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This page provides a definition of some of the words and phrases used in the Equality Evidence Website.

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Name Definition
Absolute poverty

Individuals living in households whose equivalised income is below 60% of the (inflation adjusted) median income in 1998/99. This is a measure of whether those in the lowest income households are seeing their incomes rise in real terms.

Further information: Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2009/10

Accessible Rural Rural Scotland is defined as settlements with a population of less than 3000. Accessible rural are those with a less than a 30 minute drive time to the nearest settlement with a population of 10000 or more.
Additional Support needs

“(1) A child or young person has additional support needs for the purposes of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 where, for whatever reason, the child or young person is, or is likely to be, unable without the provision of additional support to benefit from school education provided or to be provided for the child or young person.

(2) In subsection (1), the reference to school education includes, in particular, such education directed to the development of the personality, talents and mental and physical abilities of the child or young person to their fullest potential.

(3) In this Act, “additional support” means –
(a) in relation to a prescribed pre-school child, a child of school age or a young person receiving school education, provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children or, as the case may be, young persons of the same age in schools (other than special schools) under the management of the education authority for the area to which the child or young person belongs,
(b) in relation to a child under school age other than a prescribed pre-school child, such educational provision as is appropriate in the circumstances.”

Age - National Records Scotland Population figures relate to 30 June of the year shown and ages relate to age at last birthday.
Below Tolerable Standard A house meets the tolerable standard if it:
• is structurally stable;
• is substantially free from rising or penetrating damp;
• has satisfactory provision for natural and artificial lighting, for ventilation and for heating;
• has satisfactory thermal insulation;
• has an adequate piped supply of wholesome water available within the house;
• has a sink provided with a satisfactory supply of both hot and cold water within the house;
• has a water closet or waterless closet available for the exclusive use of the occupants of the house and suitably located within the house;
• has a fixed bath or shower and a wash-hand basin, each provided with a satisfactory supply of both hot and cold water and suitably located within the house;
• has an effective system for the drainage and disposal of foul and surface water;
• in the case of a house, has a supply of electricity that complies with the relevant requirements in relation to electrical installations for the purposes of that supply;
- “the electrical installation” is the electrical wiring and associated components and fittings, but excludes equipment and appliances
- “the relevant requirements” are that the electrical installation is adequate and safe to use
• has satisfactory facilities for the cooking of food within the house; and
• has satisfactory access to all external doors and outbuildings.
A failure to meet one or more of these criteria will result in a dwelling being declared Below Tolerable Standard.
Blue Badge An official document that allows disabled people to park their cars in special places.
Carer's Allowance Carer's Allowance is a benefit to help people who look after someone who is disabled. You don't have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for to be entitled to it.
Centenarians Individuals who are 100 years of age or older
Child Poverty

Child poverty is measured using a variety of indicators including:
Absolute poverty
Relative poverty, and
material deprivation and low income combined.

Children are included up to 16 years old, or up to 19 if in full-time non-advanced education.

Child Protection Information is collectedon child protection referrals and number of children on Child Protection registers. 
Children Looked After information is collected for children looked after by the local authority, children starting and ceasing to be looked after, young people eligible for aftercare services and those with a current planned series of short term placements.
Childrens Material Deprivation and Low Income Combined

Material deprivation is calculated from a suite of questions in the Family Resources Survey about whether people can afford to buy certain items and participate in leisure or social activities. This measure is applied to households with incomes below seventy percent of median income to create the 'material deprivation and low income combined' indicator. This indicator aims to provide a measure of children's living standards which, unlike relative and absolute poverty, is not solely based on income.

Further information: Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2009/10

Civil Legal Aid

Civil Legal Aid helps pay for legal representation in court in civil matters such as: divorce and other matters affecting families and children, trying to get compensation for injuries after an accident or for medical negligence or debt and welfare rights. It covers the preparation work, as well as the hearing itself, and can provide funding for advocates and experts if needed.

Civil Partnership The Civil Partnership Act 2004, which applies throughout the UK and came into force on 5 December 2005, allows same-sex couples to register their partnership.
Concessionary Pass Eligible older and disabled people are entitled to free off-peak travel on local buses. Concessionary travel schemes provide free or discounted travel on public transport for younger, older or disabled people.
Criminal Legal Aid

Criminal legal aid pays for legal advice and representation in criminal court proceedings.

