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Air Force Survey Office can improve official survey effectiveness

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --

Air Force organizations that need to survey Airmen must first contact the Air Force Survey Office for approval and guidance, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.

The Air Force Survey Office ensures surveys meet functional mission requirements and fulfill information needs while minimizing survey fatigue and impact on Airmen's time, said Nicole Gamez, Personnel Psychologist, Air Force Survey Office, Air Force Personnel Center.

"During this period of limited resources, it is extremely important to control the amount of time Airmen are asked to spend on non-mission essential tasks, including surveys. Although one short survey of a small number of members may seem insignificant, one short survey from the communications squadron, one from public affairs, one from services, one from the medical group and one from equal opportunity all add up," she said.

Air Force leaders expect the survey office to maintain situational awareness of the quality, relevance, impact and necessity of each survey, as well as how much time Airmen expend on surveys.

"We don't want to discourage agencies from gathering information critical to their mission, but do want to make sure they get that information in the most efficient and effective way," Gamez said. "If an agency needs to conduct a survey, they should contact us first to discuss the topic and population. There may already be data available or a similar survey may be scheduled."

If a survey is necessary, after contacting the survey office, agencies will have to complete an application for a survey control number. That can be done at the survey office website: https://www.my.af.mil/gcss-af/USAF/content/approvesurvey.

Each survey must also have a three-letter sponsor from the Pentagon who will be contacted as part of the survey approval process. Hosting a survey outside of a ".mil" site is discouraged. Such surveys must be approved by and have a waiver from the office of the Air Force Information Dominance and Chief Information Officer before applying for an SCN.

When developing the survey questions, agencies should use the following guidelines:

* Consider operational security and public perception when developing questions - treat each survey question as though results will be released to the public.

* When surveying civilians, remember that many are union members and may be represented by local labor organizations. If the sample population includes civilian personnel who belong to a bargaining unit, the survey must be coordinated through the local civilian personnel flight. In some instances, the survey requestor may be asked to coordinate the survey at the major command or Air Staff level. Include that possibility in schedule planning.

* When surveying Air Force Retirees, remember that retirees and their families can only be surveyed about benefits and services provided to them as a result of their Air Force service.

* Surveys that cover areas of possible intelligence value are prohibited.

* Inappropriate survey topics include political views, and opinions about specific individuals or their job performance.

For information or assistance preparing to conduct a survey, contact the Air Force Survey Office at af.surveys@us.af.mil. For more information about other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.