Statistics Canada - Statistique Canada
Skip main navigation menuSkip secondary navigation menuHomeFrançaisContact UsHelpSearch the websiteCanada Site
The DailyCanadian StatisticsCommunity ProfilesProducts and servicesHome
CensusCanadian StatisticsCommunity ProfilesProducts and servicesOther links

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Statistics Canada Quality guidelines Main page Defining quality Survey steps Management context Acronyms More information PDF version Online catalogue

Survey steps

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
Concepts, variables and classifications
Coverage and frames
Questionnaire design
Response and nonresponse
Data collection and capture operations
Seasonal adjustment and trend-cycle estimation
Data quality evaluation
Disclosure control
Data dissemination
Data analysis (and presentation)
Administrative data use

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.

Home | Search | Contact Us | Français Return to top of page
Date Modified: 2014-04-10 Important Notices