Scottish Employer Skills Survey 2020: Technical Report

Technical report for the Scottish Employer Skills Survey 2020.

Data preparation

Data edits

It was recognised at the outset that the ESS questionnaire involved the collection of some complex data that respondents would possibly struggle to answer. There was also, despite stringent quality control, the chance that interviewers may enter typing errors, for example accidentally entering extra zeros on the end of numerical variables.

Data checks were built into the Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) script to ensure, for example, that questions breaking down the workforce into by occupation equalled the number of people working at the site, and that the number of staff in each job role who were not proficient could not exceed the number of staff they had in each job role. However, some data validation needed to occur after fieldwork had finished to ensure no errors were present in the final data. Guidelines for editing the survey data can be found in Appendix G.


Open ended responses to the survey were coded by IFF Research's internal coding team. To ensure consistency, a formal codeframe was developed and regularly reviewed during development by the research team. In addition, the application of the codeframe in practice was monitored through quality control checks, to ensure a high level of accuracy of codes assigned to verbatim responses.

Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) were coded using 2007 standards, and Standard Occupational Classifications were coded using 2010 standards. More information about these classifications can be found in Appendix A and Appendix B.



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