Registration Data

27 Mar 2019

This page provides information on the numbers of people registered with the SSSC.

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06 Dec 2016

All content is available under the Non-commercial Government licence, unless otherwise stated. The following link will take you to the details of the licence:

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Quality assurance

17 Mar 2016

Code of Practice for Official Statistics

The Code of Practice sets out expectations for the quality and quality assurance of Official and National statistics. Compliance with the Code is a statutory requirement on bodies (like the SSSC) that produce statistics that have already been designated as National Statistics.

The Code covers all parts of the statistical process, “from the identification of needs to the decision to collect or compile data, through to providing advice to the user.” (p.4) and is not simply concerned with the publication stage. Quality and quality assurance must therefore be considered throughout the production cycle.

SSSC documentation

In order to support this work the SSSC has produced a number of documents setting out what we do and our responsibilities concerning quality. The documents below can be found on the SSSC’s workforce data website.

The Corporate Policy Statement of Quality – this publication provides a statement on the quality guidelines used by the SSSC including information on what users can expect.

The SSSC has also produced and published A Guide to Basic Quality Assurance in Statistics, which is first and foremost intended as a guide to SSSC staff.

UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) assessment

The UKSA have responsibility for assessing the quality of all National Statistics publications. The SSSC’s annual Mental Health Officer (MHO) report was assessed by the UKSA between 2013 and 2014. The report’s status as a National Statistics publication was confirmed and details of the UKSA assessment can be found here on the SSSC data site.

Quality assurance of administrative data

In January 2015 the UKSA published guidance on the quality assurance of administrative data. In referring to “administrative data” UKSA state that, “Administrative data are a by-product of administrative systems developed primarily for operational purposes.”. They are the data that organisations develop as part of the day to day running of their services.

The data collected by the SSSC from local authorities on their workforce comes in general from local authority HR and payroll systems, i.e. data the authorities use to manage and pay their staff. In addition, the data that the SSSC obtains from the Care Inspectorate on the workforce within registered care services is of a similar nature.

The SSSC is currently developing clear processes to ensure that administrative data are quality assured in the manner expected by the UKSA. Discussions are taking place with the Care Inspectorate and with local authorities about the steps that require to be in place. Separate systems will be agreed and set up for the data collected directly from services by the SSSC and for the data shared with the SSSC by the Care Inspectorate (which is collected by them from registered care services). It is intended that this work should be completed by March 2016 and that relevant documentation will be published on the SSSC workforce data website. In 2016-17 the SSSC will look to implement these processes.

If you have any further questions about the quality assurance of the SSSC’s workforce data please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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17 Mar 2016

The glossary provides information on the meanings of technical terms. For information on the definitions of individual variables and data items please see the section on Data Definitions and Specifications.

Averages There are three types each of which are defined separately, they are the; mean; median; and mode.
Histogram A form of bar chart where the bars represent counts of items within value ranges. They are useful for describing distributions.
Mean A type of average. The mean is often simply called the “average” as it is the one most commonly known. If all the values in a dataset are added together then the mean is obtained by dividing the sum of the values by the total number of individual values.
Median A type of average. If all the values in a data set are ranked in order, the middle value will be the median. When there is an even number of data items, the values of the two middle values are averaged using the mean. At least half of the values will be greater than or equal to the median.
Mode A type of average. The most common value in a set of data. A peak in a distribution will be at the mode.


If you have any unanswered questions about terminology used within the SSSC’s workforce data publications or data site please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Data Definitions and Specifications

17 Mar 2016

Core Minimum Data Set

The Core Minimum Data Set (CMDS) was created to address the need for standard workforce data covering the whole of the sector, using common data standards for key or core data items. Work started on the data set in 2004 led by the Scottish Government, and responsibility for and authorship of the CMDS passed to the SSSC in 2011. The CMDS underpins the annual workforce data collections conducted by the Care Inspectorate (CIARs) and the SSSC (LASWS) whose data is used to produce our Official and National Statistics publications. The data set has undergone a series of revisions over the last 14 years, and the current version is v4.0 (available here).

Below is a selection of useful workforce-related items with their definitions and category lists.



Full-time (FT) / Part-time (PT)

Part-time employees are those who work 30 hours per week or less. Full-time employees work more than 30 hours per week. This definition has been adopted to be consistent with the definition used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


The data is most usually presented either at the national (i.e. all-Scotland) level or at the level of individual local authority areas. Most services are based within one or more of the 32 local authority areas. However, there are a small number of registered care services that have an office address outwith Scotland, but which nonetheless do operate in Scotland.

Job function

The job function was developed around 2001 as a way of addressing problems that arise through the differences in job titles across the sector’s 2,500 employers. The job function categories allow jobs to be classified according to function and level of responsibility.

