Due to the continual evolution of occupations, ONS needs to ensure that SOC is reflective of significant changes which occur in technological developments, innovation and new products, the use of new materials, improved methods of production or delivery of services etc. We ran a consultation to gauge stakeholder and user views on whether SOC2010 needed updating.

We also asked users and stakeholders about their use of the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC), which is derived using SOC and other labour market information.

We asked

  • whether SOC2010 needed updating and what areas in SOC2010 could be improved
  • what the impact would be on the work of respondents or their organisations if ONS coded NS-SEC using the simplified derivation method, as opposed to the reduced method

You said


The majority (78%) of respondents stated that SOC2010 needed updating. Key areas highlighted by respondents were:

  • the range of the existing groups and occupations are no longer reflective of many roles in the IT/Tech, digital and creative sectors
  • the current SOC does not reflect some occupations where a degree is now a compulsory requirement or where a university qualification is now a common requirement
  • a further disaggregation of some SOC groups is needed
  • continuity between classifications for time series analysis is needed


  • 43% of respondents that commented on NS-SEC stated that there would be a negative impact on their or their organisation's work using the simplified derivation method

We did

A SOC Revision Steering Group (SRSG) was held on 11 July 2016 to agree whether an update to SOC2010 is needed. The Steering group agreed that SOC needed updating. For more information please see the ‘Outcome to the consultation’ report in the downloads section.

For more information email

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