Qualitative Testing for Official Establishment Survey Questionnaires


  • Mojca Bavdaz University of Ljubljana
  • Deirdre Giesen Statistics Netherlands
  • Danna L. Moore Washington State University
  • Paul A. Smith University of Southampton
  • Jacqui Jones Australian Bureau of Statistics




questionnaire testing, best practice, business surveys, cognitive testing


Research into the best practice for testing questionnaires used to obtain survey data from establishments (businesses and other organisations) is largely the province of official statistics, and has developed more slowly than the corresponding procedures in household surveys. Nonetheless, establishment survey questionnaire design and testing procedures are now supported by a substantial literature, and we use this to review the background and approaches to development and testing of questionnaires. The key points are summarised in a series of recommendations, primarily targeted at the production of official statistics. We then report a survey of National Statistical Institutes which gathered information on the penetration of these practices into standard survey design procedures, and identified some of the characteristics of these methods as they are implemented. We conclude with an assessment of the levels of maturity in application of these approaches.

Author Biographies

Mojca Bavdaz, University of Ljubljana

Faculty of Economics

Danna L. Moore, Washington State University

Social and Economic Sciences Research Center

Paul A. Smith, University of Southampton

S3RI/Dept of Social Statistics & Demography


Additional Files



How to Cite

Bavdaz, M., Giesen, D., Moore, D. L., Smith, P. A., & Jones, J. (2019). Qualitative Testing for Official Establishment Survey Questionnaires. Survey Research Methods, 13(3), 267–288. https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2019.v13i3.7366




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