EWCS 2010 - Quality assurance

To ensure high quality of the 5th EWCS data each stage of the survey was carefully planned, closely monitored and documented, and specific controls were put in place. When compiling the draft questionnaire and planning the survey management, recommendations outlined in the Quality Report of the 4th EWCS for further improving the survey methodology as well as Eurofound’s experiences with previous surveys were taken into account.

Quality control mechanisms were included in the tender specifications to ensure the survey was implemented in accordance with ‘best practice’ and that each stage was documented in detail.  The contractor for the 5th EWCS has compiled a Quality assurance report [.pdf, 158kb] which provides a summary of the quality assurance activities performed during the survey preparation, fieldwork and data processing.

Finally, after the fieldwork an External quality assessment report [.pdf, 643kb] took place to analyse the extent to which the quality criteria outlined in the European Statistical System (ESS) were met. It concluded that the 5th EWCS was based on a sound quality assurance framework and that notable improvements had been made compared to the previous wave, particularly with regard to questionnaire development and translation, sampling, data collection, and data processing. It commended the fact that process indicators were systematically monitored and recorded, both in real-time and after the fact, enabling users to make optimal use of the data as well as helping Eurofound to make further improvements in possible next waves of the survey.

The main problems identified in the assessment refer to the long data collection period, and the relatively low response rates in some countries; issues that need close attention should the survey be repeated.