About the Central Survey Unit

Central Survey Unit is the leading survey organisation in Northern Ireland. It is a business area within NISRA. It provides a survey research service to NI Government Departments and Agencies in addition to some Non-Departmental Public Bodies. It has a wealth of experience in measuring attitudes and behaviour on a wide range of social policy issues. It offers expertise in the full range of social survey research including questionnaire design, survey methodology, data handling, database creation, analysis and reporting of findings.

About Us

Central Survey Unit is a non-profit making survey organisation within the Northern Ireland public sector. CSU manages the fieldwork on a number of regular national surveys, such as the Labour Force Survey and the Northern Ireland Crime Survey.

CSU conducts Northern Ireland specific surveys including the Continuous Household Survey and the Northern Ireland Travel Survey on behalf of Government Departments.

The Unit conducts large scale public commissioned surveys. Recent examples include the Programme for International Student Assessment and the NI Disability Survey.

Update on NISRA Household Surveys

Update on how NISRA conduct household surveys and the important role you can play.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, NISRA is currently carrying out their household surveys by telephone, instead of face-to-face in peoples’ homes. Now more than ever, as we strive to assess the economic and societal impact that COVID-19 has had and will have on NI, we really need your help so that we can measure this impact accurately. If you receive a letter to take part in one of the surveys listed below, please follow the instructions on the letter so that we can make arrangements to conduct the survey with you by telephone. You can either call us on the number provided in the letter or visit www.nisra.gov.uk/respond to arrange a convenient time for a NISRA Survey Interviewer to call you back to conduct the survey.

Current NISRA Households Surveys

  • Continuous Household Survey
  • COVID-19 Opinion Survey
  • Family Resources Survey
  • Labour Force Survey
  • The Northern Ireland Living Costs and Food Survey
  • Survey on Living Conditions
  • Travel Survey for Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland Health Survey
  • Safe Community Survey

If you have any queries regarding any of the surveys, please get in touch – email csu@nisra.gov.uk or info@nisra.gov.uk

NISRA would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated in any of our surveys.

Recruitment

We are not currently recruiting Survey Interviewers, however we regularly do.

For further information or to have your contact details added to the expressions of interest list, please visit our Survey Interviewers page.

A video describing the work of survey interviewers can be viewed below:

Selected for a Survey

If you have received a letter asking you to take part in a survey, thank you for taking the time to visit our website.

During the current restrictions imposed on the public and in order to protect staff and the wider population our office staff are working remotely from home using mobile phones. The table below illustrates the surveys we currently have active.  If you have received a letter to inform you that your address has been selected to take part in one of these surveys you will be asked to contact one of the numbers within the table, some surveys have several contact numbers due to the number of addresses selected to take part in that survey.

Survey Customer Contact Number(s)
Continuous Household Survey 2890255111
Coronavirus Survey 02890255069, 02890255091, 02890255096, 02890255114, 02890255115, 02890255450
Family Resources Survey 02890255111
Health Survey Northern Ireland 02890255114
Labour Force Survey 02890255111
The Northern Ireland Living Costs and Food Survey 02890255111
Survey on Living Conditions  02890255111
Travel Survey for Northern Ireland 02890255542
Safe Community Survey 02890255542

Why do we need your help?

Your input is vital to the success of the survey. By taking part you can help provide an accurate picture of how changes in society, government policy, services and the economy affects you. It is important that we survey a wide cross-section of people to ensure the results accurately reflects the whole population.

Why was my address selected?

As it is impossible to survey everyone, a random sample of addresses is selected. This approach gives every address an equal chance of being selected.

We cannot substitute your address for another, as this could distort survey representativeness. We would therefore appreciate it if you could help us.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part is entirely up to you. We're just asking that you spare a little time to share your thoughts and opinions. We know your time is precious, but your input really does make a difference. With your support we can help government and charities make the right decisions about the big issues.

How was my address chosen?

Your address was selected at random from a list of all addresses in Northern Ireland.  

What happens to the information I provide?

NISRA's Central Survey Unit places great emphasis on confidentiality and goes to considerable lengths to maintain such confidentiality. Any information given is strictly confidential and NISRA's Central Survey Unit will not release any information that would identify you or anyone in your household.

If you would like any more details please give us a call. (02890 255118)

Central Survey Unit purpose leaflet

A copy of the Central Survey Unit (CSU) leaflet along with a large print version is available on the CSU Documents page.

The Leaflet explains:  Who we are, what we do, why we need your help, why you were selected, and what happens with the information you provide.

Surveys

Information on the active surveys is available from the links below:

Continuous Household Survey
The Northern Ireland Safe Community Survey
Family Resources Survey
Health Survey Northern Ireland
Labour Force Survey
The Northern Ireland Living Costs and Food Survey
National Diet and Nutrition Survey
Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey
Survey on Living Conditions
Travel Survey for Northern Ireland
Young Persons’ Behaviour & Attitudes Survey

CSU Complaints Procedure

If you are not satisfied please let us know so that we can improve. In most cases it is best to resolve the issue by speaking directly to the person or to their supervisor - contacts details are available here . If you are not satisfied you may use our formal complaints procedure.

a) Internal Procedure

Our formal complaints procedure has two stages.

Stage 1

Write to the survey manager setting out details of your complaint. We will investigate all complaints and if possible answer within 10 days.

Stage 2

If after Stage 1 you are not satisfied you may write to:

NISRA Chief Executive,
Colby House,
Stranmillis Court,
BELFAST,
BT9 5RR

Mark your envelope ‘Personal and Confidential’

The Chief Executive will investigate your complaint and the response, and will reply to you, if possible within 20 working days.

b) The Ombudsman

If you are still not satisfied you may request an MP to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman). The Ombudsman is totally independent of NISRA and of Government. More details are available on the Ombudsman's website.

General enquiries

Telephone: 02890 255118
Email:  csu@nisra.gov.uk

Head of Central Survey Unit: Dr Kevin Sweeney (email: kevin.sweeney@nisra.gov.uk)
Principal Statistician: Brendan Morgan (email: brendan.morgan@nisra.gov.uk)

Location

Central Survey Unit
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Colby House,
Stranmillis Court,
BELFAST, BT9 5RR

map link