Critical Disrepair In ‘any disrepair to critical elements’, the critical elements are those whose condition is central to a dwelling being wind and weather proof, structurally stable and safeguarded against further rapid deterioration.
Cultural Attendance Attendance at "a cultural event or place of culture" is defined as those people who attend at least one type of cultural place in the previous year. Attendance at "a cultural event or place of culture" can cover any one of the following:
• Film at cinema or other venue
• Exhibition or collection of art, photography or sculpture
• Craft exhibition
• Event connected with books or writing
• Street arts (art in everyday surroundings like parks, streets or shopping centre) or circus (not animals)
• Culturally specific festival (mela/Feis)
• Play, drama other theatrical performance (musical/pantomime)
• Opera /operetta/ classical music performance
• Other live music event eg. jazz event
• Ballet/contemporary dance/other live dance event e.g. multi cultural
• Library (any type of library, e.g. public/mobile/online)
• Archive or records office
• Museum
• Gallery
• Place of historical or archaeological interest
• None
Cultural Participation Participation in "any cultural activity" means that people do at least one activity from the available list asked of respondents in the survey (rather than each and every cultural activity). The activities are listed as follows:
• Dance
• Played a musical instrument or written music
• Rehearsed, performed or sang in front of audience such as a play or choir
• Painting, drawing, printmaking or sculpture
• Photography as an artistic activity
• Made films or videos as an artistic activity
• Used a computer to create original artworks or animation
• Crafts such as textile, wood, pottery, etc.
• Read for pleasure (not newspapers, magazines or comics)
• Written any stories, books, plays or poetry
• Other cultural activity
• None

The Scottish Government recommended questions on disability are designed to identify respondents who may have rights under the Equality Act 2010 .

The questions ask respondent: Do you have a physical or mental health condition or illness lasting or expected to last 12 months or more?
If answer ‘Yes’ respondents are asked as follow up question:Does your condition or illness reduce your ability to carry-out day-to-day activities?
Yes, a lot
Yes, a little
Not at all

Only those who answer 'Yes' to the first question and 'Yes, a lot' or 'Yes, a little' to the second are classified as disabled.

Disability - Annual Population Survey Those with disabilities are defined in the APS as having either or both of the following:
1- to have a health problem or disability which is epxpected to last more than one year and which substantially affects their ability to carry out day to day activities or
2 - to have a health probllem or disability which is expected to last more than one year which does not substantially limit their ability to carry out day to  day activities but which does limit the type or amount of paid work they can do.

Disability - Life Long Learning Statistics

• No known disability;
• Blind/partially sighted;
• Deaf/hearing impairment;
• Wheelchair user/mobility difficulties;
• Personal care support;
• Mental health difficulties;
• An unseen disability, e.g. diabetes, epilepsy, asthma;
• Two or more impairments and/or disabling medical conditions;
• Autistic Spectrum Disorder;
• A specific learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia;
• A specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D;
• A social/communication impairment such as Asperger's syndrome/other autistic spectrum disorder;
• A long standing illness or health condition such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, chronic heart disease, or epilepsy;
• A mental health condition, such as depression, schizophrenia or anxiety disorder;
• A physical impairment or mobility issues, such as difficulty using arms or using a wheelchair or crutches;
• Deaf or a serious hearing impairment;
• Blind or a serious visual impairment uncorrected by glasses;
• A disability, impairment or medical condition that is not listed above;
• Information refused;
• Information not sought;
• Not known.
Disability - Scottish Household Survey

A randomly selected adult in the household is asked  "Do you have any long-standing illness, health problem or disability that limits your daily activities or the kind of work that you can do?"

Yes, disability
Yes, ill-health
Yes, both disablity and ill-health

The respondent also answers this question on behalf of other memebers of the household.

Disability as opposed to ill-health is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the persons ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

The disabled population are those who either report a disability only or a disability and ill-health

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA). A tax free benefit for disabled adults and children to help with the additional costs associated with living with a disability.

