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Standard Occupational Classification 2010 (SOC 2010)


The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is a common classification of occupations for the United Kingdom. It classifies jobs in terms of their skill level and content. SOC 2010 is the second update since its introduction in 1990 and the general approach has not changed. Since April 2011 HSE has classified occupations using SOC 2010 rather than the older SOC 2000. HSE uses it, for example, to identify the occupations of workers injured in RIDDOR incidents.

SOC 2010 and the Labour Force Survey (LFS)

LFS results are coded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) who also use SOC 2010. Further details can be found on the ONS website in the LFS User Guide - Volume 3 .

SOC 2010 and RIDDOR

Since September 2011 job descriptions have been coded to SOC 2010. To show longer-term trends, earlier data was computer recoded from SOC 2000 into SOC 2010.

When notifiers report RIDDOR incidents under the online reporting system, they are asked for the job description of the injured person, and these free-text descriptions are then coded into the standard occupations. Coding is therefore heavily dependent on the information provided by the notifier and the way the job is described. Where possible, these job descriptions are built into a dictionary, thereby allowing a degree of automatic coding from text descriptions into SOC 2010 codes. Where auto-coding is not feasible due to limited information on the form, the effect on the statistics from September 2011 is a small increase in records coded as ‘not elsewhere classified’ at a unit (4-digit) level; or ‘not known’ at all levels.

Further information regarding the effect on RIDDOR statistics of recent legal and system changes is available.

Where can I find out more?

You can find out more about SOC 2010 at the Office for National Statistics website .

Updated 2015-09-03