Survey Approval

The University undertakes or participates in numerous surveys involving its students, staff and alumni, as well as community and employer groups.

The survey framework has been established to ensure that surveys conducted in the name of the University of Adelaide:

  • Are of a consistently high standard
  • Do not duplicate data collection conducted through other University surveys
  • Do not compromise population samples through the overlap of surveys
  • Do not over-survey the University's core stakeholders, and
  • Are disseminated and utilised appropriately.

When surveying whole cohorts of staff, students or alumini, the survey approval process applies to:

  • Strategic surveys undertaken by the University;
  • Surveys initiated by individuals or teams of staff or students within the University.

The survey approval process also applies to:

  • All survey proposals from external agencies.

It is essential that all surveys are registered on the survey register to prevent duplication of data collection and over-surveying of the University community.

Adherence to this framework will ensure that the University will be provided with robust data and analysis for its quality assurance, benchmarking and continuous improvement purposes.

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  • Survey approval

    A survey approval process has been created to assist with the approval of surveys, Learning and Quality Support manages the approval of survey requests.

    Those responsible for initiating University surveys must seek advice from the Human Research Ethics Committee to determine if ethics approval is required. The Survey Framework does not replace the role of the Office of Research Ethics, Compliance and Integrity.

    Where surveys fall within the scope of the Learning and Quality Support team's authority, complete and submit the Survey Approval Form.

    In general the approval form should be submitted at least one month prior to the intended date of issuing the survey to its intended recipients. However, it is acknowledged that surveys are often required in response to a more immediate need for reflection on rapidly adapting practices. In these cases Learning and Quality Support will assist in facilitating a fast-tracked approval process where possible.

  • Guidelines

    In considering surveys for approval the Learning and Quality Support team regard the following issues, with a view to minimising the impact on survey populations and ensuring maximum efficiency and effectiveness where possible:

    • the volume and range of surveys taking place within the relevant schedule period;
    • the potential impact on the population;
    • possible duplication or redundancy of information to be solicited from survey respondents;
    • whether required information may be obtained from existing data sources;
    • the potential value and quality of the data to be collected to the University as well as the applicant; and
    • proposed methodology, to ascertain, for example, whether sufficient responses may be obtained from a sub-sample of the targeted sample.

    In making its decisions the Learning and Quality Support team also takes into account arrangements for protection of privacy and safeguarding confidentiality of respondents in collection and reporting of data.

    The University has established the following guidelines as to which surveys require approval. These include proposed surveys of student/staff or alumni populations (even if sampled) and survey proposals of sub-groups which are also whole of population, such as:

    • all international/domestic students
    • all first year students
    • all staff/students of a single gender identity
    • all higher degree by research (HDR) students
    • all undergraduate (UG) students
    • all postgraduate (PG) students

    In addition, all survey proposals of University of Adelaide staff or student populations by external bodies should also be considered by Learning and Quality Support for approval.

    • Process

      1. Consult the survey register
      2. If there is an existing survey collecting similar data:
        • negotiate with the survey owner on its use
        • conduct the survey on your target audience, provide the completion details to Learning and Quality Support
      3. If there is no existing survey, consult HREC guidelines
        • If the survey requires HREC approval, then obtain approval before continuing
        • If HREC approval is not required then consult the survey guidelines
      4. If the survey falls within the scope complete the Survey Approval Form and send to Learning and Quality Support with a copy of the survey questions
      5. If the survey does not fall within the scope conduct the survey and provide the completion details to Learning and Quality Support
    • Survey register

      The survey register contains a schedule of approved surveys to assist the University to keep track of the number and range of surveys under the remit of the Learning and Quality Support team. The register provides information about the range of current and completed surveys.

      The survey register is maintained by Learning and Quality Support. Please email surveys@adelaide.edu.au if updated information is available.

    • Compliance

      All surveys must comply with the following University policies and guidelines:

      It is the responsibility of survey applicants to ensure that they adhere to relevant University policies. 

    • Requests from external agencies

      External agencies seeking use of, and access to, University of Adelaide data or University populations (staff, students, alumni) for research purposes, must obtain the necessary clearances and approvals, use appropriate survey methodology, and demonstrate adherence with the following conditions:

      • the nature of the research will be beneficial to the University and/or staff and students;
      • the University will retain ownership of data collected during evaluation activities; and
      • the evaluation activity will include a process whereby the participants can submit and receive feedback.

      Approval of access is at the discretion of Learning and Quality Support.

      The University of Adelaide's survey framework sets out the University's rationale, processes and responsibilities for survey management. The University acknowledges the important role that surveys play in informing teaching and research activities.

      The University:

      • seeks to protect the privacy of its staff and students, maintain the confidentiality of its data, and prevent its staff and students from being over-surveyed.
      • does not support external agencies using its staff and students for the collection of data. External agencies seeking an exception to the University position will be referred to Learning and Quality Support.
      • does not support the use of email as a means of recruitment of its staff and students for survey purposes and is unable to disclose any personal information to any third party.