Disabled person - Family Resources Survey (FRS)

Disability is defined as having any long-standing illness, disability or infirmity that leads to a significant difficulty with one or more areas of the individual’s life.
Economic Activity Rate The number of people who are in employment or unemployed expressed as a percentage of the relevant population.
Economic Inactivity Rate The number of economically inactive people expressed as a percentage of the relevant population.
Economically Active The economically active population are those who are either in employment or unemployed.
Economically Inactive Economically inactive people are not in employment, but do not satisfy all the criteria for unemployment. This group is comprised of those who want a job but who have not been seeking work in the last 4 weeks, those who want a job and are seeking work but not available to start and those who do not want a job. For example, students not working or seeking work and those in retirement are classed as economically inactive. It can be useful for some purposes to consider only those who are both economically inactive and not of state pension age.
Emergency Admission When admission is unpredictable and at short notice because of clinical need.
Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning The policy area covers  post-compulsory education in Scotland. The purpose of the policy area is to make people ready for work and to reshape Scotland's post 16 learning and employment systems to do this better. In the short-term the SG will identify and deliver actions to help those affected by the current economic circumstances. In the long-term the SG is aiming to create the skilled and educated workforce that is required to help drive sustainable economic growth.
Energy Efficiency The energy efficiency of a dwelling is rated according to the National Home Energy Ratings (NHER). See definition of NHER below.
Equivalised Income

Income is adjusted, or equivalised, to take into account variations in both the size and composition of the household. This process reflects the common sense notion that a family of several people needs a higher income than a single person in order for both households to enjoy a comparable standard of living.

Equivalence scales conventionally take a couple with no children as a reference point. The incomes of larger households are adjusted downwards and the incomes of smaller households adjusted upwards relative to this reference point.

Ethnic Group

The Scottish Government's recommended question on ethnic group asks respondents 'What is your ethnic group?'

White -  Scottish
White - Other British
White - Irish
White - Gypsy/Traveller
White - Polish
White - other
Mixed or multiple ethnic group
Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British
Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British
Bangladeshi, Bangladeshi Scottish or Bangladeshi British
Chinese, Chinese Scottish or Chinese British
Other Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British
African, African Scottish or African British
Other African
Caribbean, Caribbean Scottish or Caribbean British
Black, Black Scottish or Black British
Other Caribbean or Black
Arab, Arab Scottish or Arab British
Other ethnic group

Ethnic Group - Scottish Funding Council (SFC)

White; Irish Traveller; Black or Black British – Caribbean; Black or Black British – African; Other Black background; Asian or Asian British – Indian; Asian or Asian British – Pakistani; Asian or Asian British – Bangladeshi; Chinese; Other Asian background; Mixed - White & Black Caribbean; Mixed - White & Black African; Mixed - White & Asian; Other Mixed background; Other Ethnic background; Not known; Information refused.
Ethnic Minority Group The ethnic minority group is generally defined as people who stated that they did not consider themselves to be of "White" ethnic background.  Where a different definition is used, the details are noted.
Eudaimonic A contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous.
Experimental Statistics Experimental statistics are new official statistics undergoing evaluation. They are published in order to involve customers and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage.
Fuel poverty A household is in fuel poverty if it would be required to spend more than 10% of its income (including Housing Benefit or Income Support for Mortgage Interest) on all household fuel use.
Further Education Includes leavers undertaking full-time education which is not higher education and who are no longer on a school roll. This may include National Qualifications.
Gypsies/Travellers Count The Count does not seek to capture Gypsies/Travellers living in bricks and mortar housing, but focuses on the number living on sites provided by councils or registered social landlords, privately owned sites or unauthorised encampments. The defintion of Gypsy/Travellers used in Count excludes Travelling Showpeople and New (age) Travellers.
Healthy Life Expectancy The estimated average number of years that a new born baby could be expected to live in 'good health'. The discrepancy between healthy and total life expectancy, therefore, indicates the average number of years likely to be spent in 'poor health'.
Hedonic Of, relating to, or marked by pleasure.
Higher Education Data on higher education relates to students from both Colleges and HEIs who are attending Higher Education courses in Scotland.
HL1 Dataset The HL1 system is the source of information used to track and report on the proportion of homeless applications accorded priority status.
Home-Care Client Home-care clients are people who receive one or more of the following services: a Home Care Service, a Meals Service and a Community Alarm or Telecare Service.
Homeless or Potentially Homeless It is the household which applies as homeless.
Injury Accident An accident which result in personal injury, which occur on roads (including footways), in which a vehicle is concerned, and which become known to the police. The vehicle need not be moving and it need not be in collision. The statistics are therefore of injury road accidents only: damage only accidents are not included in the figures.
ISD Information Services Division.
Low Pay Low pay is defined here as less than £7 per hour.
Modern Apprenticeship

