Dear Ed,

Request for reinstatement of Accredited Official statistics designation for the Scottish House Condition Survey statistics

As advised when I wrote to you in April 2023, the 2021 Scottish House Condition Survey key findings report was published as experimental statistics, due to an enforced change in methodology, owing to the Covid -19 pandemic, with a view to reinstate accreditation after a short review of the 2022 SHCS.

I understand your team has been in contact with my statisticians to conduct this review, and I am now writing to you to request reaccreditation based on this review and given that the SHCS statistics will be available on a broadly comparable basis to 2019 albeit with some potential bias to tenure types.

Most key 2022 survey results are expected to remain broadly stable such as income, SIMD, and households in the lowest and highest council tax bands were in line with 2019. However, results for tenure were slightly different than expected, with some evidence to suggest that Social and Private rented households were under represented, and Owner Occupied households were over represented in the achieved sample.

In general the differences in tenure are unlikely to have a significant impact on the reported results. However, when an impact is more likely and national level estimates may be slightly higher or lower dependant on the potential tenure bias this will be highlighted in the relevant report chapter and in notes accompanying the data tables.

We will continue to keep in contact with your team about these issues, and have updated the SHCS methodological and technical notes document to set out details of the bias in the achieved 2022 sample. We will keep these issues under review and explore potential strategies, including weighting, to alleviate them. We will keep your team informed on this work.

We will also use tenure results from the census to further assess the representativeness of the SHCS achieved sample, and include these findings in our 2023 methodology notes.

Given that the SHCS has now returned to its pre-pandemic methodology, and OSR has concluded its review I am content that it is now appropriate for the temporary suspension to end. The 2022 Scottish House Condition Survey statistics will be published on 29 February 2024.

I trust you will agree with this summary and I have asked the statisticians in the area to continue liaise with your office. I would also be happy to discuss this matter further with you.

Yours sincerely

Alastair McAlpine


Related Links:

Ed Humpherson to Alastair McAlpine: Scottish House Condition Survey 2021

Alastair McAlpine to Ed Humpherson: Scottish House Condition Survey 2021