Quality assurance for Eurofound surveys

Aiming to ensure high-quality survey data, Eurofound complies with commonly agreed standards for its survey methodology and procedures. Eurofound follows the European Statistical System (ESS) quality criteria in the survey design, implementation and quality assessment. 

Quality criteria

In all surveys, Eurofound applies a set of quality criteria.

  • Relevance: Ensuring that the survey meets current and potential user needs
  • Accuracy: Having data for which the estimates are as close to the true values as possible. In practical terms, this is done by minimising any errors in the survey
  • Timeliness and punctuality: Disseminating data as close to the reference period as possible and following the timetable set for the data release
  • Accessibility and clarity: Enabling the users to access the survey findings and data easily and offering them the necessary background information for interpreting the findings
  • Coherence and comparability: Reviewing the data in comparison with other related data originating from other sources and assessing whether the differences are attributable to differences between true values. Establishing comparability of data across geographical areas and over time.

Eurofound aims to continuously improve the quality and cost-efficiency of each survey. Quality criteria, and the necessary steps in the process to meet these criteria, are set out both in the tender specifications and in the detailed planning of the survey process. Procedures are established for checking all aspects of the survey preparation, fieldwork and data processing, and for collecting comprehensive documentation of how the quality criteria are met.

Survey impact

Eurofound regularly monitors the impact of the surveys on policymaking and the use of the data in research. It gathers information on how the surveys meet user needs. Furthermore, the Agency commissions and publishes external quality assessments of the data and the processes once a survey has been completed.  

Ethics and confidentiality

Eurofound’s main contractor and its national partners are required to abide by the MRS and ESOMAR professional codes of conduct which are designed to meet legislation and promote high-quality research. The codes cover, among others, respect for the respondent and confidentiality of the data. The contractor also adheres to the ISO standards relating to surveys.

Interviewers working on Eurofound surveys are required to comply with ethical and confidentiality rules when conducting interviews. The same rules are developed for each country in order to ensure harmonised fieldwork. Data are collected and recorded according to interviewer training and project instructions, and interviewers must ensure that survey participation from respondents is based on voluntary informed consent. 

Information on Eurofound’s surveys is provided to its in-house Data Protection Officer to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. Data transferred to the UK Data Service is fully anonymised to protect the confidentiality of respondents.