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) offer people aged over 16 paid employment combined with workplace training and off-the-job learning, in order to gain new and enhanced skills and recognised qualifications.

They are available across many sectors, not just trades, with the format of training decided by the appropriate vocational qualification for that sector.

National Home Engery Rating (NHER)

National Home Energy Rating (NHER) is a rating scale of for assessing the energy efficiency of new and existing homes.

Energy efficiency is grouped into three bandings: 0-2 = 'Poor'; 3-6 = 'Moderate'; 7-10 = 'Good'.

Pensioner Pensioners are individuals above State pension age.
Persistent Poverty Persistent poverty is defined as spending at least 3 years out of any 4 year period in relative poverty.
Positive Post School Destination Includes higher education, further education, training, voluntary work, employment and activity agreements.
Presence of Dampness, Condensation or Mould

Rising damp: is the vertical movement of moisture from the ground into the fabric of a building. This can affect any part of the building in contact with the ground, the most obvious being walls and floors. Rising damp will not normally rise higher than around 1.2m above ground level.
Penetrating damp: is moisture which enters a house from outside because of a defect in part of its structure. There may be defects in the roof, the exterior walls, rainwater gutters and down-pipes, or missing flashings. The source of persistent penetrating damp can be difficult to identify because there may be no consistent pattern to the signs. For example, damp patches may appear in more than one room, and be located in different parts of the room.

Condensation is a serious problem which is closely associated with, and sometimes confused with, rising and penetrating dampness. Condensation is often caused by inadequate heating, ventilation and thermal insulation as well as the way a household manages its heating and ventilation. Overcrowding can be a further factor.

Condensation is caused by warm moist air coming into contact with a colder surface. The colder surface causes the amount of moisture the air can hold to be reduced, and as a result the moisture "condenses" out onto the wall. The water that forms as a result of the process is pure water, and this allows the growth of mould, which requires pure water to grow in.

Properties Designated for Older People Amenity/Alarm and Sheltered/Warden properties.
Registered Social Landlord Registered Social Landlords (RSL) are government-funded not-for-profit organisations that provide affordable housing. They include housing associations, trusts and cooperatives. They work with local authorities to provide homes for people meeting the affordable homes criteria. As well as developing land and building homes, RSLs undertake a landlord function by maintaining properties and collecting rent.
Relative poverty

Individuals living in households whose equivalised income is below 60% of UK median income in the same year. This is a measure of whether those in the lowest income households are keeping pace with the growth of incomes in the population as a whole.

Further information: Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2009/10


The Scottish Government's recommended question on religion asks "What religion, religious denomination or body do you belong to?."

Church of Scotland
Roman Catholic
Other Christian
Another religion, please write in.

Remote Rural Rural Scotland is defined as settlements with a population of less than 3000. Remote rural are those with a greater than a 30 minute drive time to the nearest settlement with a population of 10000 or more.
School Education This policy area covers pupils and teachers in publicly funded schools. It includes information on teacher numbers and characteristics, pupil numbers and characteristics, class sizes, school attendance, exclusions, school meals, school attainment and qualifications and destination after leaving school.
School Leaver Leavers from publicly funded schools.
Seasonally Adjusted Time series are often characterised by considerable seasonal variations, which might complicate their interpretation. Such time series are therefore subjected to a process of seasonal adjustment. The purpose of seasonal adjustment is to remove systematic calendar related variation associated with the time of the year, i.e. seasonal effects. This facilitates comparisons between consecutive time periods.
Secure Accommodation Accommodation provided in a residential establishment for the purpose of restricting the liberty of children.
Self-Employment Rate The self employment rate is the proportion of those in employment that are self employed.
Sexual Orientation

The Scottish Government recommended question on self identified sexual orientation asks:

Which of the options on this card best describes how you think   of yourself?

