Dear Ed

Assessment of 2022 Census in Scotland

Thank you for your letter dated 4 April 2023 and for the recommendations and requirements prepared as part of the phase 2 assessment.

I welcome your support in ensuring the high standards of public value, quality and trustworthiness are met in relation to Scotland’s Census. The requirements contained within the assessment report reflect our ambitions for the coming months and we are considering if we can further enhance this work. I also appreciate your positive comments on the areas of good practice in our work to date, including the role of the International Steering Group of census experts whose advice and support continues to guide our statistical methodology and approach.

As you know from earlier engagement, transparency and openness are integral pillars within the Scotland’s Census programme and we welcome this theme within the assessment’s requirements. NRS remain committed to these values through our ongoing work with stakeholders. We will continue to provide timely information on the census design and our delivery against it.

In October 2022, NRS launched our outputs consultation, gathering users’ views on our plans for publishing census outputs. We closed the consultation in February 2023 after receiving over 140 responses. Responses came from users in central and local government, academic institutions, charity organisations and individual responses. A summary report on the results from the  consultation will be published on the Scotland’s Census website in the coming weeks.

Stakeholder engagement is an ongoing process which is vital to the delivery of high quality and high public value statistics. We will continue to engage with data users closely in the run up to the first outputs later this year to ensure their needs are met. Ahead of census data being released, we will offer further information and assurance to users, and OSR, about how developments in our census methodology are ensuring quality of estimates that will ultimately be produced.

The assessment recognised that NRS are still processing and quality assuring the statistics from Scotland’s Census. This includes the development and implementation of statistical methods. NRS will continue to work with a number of statisticians and global experts in census and administrative data to help steer the statistical and methodological work over the next few months. In support of transparency and openness, we are committed to publishing an updated methodology document in Spring. The updated methodology will include making greater use of administrative data to support census estimates.

Finally, may I also take this opportunity to thank you and your colleagues for your ongoing support as we work to deliver the first census outputs in autumn 2023. I would also like to echo your thanks for the ongoing engagement and openness OSR have shown throughout the assessment process.

Yours sincerely,

Janet Egdell
Interim Chief Executive
Registrar General for Scotland and Keeper of the Records of Scotland

Related links

Ed Humpherson to Janet Egdell: Assessment of 2022 Census in Scotland (04 April 2023)