Frequently Asked Questions

How do I complete the Dalhousie Census?

1.  Go to
2.  Log in using your NetID and Password
3.  Select Personal Information
4.  Employees: select Dalhousie Census Be Counted 
     Students: select Answer A Survey then Be Counted Census for Students

  • If you are a student employee, you are encouraged to complete only the student Census!

Why self-identify?

All Dalhousie staff and faculty are asked to complete the Dalhousie Census to help create an accurate picture of our workplace. This is critical to removing barriers to full and active participation in the workplace and promoting inclusion in our diverse community. Your information will help us to set equity, diversity, and inclusion goals and measure our progress. It will also allow us to create plans and strategies that improve the experiences of Dalhousie faculty, staff and students.

What is Employment Equity?

Employment equity is a program designed to ensure that all job applicants and employees have a fair chance in the workplace. It is achieved when no person is denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to their ability. The Canadian Employment Equity Act also requires employers to correct historic disadvantage in the workplace experienced by the four designated groups - racially visible persons, aboriginal persons, persons with a disability and women. The ultimate objective of employment equity is full participation in employment of all designated groups according to their availability in the labour market.

Do I have to fill out this census questionnaire?

A requirement of the Federal Contractors Program (FCP) is that all university employees are required to return the Census. In fact, FCP requirements oblige Dalhousie to have an 80% response rate to remain in compliance.

We recognize that the act of identifying can be uncomfortable to some for a variety of reasons. If you do not wish to disclose self-identification information, you have the option to choose “I prefer not to answer” for any or all the questions.

Responding to the Census questions is voluntary. However, your responses contribute directly to having an accurate picture of the diversity of our work place, which is critical to remove barriers to full and active participation for all employees.

Is there a deadline to complete the census?

There is  no deadline to complete the census.  The data will be compiled annually and shared with the university community.

What is the Federal Contractors Program?

The Federal Contractors Program (FCP) is a federal equity program aimed at ensuring that provincially regulated employers with a workforce of 100 or more employees and who receive federal government goods and services contracts worth $1 million or more achieve and maintain a fair and representative workforce, in compliance with the Federal Contractors Program requirements and the Employment Equity Act. Dalhousie has been a member of the FCP since 1987.

I’ve already provided my self-identification information when I applied for a job at Dalhousie. Why do I need to do it again?

The Employment Equity Act and the Federal Contractors Program (FCP) requirements clearly prohibit us from using the self-identification information collected at the application stage for FCP compliance reporting. Information collected after hire is the only information we are authorized to use for FCP reporting. All employees will be asked to self-identify once they are hired.

I’ve already filled out a self-identification form when I was hired. Do I need to complete it again?

Yes, there are a number of changes to the questions asked on the Dalhousie Census from previous self-identification surveys.

For the first time questions on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are included in the Dalhousie Census. As well, the question on racially visible persons asks you to indicate the group or groups that best apply to you.  Your responses to these questions will provide the university with information that better reflects the diversity of our community and will assist us in identifying and removing barriers for these groups.

We also know that employee’s choices and circumstances about how they self-identify may change over time, so we want to give everyone a chance to update their information using the Dalhousie Census. 

I am a registered student and I have a job on campus, do I compete both census surveys?

Yes, if you are a registered student and are also a Dalhousie employee, you should complete the Dalhousie Census for Employees as well as the Dalhousie Census for Students.

Why isn’t the Dalhousie Census anonymous?

The Dalhousie Census is confidential but not anonymous. To be able to develop aggregate statistics based on occupational codes, we need to be able to link your self-id data to the occupational code assigned to your position. The Federal Contractors Program (FCP) asks the university to report on aggregate hires, promotions, and departures, etc. To do so, the university must be able to track these changes. In all reports provided to Labour Canada as part of FCP compliance and in any internal university reports, data will only be presented in aggregate or summary form. This information is kept separate from your personnel file.

How will the information be used and where will it be stored?

The data will be used to report on the diversity of the Dalhousie community, inform the application of the university’s Employment Equity through Affirmative Action Policy, set equity, diversity and inclusion goals and plans, and to report on the university’s progress. It will also be used to engage in strategic planning designed to improve the experiences of faculty, staff and students from equity groups. The information is stored in Banner, and is only accessible to a few individuals on campus.

Can I identify in more than one group?

Yes, you may self-identify in as many groups as apply to you.

I have been accommodated in the workplace. Should I still identify as a person with a disability?

Yes, all persons with disabilities, including those who have been already accommodated in the workplace, are asked to self-identify. It is important to do so because accommodation and self-identification are not always linked.