Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC)
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes are a coding system used to classify occupations, enabling comparisons of occupations across different datasets.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for maintaining and updating the SOC codes. The SOC codes were introduced in 1990, with a major revision in 2000 and a minor revision in 2010.
Steering groups and working groups exist to deal with SOC revisions and with extensions to the existing SOC codes.
For more information on SOC2010 and the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) please visit the ONS website.
In January 2016 ONS ran a consultation for 12 weeks to gauge stakeholder and users views on whether SOC2010 needed updating. 78% of respondents agreed that it did.
The findings and outcome report to the consultation are available to download from the ONS website.
A SOC Revision Steering Group (SRSG) was created and subsequently agreed that a revision to SOC2010 was needed. The objectives of the SRSG can be found in the Terms of Reference which is available to download. Agendas and minutes of the SRSG meetings are also available to download.
The Chair of this committee is from the Survey Methodology and Statistical Computing Division at ONS. The membership is made up of representatives from UK government departments, various divisions in ONS and other interested bodies.
Meeting agendas from the SRSG
Meeting minutes from the SRSG
Terms of reference for the SRSG
The SOC Revision Working Group (SRWG) was created to review and update SOC2010, taking into account issues raised by users and stakeholders. We are looking at key sectors of the labour market in parallel with a major group by major group approach.
The working group is overseen by the SOC Revision Steering Group (SRSG).
We are keen to receive feedback on the proposals outlined in the papers that are available to download below. Please email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Draft SOC2020 Volume 1: Structure and Description of Unit Groups
Final Proposal Papers
Professional Occupation Proposals
Major groups 4-9 – Proposals
Superseded April 2019 – Proposed changes to the major groups 4-9 structure
Major group 3 – Proposals
Superseded April 2019 – Proposed changes to the major group 3 structure
Major group 2 – Proposals
Superseded April 2019 – Proposed changes to the major group 2 structure
Superseded 01/12/2017- Proposed changes to major group 2
Superseded 01/12/2017 – Proposed changes to the major group 2 structure
Major group 1 – Proposals
The SOC Extension Steering Group (SOC-ExtSG) was created to oversee the identification of more detail in the structure of the SOC and implementation of additional digits for the SOC. Membership of the Steering Group was drawn from all those bodies with an active interest in developing more detail within the classification.
Agendas and minutes of the SOC-ExtSG meetings are available to download.
Meeting agendas from the SOC-ExtSG
23 October 2018 (doc, 34KB)
Meeting minutes from the SOC-ExtSG
23 October 2018 (doc, 40KB)
23 March 2018 (doc, 17KB)
7 March 2019 (doc, 24KB)
The SOC Extension Working Group (SOC-ExtWG) has been created to accumulate detailed evidence from organisations and other bodies on the demand for a more detailed specification of the SOC.
The working group is overseen by the SOC-Ext Steering Group (SOC-ExtSG).
Stakeholder group meeting notes
4 December 2018 – Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport Meeting Notes (doc, 31KB)
4 December 2018 –NESTA meeting notes (doc, 29KB)
20 December 2018 – Gatsby Foundation meeting notes (doc, 29KB)
20 December 2018 – Health and Safety Executive meeting notes (doc, 30KB)
6 February 2019 – Department for Work and Pensions Meeting Notes (doc, 28KB)
6 February 2019 – Department for Education Meeting Notes (doc, 27KB)
6 February 2019 – National Audit Office Meeting Notes (doc, 28KB)
1 May 2019 – Home Office Meeting Notes (doc, 29KB)
22 May 2019 – Higher Education Bodies Meeting Notes (doc, 33KB)