2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/07/2007  Reissue
   Page tools: Print Print Page  
Contents >> Short Definitions and Classifications - 2006 >> Voluntary Work for an Organisation or Group (VOLWP) - Characteristics 2006

Voluntary Work for an Organisation or Group

On this page:
Image of Question
Quality Statement


This variable records people who spent time doing unpaid voluntary work through an organisation or group, in the twelve months prior to Census Night.
It excludes work done:

  • as part of paid employment
  • if main reason is to qualify for Government benefit
  • in a family business.
More Detailed Description

Image of Question

2006 Household Form - Question 51

Applicable to: Persons aged 15 years and over

1. Not a volunteer
2. Volunteer
& Not stated
@ Not applicable
V Overseas visitor

Total number of categories: 5

More Detailed DescriptionQuality Statement - Voluntary Work for an Organisation or Group (VOLWP)

There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Voluntary Work for an Organisation or Group (VOLWP).

This data was captured automatically from check box responses on the form so the risk of processing error is minimal. Sample checks of the data are undertaken to ensure an acceptable level of quality.

The non-response rate was 9.5%. Part of this non-response is attributable to the 4.2% of persons (aged 15 years and over) in dwellings which were occupied on Census Night but did not return a completed form. In these cases persons are imputed into these dwellings together with some demographic characteristics. However the values for Voluntary Work for an Organisation or Group (VOLWP) remain not stated.

In a very small proportion of cases (testing has indicated that this is less than 1%), respondents using a paper form provide an incorrect combination of responses. This occurs when a "No" response is marked together with a "Yes" response. In these cases the "Yes" response is retained and the "No" response is rejected.

The ABS aims to produce high quality data from the Census. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into Census form design, collection procedures, and processing procedures.

There are four principal sources of error in Census data: respondent error, processing error, partial response and undercount. Quality management of the Census program aims to reduce error as much as possible, and to provide a measure of the remaining error to data users, to allow them to use the data in an informed way.

When completing their Census form, some people do not answer all the questions which apply to them. In these instances, a 'not stated' code is allocated during processing, with the exception of non-response to age, sex, marital status and place of usual residence. These variables are needed for population estimates, so they are imputed using other information on the Census form, as well as information from the previous Census.

The processing of information from Census forms is now mostly automated, using scanning, Intelligent Character Recognition and other automatic processes. Quality assurance procedures are used during Census processing to ensure processing errors are kept at an acceptable level. Sample checking is undertaken during coding operations, and corrections are made where necessary.

The Census form may be completed by one household member on behalf of others. Incorrect answers can be introduced to the Census form if the respondent does not understand the question or does not know the correct information about other household members. Many of these errors remain in the final data.

More detailed information on data quality is available in the 2006 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0), in the section titled Managing Census Quality.

Previous PageNext Page