Purpose of the Protocols

The Human Resource Capability (HRC) survey is an annual collection of anonymous Human Resource (HR) data. The purpose of the survey is to examine the employment characteristics of the New Zealand Public Service 1 . The survey data assist the State Services Commission (SSC) to monitor the effect of HR and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies and to provide advice on departmental performance and personnel management.

The protocols cover access to, and security of, these data. They deal both with matters of personal privacy and the protection of personal information, and with the publication of data about employing departments.

The survey is anonymous 2 , but this alone does not prevent the identification of some individuals. In a small number of instances there could be a capacity to indirectly identify an individual based on a unique combination of characteristics. The protocols ensure the protection of personal information by restricting the number of individuals who have access to the data, and by placing statistical limits on reports from the data.

SSC has consulted with Statistics New Zealand, the Crown Law Office and departments in developing the protocols. The protocols are public and we encourage departments to make staff aware of them. This document is also published on the SSC's website 3 and departments are encouraged to download this document on to their own Intranets.

Overarching Principle

The access and security protocols for the HRC collection are guided by Principle 11 (h)(ii) of the Privacy Act:

That the information-


(ii) Is to be used for statistical or research purposes and will not be published in a form that could reasonably be expected to identify the individual concerned.

Information Covered by the Public Service HRC Survey

The survey consists of anonymous information collected at the unit record level. This means that there is a separate record for each employee rather than summary tables. The information covered by the protocols is collected annually and includes:

  • demographic data, such as age and ethnicity, including data provided by employees for the purpose of developing and monitoring equal employment opportunity programmes
  • employment status (such as full-time/part-time, individual/collective, fixed-term/open-term)
  • occupation, and job size
  • salary
  • leave data
  • separations and recruitment.

This information is collected on an annual basis as at 30 June.

1 The collection covers Public Service departments listed under schedule one of the State Sector Act, the civilian and sworn staff of NZ Police, the Parliamentary Services, Office of the Clerk of the House, the Parliamentary Counsel's Office, the Security Intelligence Service, Audit Office, and the NZ Defence Force civilian staff.

2 Names, addresses and other direct personal identifiers are not included in the data collected by SSC.



Last modified: