Scottish Survey Core Questions and gender identity: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

All information, including correspondence and meeting minutes, relating to the proposal to replace the existing male/female question in the Scottish Survey Core Questions with a question on gender identity.

This should include all information relating to the decision *not* to go ahead with the proposed change in the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey and the Scottish Health Survey.

Please also provide a copy of the SSCQ Questionnaire Review, 2017 (the link on the webarchive is not working).


To clarify, the Chief Statistician published guidance for public bodies on the collection of data on sex, gender identity and trans status in September 2021. The Scottish Surveys Core Questions (SSCQ) were then updated in accordance with this guidance. This included the questions in the Scottish Household Survey, Scottish Health Survey, and Scottish Crime and Justice Survey. For more information please see the guidance (Sex, gender identity, trans status - data collection and publication: guidance - ( An updated document detailing the current SSCQ will be published on the Scottish Government website in the near future and this will note that the questions follow the Chief Statistician’s guidance (Scottish Surveys Core Questions (SSCQ) - (

The information you have requested in relation to these questions is available from the published responses to the FOI requests detailed below.

An FOI responded to on 2 July 2021 includes information relating to the development of the question on gender identity in the Scottish Household Survey (Information regarding “gender identity” question in Scottish Household survey: FOI release - (

A further FOI responded to on 22 July 2022 includes information on the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) compliance check on the arrangements in place for collecting and reporting gender identity in the Scottish Household Survey, and the adaptation of the SSCQ gender identity question (Scottish Household Survey & SSCQ: FOI release - (

The OSR has recently published the findings from the compliance check noted above (Ed Humpherson to Alastair McAlpine: Office for Statistics Regulation’s review of gender identity question and the Scottish Household Survey – Office for Statistics Regulation (

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

As requested, a copy of the SSCQ questionnaire review which was published in 2017 has been attached. I apologise for the inconvenience and will investigate the website error.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202200310358 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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