plans to use international norms in the future. 
Classification uses
4 (a)Please state for which statistical purposes (surveys etc.) this classification is used and if there are users outside of the Statistical Office. Please indicate at which level the classification is used for data collection and for data publishing.The main users are labour market specialists and researchers in the field of social stratification. The classification is used for data collection at the most detailed level. For data publishing mostly the level of the occupational groups is used. It is used in surveys performed by the institutes themselves, however mostly researchers use data collected by Statistics Netherlands in the Labour Force Survey.
4 (b)Please give the names of institutions that use the classification for non-statistical purposes (as opposed to statistical purposes in question 4(a)). Also indicate the kind of use (e.g. tax offices, social security, customs, enterprise register, employment services, work permits etc.)Main users for non-statistical purposes are employment services, but also institutes that provide information to help students in their choice of career by means of occupation guides or software, and it is used in personnel management systems of several enterprises.
4 (c)Please indicate if alternative classifications are used by other institutions of the economy. Are these classifications available and useful for the Statistical Office? 
Implementation / revision status
5 (a)Please state the date of the official adoption of the classification. If not yet adopted, please indicate the current state (e.g. in development, sent for approval, in printing, ready to be distributed etc.)1992
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.1993, from 2012 and onward Statistics Netherlands will no longer use the NSCO1992. The ISCO2008 will be used in stead of the NSCO1992 for statistical purposes.
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?The NSCO1992 was revised in 2010. However for several reasons this classification was not implemented for statistical purposes and will not be in the future.The revised classification uses the same criteria for classification. The criteria were updated to facilitate classification of new job titles, for example in the sector ICT or health. From 2012 and onwards we use the ISCO2008 as the standard for collection information on occupations.
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Beroepenclassificatie 1984 (BC84), Classification of Occupations 1984
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsThe Classification of Occupation 1984 conforms with the ILO International Standard Classification of Occupations 1968
5 (f)Please describe the structure of the former classification and indicate the number of items at each level of the classification. (similar to question 2(a))The Classification of Occupations had 4 levels of aggregations:
Sectors: 8
Classes of occupation: 87
Groups of occupation: 317
Occupations: 914
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?Yes
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?1985
5 (i)Are statistical data still collected or published according to the former classification? Please indicate if this statistical data is collected or published by the Statistical Office or elsewhere.No
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?Yes
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?Yes
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)? 
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?Yes
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes, pdf; doc; and as software that makes it possible to search for codes or job titles. All are available on the website.
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?Yes
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationStatistics Netherlands
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquiryhttp://www.cbs.nl/en-GB/menu/informatie/publiek/inlichtingen/default.htm?Languageswitch=on
Other comments
9 (a)Please provide any other information on this classification that you consider relevant 

Source: UN questionnaire, 16/08/2012