skip to main content

Transfer of statistics from ISD to NES

From 1 October 2019, responsibility for some national workforce data, statistical & intelligence function transferred from ISD to NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

A joint letter by the Chief Executives of NSS and NES, dated 23 August 2019, details the rationale for the changes and arrangements for the transfer of these functions.

Publications released prior to 3 December 2019 can be accessed via the Public Health Scotland (previously ISD Scotland) Workforce publication page.

Implementing the Code of Practice for Statistics during the transition

During the transition period, NES voluntarily applied the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Statistics 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 already had a strong background in producing workforce statistics and expanded its team of analysts to support the transfer of reporting functions. Several members of the new NES team have previously worked either in the Information Services Division (ISD) Workforce Intelligence team or in other ISD teams responsible for producing National Statistics. (ISD is now part of Public Health Scotland). They have brought knowledge and experience of the data and a firm grasp of the requirements for producing official and national statistics.
  • Throughout the transition period, NES maintained contact with key NSS and ISD colleagues involved in workforce intelligence and workforce information systems.
  • NES received support and training from the Public Health Scotland (formerly ISD) Statistical Governance Team.


Using data and methods that produce assured statistics.

Throughout the early stages of the transfer of responsibilities, NES worked closely with colleagues in ISD in order to:

  • Shadow colleagues in the ISD Workforce Intelligence team
  • Study and discuss the standard operating procedures relating to each aspect of data processing and analysis
  • Understand and continue to apply the quality assurance processes to the input and output data
  • Become familiar with data systems and the data processing codebase

NES used the same data sources used by ISD for publishing workforce statistics prior to the transfer of responsibilities. The ISD Standard Operating processes were also adhered to, and the existing codebase and processing tools were used and only modified to improve performance or to implement ongoing, operational improvements.


Producing statistics that support society’s need for information.

NES produced all the quarterly statistics updates expected by stakeholders and in the established reporting formats.