University and College Academic Staff System (UCASS)

Detailed information for 1998/1999





Record number:


The purpose of the survey is to collect national data on selected socio-economic characteristics of full-time teaching staff at Canadian degree-granting institutions (universities and colleges).

Data release - August 8, 2000


This annual survey collects national comparable information on the number and socio-economic characteristics of full-time teaching staff at Canadian degree granting institutions (universities and colleges). The information is collected for each individual staff member employed by the institution as of October 1st of the academic year. The data collected by this survey are used by a variety of clients with a diversity of needs. Some of these clients include:

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

- Government departments responsible for education and labour;
- Provincial associations such as the Council of Ontario Universities and the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission;
- Other provincial professional associations.

- Federal government departments such as Human Resources Development Canada, Industry Canada
- Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (C.M.E.C.)
- National Associations such as the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada (A.U.C.C.), Canadian Association of University Teachers (C.A.U.T.), Canadian Association of University Business Officers (C.A.U.B.O.)
- Other professional associations

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

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 contract negotiations, retention and losses to the system, projection of demand, promotional patterns etc.

It should be noted that many factors can influence salaries, including qualifications and number of years of teaching. As well, some universities impose a maximum to the salary range for each rank while others have an open-ended scale.

Reference period: October 1 of the academic year

Collection period: October to June


  • Education, training and learning
  • Teachers and educators

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population of this survey is full-time teaching staff in public or private degree-granting institutions that are tenured or who have a contract for twelve months or more as of October 1st of the reporting year. This includes all teaching staff within faculties, academic staff in teaching hospitals visiting academic staff in faculties. Research staffs that have an academic rank and a salary scale similar to teaching staff are included. Administrative and support staff are excluded, as are teaching and research assistants.

Instrument design

This questionnaire was last revised in 1985.


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.

The affiliated and other related colleges of these institutions may be reported by the parent institution or independently.

The survey is designed to collect information on the characteristics of full-time teachers in degree-granting institutions. Each year Statistics Canada sends out a written request for the information as listed in the "Data Element Manual" (see "Questionnaire(s) and guide(s)). Every institution is asked to submit individual teacher records in an electronic format (CD, diskette etc) to Statistics Canada.

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

Error detection

Validity and relationship edits (i.e. between elements provided by the respondent) have been coded into the processing system and are applied to the individual records. Records that do not pass these edits are listed on an edit print-out. Respondents are then contacted to validate the records that fail the edits.


This methodology does not apply.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

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.

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

To ensure the confidentiality of the individuals, data at the institutional level are not released for any institution with fewer than 100 full-time teaching staff. For institutions with more than 100 staff, the data are available at the institutional level however, information is processed in such a way that results are suppressed where there are too few individuals. More specifically, measures have been taken to ensure that no one individual or their salary can be identified or extrapolated.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

The University and College Academic Staff System (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 under coverage is minimized.

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

The University and College Academic Staff System (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. To minimize these, Data is submitted into a data processing system and is subjected to validity and relationship edits. The most recent data year is compared with past years to detect any unusual or unexpected changes. For those records that don't pass the edits, data is passed back to the institution for verification.

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