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 -racialized persons, aboriginal/indigenous persons, persons with a disability and women.  In addition to these four groups, Dalhousie’s Employment Equity Policy identifies minority sexual orientation and gender identity groups and Historic African Nova Scotians and Mi’kmaq persons as designated groups. 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 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 workplace, 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 filled out a self-identification form. 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. Most notably, the choices for self-identifying within the protected groups have expanded and changed to provide more complete and inclusive options for individuals to self-identify.

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.

Do all employees and faculty members have access to the Census?

All employees with current paid or unpaid positions at the university are included in the census, including emeritus professors.

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

If you are a student employee, you are encouraged to fill out the Student Census Survey.

Why isn’t the Dalhousie Census anonymous?

The Dalhousie Census is confidential but not anonymous. To be able to develop aggregate statistics, we need to be able to link your self-id data to the occupational code assigned to your position. For example, 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 the government 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 Policy, set equity, diversity and inclusion goals and plans, and 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 at Dalhousie who are responsible for managing and reporting on the data, in accordance with the Data Administration Policy.

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.