Classification: SOC90
Short name: SOC90
Full name: Standard Occupational Classification 1990
General description: SOC90 was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1990 as the first single classification of occupations. It was subsequently adopted by most government departments and agencies responsible for the production of occupationally classified information or the processing of occupational data
SOC90 was a replacement of both the Classification of Occupations 1980 (CO80) and the Classification of Occupations and Dictionary of Occupational Titles (CODOT). The main concept of the new SOC was to classify jobs (considered as a set of employment tasks) as opposed to classifying persons. (This concept was not new, but was stated more explicitly than in previous occupation classifications). The classification is based entirely on information about the type of work done, as indicated by the job title and description, and, unlike CO80, takes no account of ancillary information on employment status (such as whether or not the person is a foreman) which is not always available from non-census sources.
SOC90 is explicitly hierarchical in structure unlike its predecessors CO70 and CO80 . It groups jobs according to the kind work and the nature of the operation performed. It is comprised of unit groups at the most detailed level, which make up minor groups and major groups respectively. The sub major groups are formed by aggregating minor groups. The sub major group level is not recognised in the numbering system. The major group structure brings together occupations which are similar in terms of the qualifications, training, skill and experience.
LS description: The 3-digit unit-group level SOC90 codes are used for the LS Census variable SOC909.
Additional 2-digit codes are used in the LS to identify those for whom no occupational information is available or where the occupation is inadequately described.
Mnemonic: SOC90
Keyword: Occupation
Start date: Census 1991
References: Standard Occupational Classifications, Volumes 1 and 2. OPCS
Equivalent classifications: SOC2000 (Census 2001)
CO80 (Census 1981)
CO70 (Census 1971)