Pre-Testing in Survey Development: An Australian Bureau of Statistics Perspective
Views expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Statistical Clearing House. Where quoted or used, they should be attributed clearly to the author.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) generally incorporates pre-testing into the development of all its household surveys. As the term 'pre-testing' has different meanings for different people, this paper will present an ABS perspective on pre-testing. The range of techniques that the ABS uses in 'pre-testing' are briefly explained, whilst some other techniques not used by the ABS are defined, along with the reasons why the ABS chooses not to use these techniques. Rather than discuss pre-testing techniques in detail, this paper aims to provide readers with a feeling for the range of techniques available to survey developers. The second part of this paper discusses the relative pros and cons of each technique, framed in terms of the criteria used by the ABS to select an optimal combination of techniques for any particular testing program.