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National Classifications

National Occupational Classification / Classification nationale des professions

Country / Area: Canada

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)National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2011
Classification nationale des professions (CNP) 2011
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?The classification is available in English and French.
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.The classification (and information about it) can be accessed on the Internet. The URL is:
English: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subjects-sujets/standard-norme/noc-cnp/2011/index-indexe-eng.htm

French: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subjects-sujets/standard-norme/noc-cnp/2011/index-indexe-fra.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?The National Occupational Classification 2011 is a four-level hierarchical arrangement of occupational groups with successive levels of disaggregation. The labels used for these levels are: broad occupational categories, major groups, minor groups and unit groups.

There are 10 broad occupational categories: Each broad occupational category has a unique one-digit code number and is composed of one or more major groups.

There are 40 major groups: Each major group has a unique two-digit code number and is composed of one or more minor groups. The first digit of this code indicates the broad occupational category to which the major group belongs.

There are 140 minor groups: Each minor group has a unique three-digit code number and is composed of one or more unit groups. The first two digits of this code indicate the major group to which the minor group belongs.

There are 500 unit groups: Each unit group has a unique four-digit code. The first three digits of this code indicate the major and minor groups to which the unit group belongs.

2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.
0Management occupations
00Senior management occupations
001Legislators and senior management
0012Senior government managers and officials
0013Senior managers - financial, communications and other business services
0014Senior managers – health, education, social and community services and membership organizations
0015Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.
0016Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.Canada’s National Occupational Classification was originally developed in the 1980s. The International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) 1988 was being developed at the same time. Though there was liaison between the two project teams, the products were developed independently. The two classifications were based on similar classification criteria, Skill Level and Skill Type; however, the specific criteria for defining skill level in NOC were chosen to be relevant to the Canadian context. In short, the NOC is not based on ISCO but has a similar underlying theoretical structure. A concordance showing the relationship between NOC 2011 and ISCO 2008 will be available on the Statistics Canada website starting in the fall of 2012.
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)The classification structures differ significantly. The structure of the NOC was not developed from that of ISCO but independently, based on a similar theoretical perspective. The following section outlines how the classification structures differ.
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.• NOC has more classes for supervisors.
• NOC places trades at what ISCO calls the associate professional skill level, due to the training requirements for trades in Canada.
• NOC does not classify vocational training/education separately from non-vocational education at the same level (be it high school or college).
• NOC does not break out farming by product.
• NOC has one class for all farmers/farm managers and it is placed within management. No distinction is made based on the size of the farm or the proportion of time spent in management activities.
• NOC does not distinguish fishery occupations by “coastal” vs. “deep sea”.
• NOC does not cover subsistence activities, such as subsistence farmers, fishers, hunters and gatherers.
• NOC divides chief executives by industrial sectors.
• NOC does not separately identify policy and planning managers or policy administration professionals.
• NOC provides more detail in some occupational areas, such as engineers, counselling professionals and technicians.
• NOC classifies product graders and testers with related workers when the skills and knowledge used are similar; whereas, ISCO groups product graders and testers together, based on similarity of work performed.
• At the most aggregated level of the classification, NOC’s broad occupational categories reflect only skill type, while ISCO’s major groups reflect skill level, with skill type breaks within skill level 2. An alternative classification for use with highly aggregated data is available for NOC which is closer in structure to the major groups of ISCO. It is available on the NOC web site.
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.)The many differences between NOC and ISCO at the unit group level make direct conversion of data challenging. However, 58% of NOC unit groups concord to only one ISCO unit group, allowing direct conversion for these classes. The occupational coding tool available within Statistics Canada supports coding to either NOC or ISCO, facilitating double coding of data for those classes that do not directly concord.
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.N/A
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.Occupational information is regularly collected by the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the National Household Survey (NHS) (formerly part of the Census). In both cases, data is coded to the unit group level. LFS data is published using a special aggregation. NHS data is published using all levels of the classification. The National Graduate Survey, the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) and the Registered Apprenticeship Information System also collect detailed data on occupation. Apprenticeship data is published using a list of “major trade groups”, which is based on the NOC. Published tables based on SLID use the most highly aggregated level of NOC.

Occupational data is also collected as part of administrative data related to government program and policy areas such as Employment Insurance, Skilled Immigrants and Temporary Foreign Workers, Employment Equity and human resources and labour relations management internal to the federal government.

