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Code of practice for statistics

Since the publication of workforce statistics on 3 December 2019, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) has been named in legislation as a producer of official statistics. For the December 2019 publication NES voluntarily applied the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Statistics and worked to ensure full continuity in producing the NHS Workforce statistics according to the three pillars of the code of practice: Trustworthiness, Quality and Value.


Having confidence in the people and organisations that produce statistics and data.

  • NES has a strong background in producing workforce statistics and has recently expanded its team of analysts. The team have a wealth of experience in producing reports for the public, including National Statistics. 
  • The Head of Profession for Statistics for NHS National Services Scotland, NHS 24 and the Scottish Ambulance Service is now also Head of Profession for NES.
  • NES receives support and training from the Public Health Scotland Statistical Governance Team.
  • We run seminars and engage with colleagues in other organisations providing Official Statistics. 


Using data and methods that produce assured statistics.

  • Engaging with stakeholders across the data pipeline to understand local processes and issues and explain the processes we use nationally.
  • Maintain detailed standard operating procedures relating to each aspect of data processing and analysis.
  • Apply consistent quality assurance processes to the input and output data.
  • Continually review data systems to ensure we are using the best source and minimising burden on providers.


Producing statistics that support society’s need for information.

The NHSScotland workforce has a significant role to play in the delivery of quality services that meet the needs of patients, their families and the general public in a modern health service. Staffing also accounts for a large portion of the NHSScotland budget – the Scottish Health Service costs report reports that, for the year ending 31 March 2020, staff accounted for almost 68% or £5 billion of hospital costs.

NES publishes quarterly updates on an extensive set of indicators, including staff in post and vacancies. These data support NHS Boards and the Scottish Government with local, regional and national workforce planning. 

NES works with various stakeholders and project groups to understand any new reporting requirements. 


Our Statistical governance and Head of Profession is provided by Scott Heald and the Statistical Governance Team from Public Health Scotland. They can be contacted by emailing

We follow the below policies developed by Public Health Scotland

Freedom of Information requests should be submitted to More information can be found on the NHS Education for Scotland Freedom of Information pages