Getting ready for Census data and SASPAC v9.75


On Tuesday 11 December ONS will publish the first detailed 2011 Census tables for Local Authorities in England & Wales. The data will include 35 Key Statistics and 11 Quick Statistics tables covering topics such as:

  • ethnicity
  • country of birth
  • occupation
  • language
  • qualifications
  • health

A list of table numbers and titles can be downloaded here (.xls) and draft table layouts can be found on the ONS website.

To provide users with access to these tables, SASPAC will be making this release available to our users via an updated version of the software (version 9.75) – downloadable as a full installation from our website. The SASPAC team will be processing and quality assuring the data before distributing as soon as possible in the days following the release. The supporting SASPAC System data files will also be downloadable from our website. Members will be notified as soon as v9.75 and the data is available via our blog.

Website Update


The Training section of the SASPAC website has been updated and is the place to go for the latest training materials, information on course booking and Helpdesk contact details.

The SASPAC Training Manual has also been revised to include information on the 2011 Census and can be accessed via the Downloads page of the website.

The manual includes an introduction to the census dataset and an explanation of census geographies as well as modules to guide the user through various SASPAC features. It is a useful resource for both newcomers to the census and, as a reference tool, to more experienced users.

The Support pages of the website now have a new Resources section where the SASPAC team will upload videos, presentations and all manner of useful and interesting material. Click on the image to watch a short video introduction to the Census and SASPAC.


link to video

SASPAC Support fee discount


To help meet some of the software’s 2011 Census development costs both the SASPAC licence and support fees – which have been frozen for the last ten years – will increase by £75 from 1st April 2012. In order to assist users in this difficult financial climate we are providing the option to avoid this increase by purchasing two year’s support at the discounted 2011/12 rates. All members will be presented with this option when they are contacted for 2012/13 support fees, If you would like to take advantage of any 2011/12 budget under spend before the end of the current financial year please contact the helpdesk.

We will be keeping users up to date with our 2011 Census work via our website’s development page. Here you will be able to see sample screen shots and images as the software develops: to kick-off we have added some samples of the new table layout presentation style.

SASPAC Advisory Panel – August 2011


The latest SASPAC Advisory Panel was held on 16 August 2011. The agenda included the latest on SASPAC’s 2011 development work, 2011 outputs from the Census Offices and a session for members to prioritise their development requirements. Meeting notes and slides are available from the Advisory Panel page and are accessible to members of the support scheme.

ONS 2011 Census Consultations


ONS have opened its 2011 Census Output consultation exercise, which provides users with an opportunity to comment on the initial proposals for 2011 outputs. Guidance documents and lists of proposed tables (inc. suggestions for new ones) are all available from their website. The general starting point appears to be providing users with everything from 2001 (with the addition of outputs from new questions) and asking users to specify/write business cases for anything additional.

Deadline for submissions is Friday 26 March 2010.

There is also a Census Output Geography consultation exercise running in parallel with the above. This asks for users views on workplace zones, Upper SOAs and details of OAs/SOAs that do not fit the criteria for statistical zones.

Deadline for submissions is Friday 26 March 2010.

SASPAC Advisory Panel meeting held 28.10.09


The SASPAC Advisory Panel helps steer and oversee the software’s development. The Panel is chaired by the Local Goverment Association – the software owners – and membership consists of a group of experienced Census and SASPAC users.

Link to PowerPoint slidesWith planning for 2011 Census outputs well underway, the Panel is a key route to ensure the software develops in line with user need. Meetings notes, slides and details of future meetings can be found on the SAP page.

The group agreed to initially meet on a 6 monthly basis but this frequency may increase as we move closer to Census day.

SASPAC User Survey Results


The results from the SASPAC User Survey, undertaken in the summer of 2009, have now been published. The survey received a healthy response from 104 different organisations across local and central government, the health sector and academia.

User survey datasets image

Thank you to all those users who completed the survey; your feedback is essential to informing the software’s development and the services we provide following the 2011 Census.