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Conducting surveys policy

Version number 1.1 | Version effective 13 May 2021
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Conducting surveys policy

Audience

Department-wide

Purpose

This policy outlines the obligations of employees conducting surveys on behalf of the Department of Education (the department).  

Policy statement

The department is committed to ensuring all departmental surveys are conducted ethically and in accordance with all relevant national and state legislation and departmental policies. This includes an obligation on employees conducting surveys to review and refer for action any survey records that may indicate specific harm or risk of harm to an individual, inappropriate behaviour, breach of the Code of Conduct, or illegal conduct.

Principles

Principle

What this means for the department

Transparency

  • Surveys will disclose the purpose of information collected and the intended use of that information.
  • Information collected via a survey instrument (surveys data) may be subject to Right to Information requests.

Purposeful

  • Surveys will only be conducted if the collection of information is necessary to carry out the department’s purpose under relevant legislation.
  • Careful consideration will be given to the collection methods to be applied, survey audience, intended use of data.

Privacy

  • The collection of personal information will be undertaken in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) and the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).
  • All personal information will be protected in accordance with the law.

Security

  • Survey data will be stored safely, securing it from loss, unauthorised access, use, modification or misuse.
  • Personal data will be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of data at all times, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.

Ethics

  • Surveys will be conducted ethically and in a manner which ensures participants are accorded the respect and protection that is due to them

Safety and wellbeing

  • Surveys will meet all relevant standards by ensuring that survey questions do not compromise the safety and wellbeing of respondents.
  • Survey records will be examined; any which indicate harm or risk of harm to an individual, inappropriate behaviour, or possible illegal conduct will be referred for attention and action in accordance with relevant procedures.

Requirements

Employees conducting a survey must ensure that all legislative obligations regarding data collection, processing, access, storage, privacy and usage are complied with at all times. The department’s preferred survey system, SurveyManager, meets departmental requirements on applications for information security, privacy and storage.

If using a survey application other than SurveyManager, the survey approver is responsible for ensuring that the application meets all requirements for information security, privacy, usage and storage.

Personal information will only be collected if it is for a specified, explicit and legitimate purpose and is limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is collected.

Employees involved in the design and approval of surveys have a duty of care to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of survey respondents is not compromised by the survey. This involves a consideration of ethical standards relating to survey design and an assessment of survey questions in the context of the respondent group (for example, age of respondent).

Employees involved in the collection of survey data for the department have a duty of care to review survey data for records that indicate specific harm or risk of harm to an individual, inappropriate behaviour, or possible illegal conduct. These records must be referred immediately for attention and action in accordance with relevant procedures.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Employee

An employee is any permanent, temporary, casual, or contracted staff member.

Not in the scope of this Policy

  • Individuals and bodies external to the department who are surveying all or part of the department as part of their business; for example, researchers, external consultancies and professional bodies.

Personal information

Personal information is any information about an individual whose identity is apparent (e.g. name, address) or can reasonably be ascertained, for example, through linkage with other datasets, a combination or precision of demographic characteristics or free text responses which identify a respondent or another individual.

Survey

A mechanism for gathering information from a predefined group of respondents, with the intention of generalising the results for reporting or other purposes.

Survey data

Any data or information collected by departmental staff using a survey instrument.

SurveyManager

SurveyManager is a secure survey platform managed by the department and is recommended for use by departmental staff. Information collected from participants is stored on secure departmental servers.

Data stored in SurveyManager systems may be regularly cleansed from closed surveys where stored longer than 12 months.

Student safety

Relates to the welfare of a student. A student safety issue exists when information suggests that the safety of a student may be in jeopardy.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

1.0 Conducting surveys

Review date

11 November 2025
Attribution CC BY

Policies and procedures in this group

Conducting surveys policy (current page)
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