Quality Assurance

This page includes information on the quality assurance processes for Scotland's Census 2011.  For information on known data quality issues, click here.

The 2011 Census population results go through a rigorous quality assurance process prior to their publication. This document describes the quality assurance which has been carried out in preparation for Releases 1A, 1B and 1C of statistics from Scotland's Census:

Quality Assurance Process.  - July 2013  (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format) (42 Kb)

This is the lastest version of the Quality Assurance Process document, that accompanied Release 1C, previous versions of the document can be accessed through the Release 1A and Release 1B Statistical Bulletins.

To accompany Release 1B, we provided a Quality Assurance Pack (Excel - 662 kb - opens in a new window) to place the census population and household estimates for each council area in the context of comparative information from non-census data sources.

The quality of the census results is extremely important. There has been extensive work carried out on quality assurance throughout the whole of the census process . The Quality Assurance Strategy document, published in May 2011, outlined initial plans and our quality assurance process builds on this.

A variety of comparator sources are used during the quality assurance process. Details of these sources can be found here.

NRS has established a Census Data Quality Advisory Group comprising staff from NRS and local authorities. The group involves organisations external to NRS in census data quality assurance, utilising local knowledge and data sources. The work of the group forms a central part of the quality assurance and finalisation of the results from Scotland's 2011 Census. Details of the remit and membership of the Census Data Quality Advisory Working Group along with minutes of the meetings, including presentations and papers can be found here. Link opens in new window.

2011 Census Quality Strategy

The 2011 Census Quality Strategy sets out a structure for managing and delivering quality in the 2011 Census. It is a high-level document and as such presents a general framework for developing and implementing processes to define, manage and measure the quality of the 2011 Census. It was not intended as a specification, or to define specific quality standards or how they would be measured.

Lessons about quality, learned from the 2001 Census, have an important role in setting the approach to managing quality in 2011. The key lessons highlighted the need for a more holistic and integrated approach to quality.

A printable PDF version of the 2011 Census Quality Strategy (84 Kb) is available for downloading.

Census Quality Survey (CQS)

The Census Quality Survey (CQS) was a follow-up survey designed to provide an assessment of the quality of responses to the main census. To ensure the survey covered a cross-section of Scotland, three Census Districts (CDs) were chosen from a city, a town and a rural area.

A sample of households that responded to the census were selected for interview from within each of these CDs. CQS interviewers then carried out face-to-face interviews with householders, asking the same set of questions (except the visitor questions) as asked in the main census. The answers to these questions were compared to the answers that households provided in the main census to produce a quality measure for the census outputs.

Summary results from the Census Quality Survey are available at section 9 of the Scotland's Census 2011 General Report