Minimum Dataset for Child Protection Committees in Scotland

Information on Version 2 of the Minimum Dataset for Child Protection Committees in Scotland. Version 2 is an update of Version 1, which was developed and shared in 2019, with Version 2 available for use from June 2022.

What is a Minimum Dataset?

A Minimum Dataset is a set collection of agreed measurements, criteria, or categories required to create a robust understanding of information about a service.

The data populated through these measures provide a baseline and then a progress measurement for the planning and development of services delivered.

A Minimum Dataset that can be applied universally across services of the same purpose and outcome operating in different locations can guide delivery and, should this be required, can generate comparable data.

The Minimum Dataset for Child Protection Committees in Scotland

The Minimum Dataset for Child Protection Committees responds to an action within the Scottish Government’s Child Protection Improvement Programme to:

  • Deliver robust datasets to support child protection improvement.
  • Develop a national resource for advice on using child protection data for local planning and service development.
  • Expand analytical capacity.

Importantly, the action reflected an appetite for data improvement among Scotland’s Child Protection Committees, which play a pivotal role in the continuous improvement of the protection of children and young people. This responsibility involves generating, collating and analysing a range of data and evidence to inform improvement planning. The Minimum Dataset for Child Protection Committees sits within this context.

Developed by CELCIS in partnership with Scotland’s Child Protection Committees, Scottish Government, Care Inspectorate, Police Scotland, NHS Scotland and Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, the Minimum Dataset for Child Protection Committees is a package of data collation, presentation, analysis, scrutiny questions and reporting.

The Minimum Dataset package

The Minimum Dataset is more than simply a list of indicators. It is a package that consists of Indicators, a Workbook, a Report Template and Guidance Manual. It has also evolved over time to reflect changes in national policies and practices. The latest iteration – Minimum Dataset Version 2 (available for use from June 2022) – has been developed with partners to align with the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 and planned changes to the Scottish Government’s annual Children’s Social Work Statistics collection.

The Version 2 Minimum Dataset package consists of:

  • 22 indicators (Resource 1) that are to be collated, analysed and reported to Child Protection Committees on a quarterly basis. These data indicators provide insight into the child protection system itself and to the infants, children and young people within it.
  • A Microsoft Excel Workbook (Resource 2) to support the collation and presentation of the data. This sets out precise definitions of the indicators; specifies the links and relationships across the data and includes analytical prompts, all of which support national consistency in child protection data collation and analysis.
  • A report template (Resource 3) to support the analysis and reporting of the data to Child Protection Committees, Chief Officers Groups and wider audiences such as the multi-agency workforce. Scrutiny questions embedded in the report template support effective analysis to maximise the value of the data so that it can be used to inform improvements.
  • Guidance and support via a Minimum Dataset Guidance Manual (Resource 4) and ongoing support from CELCIS on how to:
  • Organise the data collation, analysis and reporting process.
  • Analyse the Minimum Dataset charts and tables.
  • Use the scrutiny questions that are contained within the Minimum Dataset package.

Local Implementation

The Minimum Dataset Version 2 is being shared with all 30 of Scotland's Child Protection Committees from June 2022 onwards. CELCIS is supporting individual Child Protection Committees to adopt the updated dataset as part of local areas’ wider implementation of the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021.

Further information about the Minimum Dataset for Child Protection Committees and the different components outlined below can be found in the Minimum Dataset Guidance Manual (Resource 4).

Any enquiries about the Minimum Dataset should be directed to CELCIS’ Protecting Children team (


These documents are intended to provide an example of how the Minimum Dataset can be used; the data contained within the resources is for illustrative purposes and is not real data.

Resource 1: Minimum Dataset Indicators Handout


View the Minimum Dataset handout

Resource 2: Minimum Dataset Workbook Template


View the Minimum Dataset workbook

Resource 3: Minimum Datasets Report Template


View the Minimum Dataset report template

Resource 4: Minimum Dataset Guidance Manual


Read the Minimum Dataset Guidance manual