The job function splits the workforce into 8 main categories, namely:

C0 - Administrative/Support worker

C1 - Ancillary worker

C2 - Class 2 worker

C3 - Class 3 worker

C4 - Class 4 worker

C5 - Unit/Project manager

C6 - Group manager

C7 - Director/Chief Executive

Full definitions for each of the main categories and sub-categories can be found in the Core Minimum Data Set.

Social service sector

The social service sector in Scotland covers a range of service providers and types of services including:

  • day care services for children
  • local authority social work services
  • adoption
  • fostering
  • residential care and school care accommodation for children
  • care homes for adults
  • care at home
  • housing support services

Social service workforce

All those in paid employment in the social service sector. The workforce includes people working for:

  • public sector providers eg local authorities
  • private care providers
  • voluntary sector care providers.

It also includes those employed as personal assistants under self-directed support (SDS).


This term is used interchangeably with the term “service type”. The sub-sector categories are based on; a) the definitions of registered care services (set out in the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001); and b) the types of services provided by non-registered local authority social work services.

Definitions for each of the sub-sectors are set out in the rows immediately below.

Sub-sector - Adoption service

A service that makes arrangements in connection with the adoption of children. This does not include services in which the proposed adopter is a relative of the child.

Sub-sector - Adult day care

Day care services for adults can be provided from registered premises in a variety of settings.

Sub-sector - Adult placement service

Adult placement services provide or arrange accommodation for vulnerable adults, aged 18 or over, in the homes of families or individuals. This can be together with personal care, personal support, counselling or other help provided other than as part of a planned programme of care.

Sub-sector - Care at home

A service which delivers assessed and planned personal care and support which enables the person to stay in their own home.

Many of these services are jointly registered with Housing Support services and as a result we tend to present them as a combined sub-sector.

Sub-sector - Care homes for adults

Care homes for adults provide care for a range of people and people with particular types of problems; alcohol and drug misuse; learning disabilities; mental health problems; older people; physical and sensory impairment; or respite care and short breaks.

Sub-sector - Central and strategic staff

Staff within local authority social work services with a strategic and/or central role including senior management, administrators and support staff.

Sub-sector - Child care agency

Childcare agencies supply or introduce to parents a childcarer who looks after a child or young person, up to the age of 16, wholly or mainly in the home of that child's parent or parents. They could include for example: nanny agencies, home-based childcare services or sitter services.

Sub-sector - Childminders


A childminder is a person that looks after at least one child, up to the age of 16 years, for more than a total of two hours per day. The childminder looks after the child on domestic premises for reward but not in the home of the child‘s parent or parents. A parent, relative or foster carer of a child cannot be regarded as that child’s childminder.

Sub-sector - Day care of children

A service which provides care for children on non-domestic premises for a total of more than two hours per day and on at least six days per year. It includes nursery classes, crèches, after school clubs and play groups. The definition does not include services which are part of school activities or activities where care is not provided such as sports clubs or uniformed activities such as the Scouts or Guides.

Sub-sector - LA fieldwork service (adults)

Local authority fieldwork staff usually based in local offices providing services to adults. Staff will include qualified social workers.

Sub-sector - LA fieldwork service (children)

Local authority fieldwork staff usually based in local offices providing services to children and families. Staff will include qualified social workers.

Sub-sector - LA fieldwork service (generic)

Local authority fieldwork staff in divisional and area offices.

Local authority fieldwork staff usually based in local offices providing services to a range of people. Staff will include qualified social workers.

Sub-sector - LA fieldwork service (offenders)

Local authority fieldwork staff in divisional and area offices.

Local authority fieldwork staff usually based in local offices providing services to the courts and prisons in relation to people who have been convicted of criminal offences. Staff will include qualified social workers.

Sub-sector - Fostering service

Fostering agencies may provide substitute care where a child's family is unable to provide care. They may provide complementary care to provide additional opportunities for a child or to give parents a break. These carers are sometimes called respite or family placement carers. The term foster care is used to describe all these situations.

Sub-sector - Housing support 

Housing support: A service which provides support, assistance, advice or counselling to enable an individual to maintain their tenancy. Housing support may be provided to people living in ordinary homes, sheltered housing, hostels for the homeless, accommodation for the learning disabled, women’s refuges or shared dwellings.

Many of these services are jointly registered with Care at Home services and as a result we tend to present them as a combined sub-sector.

Sub-sector - Nurse agency

Nurse agencies introduce and supply registered nurses to independent and voluntary sector healthcare providers and to the NHS in Scotland.

Sub-sector - Offender accommodation service

A service which provides advice, guidance or assistance to people such as ex-offenders, people on probation or those released from prison that have been provided accommodation by a local authority.

Sub-sector - Residential child care

These services are care homes, special school accommodation services and secure accommodation services for children who are looked after away from home.

Sub-sector - School care accommodation

This includes boarding schools and school hostels but does not include services for children looked after away from home

Type of service (service type)

See Sub-sector.

If you have any further questions about data definitions used by the SSSC please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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