The content of the 2010 GSS was finalised after extensive consultation with major users regarding data needs and priorities. The GSS Reference Group, comprising members from various government departments and social research agencies, was established to advise on definitions and concepts, analysis needs and data uses.
While much of the GSS content remains unchanged between each survey cycle, a number of new topics and items were included for 2010. Cognitive interviews were conducted for these new topics to ensure that concepts were understood by respondents. Cognitive interviews are semi-structured interviews in which the interviewer asks the respondent about their interpretation of questions and formulation of answers. Three rounds of cognitive interviewing were conducted during the early part of 2009.
The next phase of survey development involved field testing the survey questionnaire and procedures. A 'Dress Rehearsal' was conducted in New South Wales in November 2009. The final enumeration of the survey was conducted from August to November 2010.