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Scottish Government Statistics


Most of the statistics produced and published by the Scottish Government are National Statistics. This is the name for official statistics which have been assessed for compliance with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


The primary aim of official statistics in Scotland is to provide an accurate up-to-date comprehensive and meaningful picture of the economy and society to support the formulation and monitoring of economic and social policies by government and others.

Non-Government Producers of Official Statistics in Scotland

The Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008 added three additional bodies - those public bodies which were already producing National Statistics:

  • Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
  • Higher Education Statistics Agency
  • Student Loans Company

Ten further public bodies have since been brought into scope through the 2010 and 2012 Official Statistics (Scotland) Amendment Orders.

The Official Statistics (Scotland) Amendment Order (2010):

  • Scottish Children's Reporter Administration
  • Scottish Consortium for Learning Disabilities
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
  • Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council
  • Scottish Natural Heritage.

Official Statistics (Scotland) Amendment Order (2012):

  • Care Inspectorate
  • NHS 24
  • Scottish Ambulance Service
  • Scottish Social Services Council
  • Sustrans
Further Amendment

It is planned that the Order will be amended in Summer 2013 to name some additional bodies as producers. ASDs are in the process of establishing with Crown and other public bodies:

1.1 which figures, if any, produced by the body potentially fall into the category of official statistics

1.2 what arrangements need to be put in place to comply with the Act.

Guidance for New Producers of Official Statistics in Scotland

This section provides guidance and other information for public bodies producing and publishing statistics under official statistics procedures in Scotland.

Official statistics producers should aim to meet the requirements of the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Official Statistics and the Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order where possible. The following document provides some practical guidance on the key requirements of the code and order.

The Scottish Government has twice held seminars for producers of official statistics in Scotland.  On the 24th February 2011 and 26th April 2012. The slides used during these seminar are available below.

Some further useful information is available via the links below.

A note on good practice in user engagement is available via the link below. User engagement is an essential element of statistics production.


Data linking and sharing

Scottish ministers have agreed a policy to maximize the value of public data by sharing data and linking data from different sources wherever possible. To assist in streamlining this process whilst protecting public confidentiality under the requirements of the Data Protection Act, a framework for data linkage has been established.