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.)Some federal ministries, departments and agencies use the NOC for non-statistical purposes. These institutions use the classification primarily for social policy/program development and management related mostly to employment, labour market information and career services. These institutions include: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (includes Service Canada and Labour Canada); Citizenship and Immigration Canada; the Department of National Defence; the Public Service Labour Relations Board and the Treasury Board of Canada.
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?No other classifications of occupation are being used by other institutions of the Canadian economy. Academic papers may use different high level aggregations.
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.)NOC 2011 was approved as the departmental standard for Statistics Canada by Statistics Canada’s Methods and Standards Committee on November 21, 2011.
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.NOC 2011 was adopted by the National Household Survey in 2011. NHS 2011 data on occupation will be released in June 2013.

The Labour Force Survey will adopt NOC 2011 in January 2015.

5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?NOC is revised every 5 years, corresponding with Canada’s census years. The revisions for years ending in “1” are considered major revisions. In these revisions there can be such structural changes as adding or deleting classes and moving content from one unit group to another. The revisions for years ending in “6”, such as the upcoming revision for 2016, are considered minor updates. In these revisions the descriptive content of the classification can be updated and items are added to the index, but no structural changes are made.
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)The previous classification was:
National Occupational Classification for Statistics (NOC-S) 2006
Classification nationale des professions pour statistiques (CNP-S) 2006
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsThe unit groups and minor groups of the NOC-S 2006 were defined based on an underlying theoretical framework in which the basic classification criteria were Skill Level and Skill Type. In this regard they were conceptually compatible with groups at the parallel level within ISCO, though they often differed from ISCO classes in their specific content and boundaries. Some major groups also respected these classification criteria but some were defined on narrower notions of skill type and crossed 2 or 3 skill levels. These classes in NOC-S 2006 were less comparable to their ISCO parallel, the sub-major groups, than are the major groups of the NOC 2011.
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))Like NOC 2011, NOC-S 2006 consisted of four levels. There were:

10 broad occupational categories
47 major groups
140 minor groups
520 unit groups

5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?Yes. The concordance can be accessed from
English: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subjects-sujets/standard-norme/noc-cnp/2011/index-indexe-eng.htm

French: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subjects-sujets/standard-norme/noc-cnp/2011/index-indexe-fra.htm

5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?NOC-S 2006 was approved as the departmental standard for Statistics Canada by Statistics Canada’s Methods and Standards Committee on September 18, 2006.
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.The Labour Force Survey will continue collecting and publishing occupational information according to NOC-S 2006 until its implementation of NOC 2011 in January 2015.

The National Household Survey 2011 is double coding those occupational areas where significant changes occurred in order to produce limited historical tables based on the NOC-S 2006.

Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?A manual is produced to support each version of the classification. The NOC-S 2006 manual was available as a paper product, as an HTML product on the Statistics Canada web site and as a PDF.

For NOC 2011, only HTML and PDF versions were produced and are available on the Statistics Canada web site.

6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?Concordance tables showing the relationship between NOC 2011 and ISCO 2008 will be available on the Statistics Canada web site beginning Fall 2012.
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?N/A
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?Yes. It is accessible through both the HTML and PDF versions of the classification on the Statistics Canada web site. In the PDF, it appears as the Index. In the HTML, the index is accessed by the search function. Alternatively, the full list of index items for each unit group is attached to the unit group through the “All examples” link within the class description.
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes, the classification is available on the Statistics Canada web site in HTML and as a PDF. It can also be provided in Excel, on request.
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?Yes, the indexes are available as part of the HTML and as part of the PDF and can be requested in Excel. The NOC 2011 – NOC-S 2006 correspondence tables are currently available in HTML on the Statistics Canada web site and the NOC 2011 – ISCO 2008 correspondence tables will be posted there.
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationThe National Occupational Classification was jointly developed and is jointly maintained by Statistics Canada, Standards Division and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Labour Market Information.
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquiryThe Standards Division of Statistics Canada can be contacted at:

For information on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) and its use for programs and services such as, immigrating to Canada, labour market information, job searches and working in Canada, please contact Human Resources and Skills Development Canada at:

Other comments
9 (a)Please provide any other information on this classification that you consider relevant 

Source: UN questionnaire, 9/12/2012