Police Administration Survey (PAS)

Detailed information for 2023





Record number:


The purpose of the Police Administration Survey (PAS) is to collect statistics on public policing personnel and expenditures from municipal, provincial and federal police services in Canada. The information collected is used by federal and provincial policy makers, individual police services as well as officials responsible for police budgets. The data are also used by the media for the purpose of providing information to the general public.

Data release - To be determined


This survey collects data from police services across Canada under the authority of the Statistics Act, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter S-19. All municipal, provincial and federal police services in Canada are surveyed.

Respondents provide the number of police officers, civilians, special constables and recruits employed by the police service (in full-time equivalents). The actual number (headcount) of employees by their status as paid or unpaid, permanent or non-permanent, and full or part-time, is also collected. Information for police officers is categorized by rank (i.e., commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, and Constables) and by gender and age group. Information for civilians and special constables is provided by their duties and functions in the police service. Information on hirings, departures, long-term leave, and eligibility to retire is provided, as well as Indigenous and visible minority identity of employees. Other questions collect data on operating expenditures broken down into salaries/wages and benefits, and other non-salary operating expenditures by type of expenditure. Information on capital expenses are also collected by type of expense. In addition, detailed spending amounts on selected types of policing information technology and police equipment is collected. Lastly, information on current and emerging issues related to policing in Canada is collected.

Data from this survey provide information on total expenditures on policing and the number of officers in each province and in Canada as a whole, as well as the number of officers per 100,000 population.

The data are intended for police services, for officials with responsibility for police budgets, for policy-makers with policing-related responsibilities, and for members of the general public.

Statistical activity

The survey is currently administered as part of the National Justice Statistics Initiative (NJSI). Since 1981, the federal, provincial and territorial Deputy Ministers responsible for the administration of justice in Canada, with the Chief Statistician, have been working together in an enterprise known as the NJSI. The mandate of the NJSI is to provide information to the justice community as well as the public on criminal and civil justice in Canada. Although this responsibility is shared among federal, provincial and territorial departments, the lead responsibility for the development of Canada's statistical system remains with Statistics Canada.

Reference period: May 15th of the reference year, as well as annual information for the respondent's previous calendar or fiscal period.

Collection period: April of the reference year to the Fall of the reference year.


  • Crime and justice
  • Justice system spending

Data sources and methodology

Target population

All Canadian municipal, provincial and federal police services that were active on May 15th of the survey year.

The target population and observed population are the same.

Instrument design

For municipal and provincial police services, an electronic questionnaire (EQ) is used. The electronic questionnaire is a respondent-completed instrument. Some questions ask for a single number (e.g., the number of male constables or the dollar amount spent on salaries), while closed response questions are presented in the form of check-boxes. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) transmit data in flat files outside of the electronic questionnaire.

This survey was designed and developed in 1962, with collaboration from the Chiefs of Police. The survey was tested by consulting questionnaire design specialists, as well as the policing community. Any changes to the survey are made with consultation from police respondents.


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

Data collection for this reference period: 2023-04-28 to 2023-09-29

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Respondents are contacted initially by a letter or e-mail containing a secure access code to access an electronic questionnaire (EQ). The data are collected via the electronic questionnaire into a collection environment. A system of edits flag directly in the electronic questionnaire to indicate any missing key information or inconsistencies in the data entered in the questionnaire. In some cases, an edit may be flagged if the data exceeds predetermined tolerances based on data submitted to the previous reporting period. Contact with the respondent is initiated to correct errors and clarify survey responses. In case a variation is deemed acceptable after contacting the respondent, a comment is added to those records explaining the reasons. Once all the data has been captured, tolerance and outlier edit programs are run against the data to identify any data falling out of the prescribed tolerance range. Such cases are resolved after verifying the respondent status for the current year. Any jurisdictional changes are taken into account when resolving data issues.

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

Error detection

The metadata will be provided upon release.


The metadata will be provided upon release.


The metadata will be provided upon release.

Quality evaluation

The metadata will be provided upon release.

Disclosure control

The metadata will be provided upon release.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

The metadata will be provided upon release.

Data accuracy

The metadata will be provided upon release.

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