Heterosexual / Straight
Gay / Lesbian

Small to medium-sized enterprise employer SME employers are Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises with 1 to 249 employees.

SMR01 is an episode-based patient record relating to all inpatients and day cases discharged from non-obstetric and non-psychiatric specialties.  It replaced SMR1 from April 1997 after running in parallel with SMR1 during 1996/7. Geriaric long stay was excluded until 2007 when SMR50 was discontinued and GLS activity was added to SMR01.

A record is generated when a patient completes an episode of inpatient or day case care. Examples include discharge home from hospital, transfer to another clinician (either at the same or a different hospital), a change of specialty (either under the same or a different clinician), or death. There are now over 1,000,000 SMR01s generated each year.

Data collected include patient identifiable and demographic details, episode management details and general clinical information. Currently diagnoses are recorded using the ICD-10 classification and operations are recorded using the OPCS-4 classification. Information such as waiting time for inpatient/day case admission and length of stay may be derived from the episode management data.

Further information: As at March 2011, there was a total of 307,770 private sector enterprises operating in Scotland - Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) (those employing less than 250 people) accounted for 99.3% of all private sector enterprises operating in Scotland.  The majority of SMEs have no employees; they are sole proprietorships, partnerships comprising only the self-employed owner-manager(s) or companies comprising only an employee director. As at March 2011, 31% of all private sector enterprises operating in Scotland were SME employers.  Source: Inter-Departmental Business Register, March 2011 

Social Enquiry Reports The main purpose of a Social Enquiry Report (SER) is to provide information to the court about the offender and their background circumstances, prior to sentencing. The report helps the court decide how to deal with the case. Reports can be requested by the court for any case, but must be requested before imposing a custodial sentence, either for the first time or if the offender is under 21 years of age. A court must also obtain an SER before making a community service or probation order. Reports should analyse offending, may contain assessments of the re-offending potential of the accused (and the harm which might be caused to others) in order that social work interventions can be appropriately planned and targeted. Assessments are supported by a structured risk assessment and will contain an intervention plan, where recommendations are made for social work disposals.
Solemn Legal Aid Solemn proceedings are cases which normally result in imprisonment of more than 6 months e.g. murder, rape, robbery.
Tariff Score A system for allocating points to qualifications used for entry to higher education. It allows students to use a range of different qualifications to help secure a place on an undergraduate course and enables universities and collages to make comparisons between applicants with different qualifications.
The National Records of Scotland (NRS) The National Records of Scotland (NRS) is responsible for the registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships, deaths, divorces, and adoptions. We run the Census and we use Census and other data to publish information about population and households.
Third Sector

The Third Sector comprises voluntary organisations, community organisations, charities and social enterprises. This sector has an important role in helping the Scottish Government provide services to the people of Scotland.

In the Annual Population Survey (APS), the third sector is defined as “charities, voluntary organisations or trusts”. It is classified as a subset of the private sector.

Time Series A sequence of numerical data points in successive order, usually occurring in uniform interval.
Unemployment Rate Number of people unemployed divided by number of people economically active for specific age group.
Volunteering The definition of volunteering currently used by the Scottish Government is: ‘the giving of time and energy through a third party, which can bring measurable benefits to the volunteer, individual beneficiaries, groups and organisations, communities, environment and society at large. It is a choice undertaken of one's own free will, and is not motivated primarily for financial gain or for a wage or salary'. This definition broadly encompasses ‘formal volunteering’ – where unpaid work is undertaken through an organisation, group or club to help other people or to help a cause (such as improving the environment).
Wealth Distribution The manner in which wealth is distibuted among members of the economy.
WEMWBS The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale - a scale for assessing positive mental health (mental well-being). A 14 positively worded item scale with five response categories. It covers most aspects of positive mental health (positive thoughts and feelings) currently in the literature, including both hedonic and eudaimonic perspectives.
Whole-time Equivalent A measure of working time expressed as a proportion of the standard whole time working for a grade.