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Explore Health Workforce Data Policy

The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis (NCHWA) assesses health workforce data. We look at the supply, use, access, need, and demand for health workers.

We gathered these resources to help with your analysis and research.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)

The SOC system is a federal taxonomy. It classifies workers into occupational categories. There are 867 detailed occupations.

We work with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to ensure that the SOC system reflects current complexities of health sector occupations.

Federal statistical agencies must use the SOC to collect, calculate, and distribute consistent U.S. workforce data.

The SOC Policy Committee revises the catalog about every 10 years.

2013 Webcast Presentation: Revising the Standard Occupational Classification (PPTX - 253 KB)

Minimum Data Sets

A Minimum Data Set provides basic, uniform, and consistent information on the health workforce.

Minimum Data Sets help ensure national databases use consistent core data elements for demographic, educational, credentialing, and practice characteristics of health professionals.

Minimum Data Sets Created by National Boards, Councils, and Associations

  • Dental Hygienists (PDF - 44 KB) created by the American Dental Hygienists' Association
  • Licensed Professional Counselors (PDF - 42 KB) created by the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates
  • Nurses (PDF - 61 KB) created by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, The Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers
  • Occupational Therapists (PDF - 29 KB) created by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacists (PDF - 45 KB) created by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapists (PDF - 68 KB) created by the American Physical Therapy Association, Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistants (PDF - 70 KB) created by the nccPA Health Foundation, National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
  • Physicians (PDF - 57 KB) (allopathic and osteopathic) created by the Federation of State Medical Boards
  • Psychologists (PDF - 47 KB) created by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counselors (PDF - 45 KB) created by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium, NAADAC, and the Association for Addiction Professionals

Partner Resources

Compendium of Federal Data Sources to Support Health Workforce Analysis

This compendium (PDF - 3 MB) provides a summary of 45 federal data sources.

While the compendium was not established specifically to collect or present health workforce data, you can use it to support health workforce analysis. It can help you understand how to use these sources for health workforce analysis.

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