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Contact with communal establishments

Not all addresses in Scotland are households. Places like hospitals, care homes, halls of residence or prisons are counted but in a slightly different way.

We call these types of accommodation communal establishments.

A communal establishment is typically a managed residential accommodation where there is full-time or part-time supervision of the accommodation. There are about 4600 communal establishments in Scotland.

The person in charge of the communal establishment must complete a communal establishment census questionnaire. Every resident of the establishment must also complete an individual questionnaire.

Types of communal establishment

We’ve grouped communal establishments into 4 types. We’ll take a different approach to collecting census data for each type.

  • Type 1: care homes, staff accommodation and religions establishments
  • Type 2: hospitals, prisons, schools and children’s homes, hotels, guest houses and hostels
  • Type 3: student halls and accommodation, defence establishments
  • Type 4: homeless people in temporary accommodation, rough sleepers

Collection methodology

Our approach to collecting census information depends on the communal establishment type.

For example, we will send paper questionnaires and an Internet Access Code to all communal establishments, except for those in type 3.

Residents in type 3, like student halls of residence, will receive an Internet Access Code but can chose to complete on paper if they prefer.

Prisons are the only type of establishment where residents can only complete on paper.

We developed these approaches after speaking to people from all sectors, including communal establishment managers.

Find out more about our approaches for each communal establishment type in our Business Regulatory Impact Assessment.

Who’s responsible

Communal establishment managers are responsible for:

  • completing and returning the communal establishment questionnaire
  • supporting residents in a number of ways to complete their own questionnaire

We’ll give support to communal establishment managers to ensure participation.

Find out more about our field force for the 2022 census.

Address checks

We’ll check the addresses of all identified communal establishments before the census to help us plan for our counts.

Find out more about address checks.

Initial contact

Census area managers will contact communal establishment managers from early 2022.

As part of this, census area managers will:

  • introduce themselves and provide contact information for census support
  • give information on the enumeration process
  • encourage participation in census
  • confirm address and contact details
  • confirm a delivery window for census packs
  • answer any questions

Census pack delivery

Three weeks before census day we’ll start to send census packs by courier to all confirmed communal establishment addresses.

We'll encourage managers to promote the online questionnaire where possible.

For types 1, 2 and 4, the census pack will contain:

  • paper questionnaires
  • Internet Access Codes for residents who want to complete online (except prisons)
  • help and information to support census completion

For type 3, the census pack will contain:

  • Internet Access Codes
  • help and information to support census completion

We’ll only send paper questionnaires to residents in type 3 establishments on request.

Follow-up calls

Area managers will make follow-up calls to communal establishment managers from mid-March.

At these calls, area managers will:

  • confirm the arrangements for questionnaire return
  • carry out communal establishment questionnaire data capture if required
  • encourage the manager to act if return rates are low

Collection of paper questionnaires

For most establishments, a courier service will collect paper questionnaires during an agreed window.

For smaller establishments, we may agree a different approach.