EWCS 2015 – Quality assurance
Eurofound places a strong emphasis on quality and aims for precision of estimates for the European Union as a whole as well as for individual Member States. With its wide geographical coverage and numerous waves, EWCS data enables comparisons across countries and over time. Therefore, quality assurance focuses on consistency in survey implementation and methodology across each wave of the EWCS as well as comparability across countries.
To ensure high quality in the sixth EWCS, Eurofound applies state-of-the-art practices in cross-cultural survey methodology. Each stage of the survey was carefully planned, closely monitored and documented, and specific controls were put in place building on recommendations outlined in the Quality assurance report of the fifth EWCS, the External quality assessment report of the fifth EWCS, as well as Eurofound’s experiences with previous waves of the EWCS and other surveys. Quality control mechanisms were applied to ensure quality in terms of relevance, accuracy, timeliness and punctuality, accessibility and clarity, and coherence and comparability.
At the start of the preparation phase, the contractor and Eurofound established quality assurance indicators which were outlined in an agreed Quality Assurance Plan. Each stage of the EWCS was documented in detail in order to promote transparency and to be able to draw lessons for future reference. The Quality control report, compiled by the contractor, provides a summary of the quality control activities performed before, during and after the fieldwork. The report provides an objective quality assessment of the outputs and processes against the Quality Assurance Framework. It also provides a critical reflection on the quality indicators and targets as identified in the Quality Control Plan.
As a further measure, Eurofound contracted an independent third party to assess the survey quality in relation to comparable surveys and international standards, such as the quality criteria outlined in the European Statistical System, and to provide suggestions for improvement of future waves of the EWCS. The external Survey quality assessment report concludes that the quality of the sixth EWCS is very high, compared to similar surveys and complies with international quality standards.