Public Service Employee Survey (PSES)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1999

Reference period of change - 2022/2023

Starting with the cycle 2022/2023, the survey will be conducted every two years. The survey contains 163 questions: 129 questions relate to employee engagement, leadership, workforce, and workplace, while the remaining 34 are demographic questions. In total, there are 128 repeated questions from the 2020 survey, 27 new and 8 modified. The new questions cover topics such as the hybrid workplace, diversity and inclusion, mental health, and the Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion in the Federal Public Service (

Reference period of change - 2017

The survey contained 119 questions: 94 opinion questions and 25 demographic questions. Of the 94 opinion questions, 11 questions were new, 77 were from the 2014 survey, 52 from the 2011 survey and 34 from the 2008 survey.

Reference period of change - 2014

The survey consisted of 106 questions: 82 covered aspects of the four major themes of employee engagement, leadership, workforce and workplace; the remaining 24 were demographic questions. There were 76 questions that were repeated from the 2011 survey, and of these, 55 were repeated from the 2008 survey.

Reference period of change - 2011

The survey content was modified in 2011 to refine the employee engagement model, with 79 questions based on previous versions of the survey and 13 new questions that were developed and qualitatively tested in 2011.

Reference period of change - 2008

New questions were added to construct an employee engagement model that will be used to evaluate each organization. As well, the scale of the response category was increased from 4 to 5 to include a neutral category.

Reference period of change - 2005

There was no change between the 2002 and 2005 survey questionnaire.

Reference period of change - 2002

Instrument design - New questions were added in place of certain questions from the 1999 PSES in order to explore new themes and provide additional information on issues identified in the first survey.

Reference period of change - 1999

The Public Service Employee Survey was conducted for the first time in 1999.

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