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This section is organized in subsections that correspond to the main activities of a typical survey. The subsections all follow the same structure, describing the Scope and purpose, Principles, and Guidelines related to each activity, as defined below. The first subsection addresses the stage at which objectives, uses and users are identified. The subsections that follow cover other survey steps roughly in the chronological order in which they would typically take place. However, there are significant interdependencies between some steps such as, for example, between questionnaire design and data collection and capture operations. For this reason cross-references between subsections are provided. As well, survey steps as discussed here do not always proceed strictly sequentially. Some activities can take place concurrently, for example, frame development, sampling plans, and questionnaire design. Other steps, such as data quality evaluation and documentation, touch on most other activities and do not take place as discrete activities on their own. Finally, administrative data use is discussed separately to address issues specific to this type of data source.
Objectives, uses and users
Scope and purpose
Under the heading of Scope and purpose, a description of the activity and an indication of its potential impact on quality are provided. Essentially, a definition and a context are established.
Principles are the broad, underlying policies, approaches and directions, that govern the design of the activity in question, with emphasis on those that relate to quality.
Guidelines are known good practices that have evolved in the design and implementation of statistical surveys. Not all of these Guidelines can be applied to every survey. They provide checklists to aid survey design. Judgement is still needed in deciding how to weigh the considerations that these Guidelines suggest.
On the other hand, Statistics Canada does have policies that have a bearing on many aspects of statistical activities in the Agency, and which may place requirements on the way particular activities are carried out. These are documented separately in the Statistics Canada Policy Manual. Wherever a policy has a bearing on a particular topic covered by these Guidelines, the existence and relevance of the policy is indicated.