Revision process of the National Occupational Classification

The NOC is updated on a regular basis in partnership with Statistics Canada. Minor revisions, which do not affect the distribution of unit groups across skill levels and broad occupational categories, are conducted on an annual basis since 2017. These revisions focus on content updates such as the addition of job titles into a unit group or the modification of a lead statement or of the main duties of a unit group.

Major revisions take place every 10 years, with the next one being scheduled for 2021. These major revisions are associated with more important changes to the classification which can include the introduction of new unit groups and the reallocation of unit groups across skill levels and broad occupational categories.


Research and analysis of occupations, skills, and competencies for the NOC have been ongoing since its introduction in the early 1990s.

Sources of research include data from Censuses, other classifications, employment services and job advertisements, job and career descriptions, educational and training material, regulations and professional associations’ material, government, business and labour organizations’ input, public and private sector feedback, employment program material, and issues identified by Statistics Canada through coding surveys.

Whenever consultations take place, the public can also participate to the process via the NOC website. From the Home page, just access the Participate in NOC consultations section.

Some consultation inputs propose changes at a structural level. However, structural changes are considered as major revisions and are only every ten years to allow users to compare data over broader time spans.

Approval procedures

Once data and information have been collected, findings are analyzed and analysts prepare revision reports. These documents are then submitted to an internal Employment and Social Development Canada review committee for discussion and approval.

The proposed revisions are then sent to Statistics Canada for review and assessment of concerns related to coding consistency and statistical considerations. The joint working committee of classification experts from the two departments then discusses and resolves any outstanding issues to reach consensus on changes for the NOC.

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