Office of Research & Development

Conducting Staff Surveys


Organizational Assessment Sub-Committee (OASC) Review and National Union Notification

The OASC, a sub-committee of the Workforce Committee of the VHA National Leadership Council, is responsible for reviewing and approving all research and operations surveys that involve VA employees, and that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Surveys 1000 or more VA employees
  • Surveys VA employees across 10 or more sites

To obtain OASC review, the following information should be sent to VHAOASC@va.gov

  • Purpose of survey
  • Intended audience and number invited to participate
  • Modality of survey administration
  • Proposed administration dates
  • Copy of survey
  • Plan to disseminate survey to your target respondent group
  • Anticipated use of results
  • Have you piloted the survey with the potential respondent group? (Y/N)
  • Would you like assistance developing your survey? (Y/N)
  • Contact person
  • Project director

Please Note:

OASC has no jurisdiction over surveys to Veterans.

OASC only has authority to review surveys (paper and pencil or web based) and not interviews.

Blackout dates for 2016: Investigators may not distribute surveys to VA employees during the following two periods:

  • May 1st to June 15th
  • July 16th to September 15th

National Union Notification

If surveys are to be conducted beyond one VISN, investigators should request for Labor Management Relations (http://www.va.gov/lmr/) to notify the national unions. When surveys remain within one VISN, investigators should coordinate with the local HR and union representatives to notify the unions. Unions must be notified before surveying can begin, and unions have 30 days to complete their reviews.

If national union notification is needed, please submit your survey documents, including the survey instrument and list of all the sites involved, to ORD Central Office. If the survey is administered through an ORD-funded project, provide the documents through the JIT system. Otherwise, contact Guillaume Cheron (Guillaume.Cheron@va.gov) for instructions on what documents are needed for submission to LMR. ORD staff will submit the request to Labor Management Relations (LMR) to notify the national unions. This process may take several weeks beyond the 30 days that the unions have for their review. The assigned LMR Specialist will often work with the PI and staff directly to answer any additional questions and will notify you upon notification from the unions.

Approved Platforms for Web-Surveys

The following survey platforms are a few which have been approved by VA's Technical Reference Manual (TRM) for use with restrictions:

  • Survey Tracker Plus
  • Select Survey
  • RedCap
  • Inquisite Survey

For additional options which have VA TRM approval, follow this link and type "survey" into the search field: http://trm.oit.va.gov/SearchPage.asp

Please Note :

Researchers should contact their local ISO for information on approved survey programs.

OMB Requirements

Surveys which collect information from more than 9 individuals, not including VA employees, may require OMB approval. Contact your Central Office service representative for more information if you think this may apply to your survey.


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