Dear Pete

Scottish Population Census

Thank you for your letter of 28 October 2022 where you set out the steps you have taken more recently to increase the transparency of NRS’s plans and progress to secure quality estimates of the population of Scotland. These are positive, in the spirit of the Code of Practice for Statistics, and to the benefit of census users and stakeholders.

The range of activities that NRS has undertaken, particularly in your collaborative working through the International Steering Group, helps ensure that NRS is in a good position to address any challenges from census collect. We recognise NRS’s continued engagement with suppliers of administrative data to help realise your ambitions to deliver population estimates through adapted census design and your updates for users on your plans and progress, for example in your recent paper on the use of administrative data within Scotland’s Census.

Over the coming months we know you and your team will continue their hard work to finalise methods and census data processes. We look forward to a continued level of transparency throughout which I’m sure you will deliver. I am encouraged by your plans for engagement with stakeholders on your data processing and quality assurance approaches and about the level of quality that they may expect from census outputs. This will be an essential aspect in continuing to promote trustworthiness and ensuring that NRS continues to understand and respond to users’ needs.

In my letter of 17 August 2022, I indicated that we would issue our formal assessment report in the autumn. Given the involved work you are undertaking, we plan to finalise our judgements and publish our report early in 2023.

Yours sincerely

Mark Pont
Assessment Programme Lead