Testing the Census
As part of the ongoing seven-year census planning cycle, a test of approximately 6,000 households was conducted in Brisbane in August.
To ensure that each census runs smoothly, the ABS conducts a number of tests during the period between censuses. Next year there will be a test involving around 10,000 households, followed by a dress rehearsal involving some 40,000 households a year out from the 2006 Census.
A range of issues were evaluated in the August test, including the testing of possible questions on disability and unpaid work, procedures for conducting the census in difficult collection areas such as secure apartment buildings, and evaluating the number of people that preferred to complete the census form on the Internet.
The Census eForm was also tested for useability, accessibility and security issues. The 2006 Census will offer the opportunity to complete the census questionnaire on-line and extensive testing is required for the ABS to perfect the forms and procedures in time for the next census.
The test was conducted in selected parts of the suburbs of Kangaroo Point, New Farm, St Lucia, Taringa, Slacks Creek and Woodridge.
This test will help the ABS develop better form design, collection procedures and methods for communication with field staff for the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. The information gathered in this test remains strictly confidential and is for evaluation only.