Dear Paul

OSR Publishes Assessment Reports for 2021 Censuses

I am writing today as we have published our phase 2 assessment reports for the 2021 Census in England and Wales and the 2021 Census in Northern Ireland. 

Some of our requirements for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Northern Ireland Research and Statistics Agency (NISRA) are relevant for National Records of Scotland (NRS), in particular providing users with transparent, accessible and timely information on how UK population estimates for 2021 and UK Census data will be provided. NRS should continue to work with, and align communications with, ONS and NISRA to explain any impacts on data quality and describe where user needs may or may not be met as a result. 

As your teams work hard to make the final preparation for Scotland’s Census in March 2022, I understand you have been engaging with ONS and NISRA who have shared their learning and experiences from successfully delivering live Census operations earlier this year. I am sure this is a valuable exercise and I recognise the continued collaboration that exists across the three Census offices. In that same spirit, I recommend you review our assessment reports and reflect on where our findings can help NRS ensure the delivery of high quality, valuable Census data and statistics. 

In early 2022, we will formally begin the second phase of our assessment of 2022 Census in Scotland. My team and I look forward to engaging with your teams, and with users and stakeholders, as part of this phase. 

I am copying this letter to Peter Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services and Head of Profession for Statistics, NRS. 

Yours sincerely  

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation