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National Classifications

Standard Occupational Classification / National Statistics Socio-economic Classification

Country / Area: United Kingdom

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)The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2010 - Volume 3: The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC): (rebased on the SOC2010) User Manual
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?English
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.Yes:


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 classification consists of 17 operational categories, within which there are 32 operational sub-categories. The operational categories can be collapsed to the eight analytic classes.
2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.
Analytic ClassesOperational categories and sub-categories classes
1.1L1Employers in large establishments
 L2Higher managerial and administrative occupations
1.2L3Higher professional occupations
  L3.1 ‘Traditional’ employees
  L3.2 ‘New’ employees
  L3.3 ‘Traditional’ self-employed
  L3.4 ‘New’ self-employed
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.The European Socio-economic Classification (ESeC)
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)ESeC is derived from ISCO88, size of organisation & employment status; NS-SEC is derived from SOC2010, size of organisation & employment status
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.ESeC url:
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.)See 3 (c)
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.Funding is being sought for updating ESeC derivation to ISCO08; contacts:
Professor Peter Elias: Peter.Elias@warwick.ac.uk
Dr. Eric Harrison: eric.harrison.1@city.ac.uk
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 NS-SEC is used as a measure & good predictor of health, educational & other outcomes.
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.)Users include academic researchers, schools, colleges & universities, market researchers.
Data collection - operational category/sub-category & analytic class level.
Data publishing - usually analytic class level
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?The Market Research Society (MRS) uses its own Social Grade classification. A mapping of the NS-SEC to an approximated social grade was produced for the 2001 Census.
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.)The original NS-SEC was in use in 2001. The current NS-SEC was released in June 2010
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.2011
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?Currently on a 10-year revision cycle at the same time as SOC revision. Next due 2020
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)NS-SEC based on SOC2000; This classification replaced the Registrar Generals’ Social Classification (RGSC) & the Socio-economic Grouping Classification (SEG)
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsNone
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))NS-SEC2000: as with NS-SEC rebased on SOC2010
RGSC: five classes, I to V; class III is sub-divided into Manual & Non-manual sub-classes
SEG: seventeen groups; groups one, two & five are subdivided into two sub-groups
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?Yes:
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?See 5 (a)
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.Some time series data is released by various researchers
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?See 1 (c)
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?See contacts in 3 ©
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?See 5 (g)
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?NS-SEC 2010 is derived using derivation tables. These are found in the url under 1 (c)
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
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?Yes - XLS
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationOffice for National Statistics /Classifications and Harmonisation Unit
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquiryOffice for National Statistics
Classifications and Harmonisation Unit
Segensworth Road
PO15 5RR
Tel: +44 (0)1329 444388
Email: Occupation.information@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Other comments
9 (a)Please provide any other information on this classification that you consider relevantReview the website & address queries to the contacts in 7 (b)

Source: UN questionnaire, 9/10/2012