Invitation to participate in the revision of the National Occupational Classification (NOC)

Opened: April 2024


Statistics Canada (StatCan) invites data producers and data users, experts in the field of employment, representatives of business associations, government bodies at the federal, provincial/territorial, and local levels, academics and researchers and all other interested parties to submit proposals for the revision to the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Following the decision of the Statistics Canada's Social Standards Steering Committee (SSSC) on January 9, 2024, to institute a permanent consultation process for the NOC, proposals may be submitted and reviewed on an ongoing basis. Only a cut-off date for considering proposed changes to be included into a new version of the NOC will be instituted moving forward.

As was done with the NOC 2016, in exceptional circumstances, when a consensus is reached among the data producers and users at StatCan and our partners at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the classification might be revised before the regular revision cycle of 10-years or update cycle of 5-years, as the way of 'evergreening' the standard.

In the context of statistical classifications, evergreening refers to updating the classification and the related reference (index) file on a continuous basis with the objective of maintaining quality, timeliness, and relevance. Though, evergreening does not necessarily result in the release of a new version of the classification every year. A decision to release a new version before milestone revision/update cycles needs to be discussed and assessed by key classification stewards considering potential impacts on data and statistical programs.


This consultation aims to gather feedback from users who have already implemented the classification, as well as other interested parties who might want to suggest updates or changes. The principal objective of the consultation is to receive input from classification users to determine if the classification remains relevant and reflective of the Canadian labour market. This ensures that quantitative and qualitative information on occupations continues to be reliable, timely and relevant for a wide range of audiences.


The NOC was jointly developed by ESDC and StatCan and has been maintained in partnership since the first edition published in 1991/1992. Prior to 2011, ESDC NOC and StatCan NOC-S differed in their major group structures and, consequently, in their coding systems. However, the revised NOC 2011 eliminated the differences between the two former systems.

In 2016 the NOC was updated as part of an every 5-year cycle content update, which generally occurs in response to labour market changes or to improve clarity and has no impact on data. Since 2016, ESDC and StatCan have implemented an "evergreen" practice for the NOC, where updates occur on an as-needed basis between the standard update/revision milestones. These "evergreen" updates strive to be constrained to specific situations or cases. For instance, in the NOC 2016 Version 1.2 the classification was revised to account for the new job titles created after Canada adopted a new law legalizing cannabis for non-medical use, with impacts on the whole Canadian economy and society.

Nature and content of proposals

Respondents are invited to provide their comments, feedback, and suggestions on how to improve the NOC, including a rationale for proposed changes. No restrictions have been placed on the type of change.

Respondents may propose virtual (not affecting the meaning of a classification item) and real changes (affecting the meaning or scope of a classification item, whether accompanied by changes in naming and/or coding or not). Examples of real changes are: the creation of new classification items, the combination or decomposition of classification items, as well as the elimination of classification items. A classification item (sometimes referred to as a "class") represents a category at a certain level within a statistical classification structure. It defines the content and the borders of the category, and generally contains a code, title, definition/description, as well as exclusions where necessary. For the NOC 2021V1.0, classifications items are: Major group (2-digit), Sub-major group (3-digit), Minor group (4-digit) and Unit group (5-digit).

Individuals and organizations wishing to submit proposals for changes in the NOC may do so at any time, in accordance with the permanent consultation process adopted by Statistics Canada with regards to the NOC.

How to provide feedback during the consultation?

Proposals for the NOC revisions must contain the contact information of those submitting the change request:

  1. Name
  2. Organization (when an individual is proposing changes on behalf of an organization)
  3. Mailing address
  4. Email address
  5. Phone number

Should additional information or clarification to the proposal be required, participants might be contacted.

Proposals must be submitted by email to

Consultation guidelines

Individuals or organizations are encouraged to follow the guidelines below when developing their proposals.

Proposals should:

  • clearly identify the proposed addition, change or modification to the NOC;
  • outline the rationale and include supporting information for the proposed change, such as:
    • approximate population of workers across the country;
    • duties;
    • requirements for certification (if any);
    • educational background, tools and technology used, as well as experience required for entry into the occupation;
    • current job titles used in the labour market;
  • when possible, describe the empirical significance (i.e., labour market analysis, career intelligence, occupational forecasting, employment equity, job training and skills development) of proposed change;
  • be consistent with classification principles (e.g., mutual exclusivity, exhaustiveness, and homogeneity within categories);
  • be relevant, that is
    • describe the present analytical interest;
    • enhance the usefulness of data;
    • base the proposal on appropriate statistical research or subject matter expertise.

Please consider the questions below when preparing your input for the consultation on the current version of the NOC:

  • Are there occupations for which you cannot find a satisfactory NOC code?
  • Are there classification items that you find difficult to use because their descriptions are vague or unclear?
  • Are there different occupations you find difficult to distinguish from each other? Are there boundaries that could be clarified?
  • Are there occupations that you think should have their own NOC category? Please indicate at which level and why, with the support documentation about the occupation or occupational grouping (see guidelines above for a proposal).
  • Are there occupations that you are able to locate in the NOC, but you would like to have them located in a different broad occupational category or TEER? And Why?
  • Is the language or terminology used in the NOC in need of updating to be consistent with current usage?

Note that submissions do not need to cover every topic; you can submit comments on your particular area(s) of concern only.

The following criteria will be used to review the proposals received:

  • consistency with classification principles such as mutual exclusivity, exhaustiveness, and homogeneity of occupational groupings within categories;
  • have empirical significance as an occupation output (labor force), input to labour market information)
  • data be collectable and publishable;
  • be relevant, that is, it must be of analytical interest, result in data useful to users, and be based on appropriate statistical research and subject-matter expertise;
  • occupations which can be used to create labour market information;
  • special attention will be given to specific occupations, including:
    • new or emerging
    • changes related to duties and requirements.

NOC 2021 Classification Structure

The NOC 2021 V1.0 is a 5-digit, 5-hierarchical level classification structure, consisting of 1-digit broad groups, 2-digit major groups, 3-digit sub-major groups, 4-digit minor groups, 5-digit unit groups. Changes may be proposed for any level.

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Version 1.0 is the latest version of the classification for the participants of this consultation to base their input on. Persons or organizations proposing a change should always make sure they refer to the latest available version of the NOC.

Costs associated with proposals

Statistics Canada will not reimburse respondents for expenses incurred in developing their proposal.

Treatment of proposals

A team of representatives from Statistics Canada and ESDC will review all proposals received. Canada reserves the right to use independent consultants, or government employees, if deemed necessary, to assess proposals.

If deemed appropriate, Statistics Canada will contact the respondents to ask additional questions or ask for clarification on a particular aspect of their proposal.

Please note changes will only be implemented during planned evergreening or milestone revision/update cycles and that a proposal will not necessarily result in changes to the NOC.

Official languages

Proposals may be written in either of Canada's official languages – English or French.


Statistics Canada is committed to respecting the privacy of consultation participants. All personal information created, held or collected by the Agency is protected by the Privacy Act. For more information on Statistics Canada's privacy policies, please consult the Privacy notice.

Thank You

We thank all participants for their continued interest and participation in the various NOC engagement activities.


If you have any enquiries about this process, please send them to