University and College Academic Staff System - Full-time Staff (FT-UCASS)

Detailed information for 2023/2024





Record number:


The purpose of the survey is to collect national data on selected socio-economic characteristics of full-time academic teaching staff in Canadian universities.

Data release - April 29, 2024 (Partial data)


The University and College Academic Staff System (UCASS) survey collects national comparable information on the number and socio-economic characteristics of full-time academic teaching staff in Canadian universities.

The information is collected for each teaching staff of institutions as of October 1st of the academic year. The data collected by this survey is used by a variety of clients with a diversity of needs. Some of these clients include:

- International organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (U.N.E.S.C.O.) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (O.E.C.D.)

- Federal government departments such as Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Industry Science and Economic Development (ISED)
- Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (C.M.E.C.)
- National Associations such as Universities Canada (U.C.), Canadian Association of University Teachers (C.A.U.T.), Canadian Association of University Business Officers (C.A.U.B.O.)

Granting agencies such as:
-Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC),
-Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC),
-Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR),
-Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

- Government departments responsible for education and labour;
- Provincial associations such as the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) and the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC)

- Individual researchers and educational planners
- Individual universities, especially the Institutional Research and Human Resources offices
- Individual bargaining units representing staff at universities

These clients generally use the information in system-wide studies of employment patterns, gender-based analyses, ageing of the professoriate and implications for renewal, salary analysis for collective agreement negotiations, retention and losses study, projection of demand and promotional patterns to name a few.

Reference period: The reference period is as of October 1st of the survey year (e.g. October 2022 for academic year 2022/2023).

Collection period: The request for information is sent out in October up to August of the next calendar year (e.g. between October 2022 and August 2023 for academic year 2022/2023).


  • Education, training and learning
  • Teachers and educators

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population of this survey is full-time academic teaching staff in Canadian universities whose term of appointment is not less than twelve months. This includes all teaching academic staff within faculties, academic staff in teaching hospitals, visiting academic staff in faculties and research staff who have an academic rank and salary similar to teaching staff.

Administrative, support staff and librarians are excluded, as are staff solely engaged in research without academic rank and/or whose salary scales are different from academic teaching staff. Teaching and research assistants are also excluded.

Instrument design

Data elements contained in this survey have been collected since 1937. Specific information on the design, testing and implementation of the survey are unavailable.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Data are collected directly from Canadian universities.

The survey is designed to collect information on the characteristics of full-time academic teaching staff in universities. Each year Statistics Canada sends out a written request for the information as listed in the "Data Element Manual". Every university in Canada is asked to submit individual academic teaching staff records in an electronic format (EXCEL file) to Statistics Canada.

This data is obtained under the authority of the Statistics Act and is supplied by the institutions according to the record layout included in the Data Element Manual which is appended in this document. In most cases data originates from the Human Resource information system in each institution.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Data is entered into a data processing system and is subjected to validity and relationship edits. The most recent data year is compared with the previous year to detect any unusual or unexpected changes.

Once the data is finalized, summary tables are generated and sent for review by the respondent and an authorization form is signed by them that allows data to be released at the institution level.


This methodology does not apply.


UCASS is by design a census using administrative data and is, less subject to non-response. As such, estimation weights are not used and required to produce estimates for UCASS.

Population parameters are produced by running counts and frequencies of full-time academic teaching staff in universities whose term of employment is not less than twelve months. Cross tabulations of variables also describe population parameters.

Quality evaluation

During the data processing phase, Statistics Canada performs validation activities to ensure accuracy and coherence. This includes comparing the most recent data with data in the previous year to detect any unusual or unexpected changes. As well, relationship edits are performed that isolate any outliers and these are verified with the respondent. Finally, for each respondent, summary tables are compiled from their data for their review and approval to ensure consistency.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data that would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Rounding and cell suppression are used to protect confidentiality of individuals, so that no one individual or their salary can be identified or extrapolated.

To release the data at the institutional level, institutions must authorize Statistics Canada in writing to release their information.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

UCASS is a census produced from administrative data and, as such, is not subject to sampling error.
The UCASS is however subject to some other non-sampling errors. More specifically, the UCASS is subject to measurement errors and processing errors. Since the target population of UCASS is very stable and the survey is mandatory, the risk of undercoverage is minimized.

Coverage errors are minimized by ensuring that the UCASS survey frame corresponds to that of the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS).

Data is submitted into a data processing system and is subjected to validity and relationship edits.


Date modified: