Information for participants

    Participants in our surveys are at the heart of our mission

    The Institut de la statistique du Québec (the Institut) aims to be the main source of objective, quality statistical information about Québec.

    Through its studies and surveys, the Institut allows Québec departments and agencies to obtain reliable data enabling them to make informed decisions about policies, programs and issues in Québec society.

    To carry out its mission, the Institut needs you! If your family, your business or yourself are asked to take part in one of our surveys, it is very important that you do so. The more respondents there are, the better the quality and reliability of the data produced!

    In return, the Institut commits to:

    • protecting the confidentiality of the information you provide;
    • giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding your participation in our surveys;
    • finding ways of making your participation in our surveys easier; and
    • treating you with respect, courtesy and professionalism.

    The Institut confirms its commitments to participants in its Politique d’information au participant d’une enquête (PDF) (in French only).

    To learn more about the surveys currently being conducted by the Institut, visit the Surveys in collection section.

    The confidentiality of your information is guaranteed

    The Act respecting the Institut de la statistique du Québec obliges the Institut to protect the information you provide.

    Every employee signs a confidentiality agreement upon employment.

    To learn more about this, visit the Confidentiality and the protection of personal information section.

    Frequently asked questions

    What are the obligations of Institut de la statistique du Québec representatives?

    When our representatives contact you, they must:

    • clearly identify themselves;
    • inform you that the survey is being conducted by the Institut de la statistique du Québec;
    • clearly explain the purpose of the survey;
    • tell you whether your participation in the survey is voluntary or mandatory; and
    • provide you with contact information in case you need assistance.

    In the case of a telephone interview, they must also:

    • specify the length of the interview; and
    • let you know that the interview may be monitored or recorded for quality and training purposes.
    How can I make sure that I am being contacted by a representative from the Institut?
    How are participants selected?

    Participants are selected on an as-needed basis:

    • By census: All individuals or businesses in the survey population are solicited.
      • The Institut carries out a census survey if the survey population includes a limited number of individuals or businesses or is composed of a wide variety of individuals or businesses.
    • By sampling: A portion of the target population is selected at random.
      • The sample is drawn in such a way that it is representative of the entire survey population.
    Is participation in surveys voluntary or mandatory?

    Participation can be voluntary or mandatory. The Act respecting the Institut de la statistique du Québec allows the Chief Statistician to make participation in a survey mandatory if the reliability of the statistics produced depends on it.

    Participation in surveys of individuals is usually voluntary. Although participants are not legally obliged to participate, the collaboration of as many individuals as possible is necessary to obtain the most accurate and representative portrait of the population studied.

    Participation in the majority of business surveys is mandatory. In these cases, participants are required to provide their information within the requested timeframe. However, they always have access to qualified staff to assist them.

    If the Institut contacts you, you will be informed whether your participation is voluntary or mandatory.

    What measures has the Institut put in place to facilitate participation in its surveys?
    • Support provided by competent staff.
    • A variety of data collection methods (mail, telephone, face-to-face and electronic).
    • Data collection periods adapted to the availability of participants (day, evening and weekends).
    • Customized arrangements are possible (extra time, making an appointment).
    How do I know who has access to my personal information?

    The Institut may conclude agreements with government agencies to allow data sharing. If so, you will be informed at the time your data is collected and have the right to refuse to have your information shared with another agency.

    However, contact information (names, addresses and telephone numbers) is never shared. Only the answers to questionnaires are shared.

    Why are telephone interviews recorded?

    Telephone interviews are monitored or recorded to ensure the quality of the information collected and for training purposes. This is a common practice in government statistical agencies.

    No information heard during interviews will be disclosed.

    Can I have my name removed from your list?

    Canada’s National Do Not Call List (DNCL), in effect since September 30, 2008, allows individuals to register to have their names removed from telemarketing telephone solicitation lists.

    However, as the Institut does not engage in telemarketing, this list does not apply to the Institut. Without the cooperation of individuals and organizations, the production of reliable statistics on various aspects of Québec society would be impossible.

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