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Development of the Cascot occupational coding tool

Cascot was developed by Jones and Elias at IER in 2004. Cascot was designed to make the coding of text information to standard classifications simpler, quicker and more reliable by assigning an (occupational or industrial) code to texts. The software is capable of occupational coding and industrial coding to the UK standards developed by the UK Office for National Statistics. These are the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) and the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). Cascot currently supports SOC 2010, SOC 2000, SOC 90, SIC 2007, SIC 2003, SIC 92 and SIC 80.

Occupational and industrial coding is used to code job title entered as free text in surveys or administrative databases collected in a wide range of setting including job vacancy advertising, career guidance and official statistical enquiries.

Between 2014 and 2016, multilingual ISCO-08 versions of the programme have been developed in 14 languages. This work was funded by the European Union and Synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences (SERISS) via the European Social Survey European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC). This multilingual capability significantly extends the impact of Cascot. To develop the coding rules underlying the Cascot programme, IER has established partnership arrangements with experts in each country covered to test and refine the Cascot database.

In order to classify a piece of text into an occupational classification, Cascot has a set of rules such as downgraded words, equivalent word ends, abbreviations, replacement words, word alternatives, etc., which shows the best matches between the job titles (inputs) and the occupational classification with the corresponding similarity scores

The Cascot International package consists of three pieces of software: Cascot (the coding tool); Cascot Editor (the tool for creating and modifying classifications and fine-tuning the coding process); and Cascot Performance Tool (for evaluating coding performance). The Cascot package is available for download from a dedicated IER webpage ( It has been used by numerous international, national and local policy makers and analysts, including the Home Office, the NHS, ONS and HESA.