About Statistics in Scotland - Chief Statistician

Chief Statistician

The Chief Statistician, Roger Halliday, has overall responsibility for the implementation and coordination of professional statistical standards across Scotland. These high professional standards that statistical staff follow ensure the statistics are produced free from any political interference.

Role of the Chief Statistician

The Chief Statistician is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring adherence to the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and resolving any issues concerning the interpretation of the Code in Scotland
  • Setting Scottish standards for statistical classification and methods
  • Reporting to Scottish Ministers on National Statistics performance in Scotland
  • ScotStat, which is a consultation network for users and providers of Scottish official statistics
  • Dealing with any formal complaints concerning the statistical service provided

In his role as Chief Statistician, Roger works in consultation with the General Registrar for Scotland and the Director of the Information Services Divisions of NHS National Services Scotland who are responsible for the statistical work of their organisations.


Roger also functions as the statistics Head of Profession for Scottish Government directorates; with overall responsibility for the following:

  • The format, content and timing of Scottish Government official statistics publications
  • The quality and integrity of official statistics produced by the Scottish Government
  • Reporting breaches of the Code of Practice to the UK National Statistician and UK Statistics Authority
  • Ensuring and developing the professional competence of Scottish Government statistical staff

In fulfilling the role as Head of Profession, Roger works closely with Senior Statisticians who work in the Analytical Services Divisions of Scottish Government Directorates

Further information

Roger Halliday started as Chief Statistician in November 2011. Before that, he worked in the Department of Health in England as a policy analyst managing evidence for decision making across NHS issues.

He qualified with a degree in statistics in 1993 from St. Andrews University and joined the Department of Social Security (as was) as an assistant statistician. He worked for spells at the Department of Health in England and in a number of statistical and policy making roles at the Scottish Government before leaving in 2005. His areas of expertise are around children, learning, skills and the economy, as well as in health.