Frequently asked questions—2021 Census jobs

Position responsibilities and requirements

1. How has COVID-19 impacted the work required during the 2021 Census?

In the current context of COVID-19, Statistics Canada is committed to ensuring at all times the safety of its employees, including those working for the 2021 Census.

A Statistics Canada census employee will be sent in person to a dwelling for non-response follow-up. In these cases, the employee will be required to wear personal safety equipment (provided by Statistics Canada) as well as maintain proper physical distancing, in accordance with guidelines from public health authorities.

2. I work full time. Can I still be an enumerator?

Enumerators must be flexible, available to work from 20 to 40 hours per week and understand that the majority of shifts are in the evening and on weekends. Enumerators must also be available to attend the paid training session.

3. Do I have to be bilingual to apply for a census job?

No, you do not need to be bilingual to apply for a census job. However, some census work locations are designated bilingual. To work in a designated bilingual area, candidates must pass a language test in addition to the other assessment criteria of the hiring process.

4. Do I have to go door to door?

Yes. Enumerator and crew leader jobs involve going to people's homes in person. Keep in mind that you are not selling anything—you are a representative of the Government of Canada and your presence is legitimate. Households are required by law to complete a census questionnaire. You will receive training and will have the support of your team and supervisors to complete this part of the job.

5. How many hours of work per week will I be guaranteed?

Statistics Canada cannot guarantee a specific number of hours per week for census employment, since the workload varies by location. Applicants must be flexible and available to work from 20 to 40 hours a week, and be aware that the majority of the work is completed in the evening and on weekends.

6. Do I get paid to attend training?

Yes, you are paid an hourly rate for time spent in mandatory training.

Hiring process

7. What if I don't have any work references?

If you can't provide a work reference, consider other people who can attest to your work ethic and character, for example, members of a board that you serve on, a teacher you helped with a project, a supervisor or coordinator where you volunteer, a supervisor at an internship, or a family that you babysit for.

Please note that we cannot accept personal references.

8. How can I get special accommodation for a disability during the hiring process?

Statistics Canada is committed to ensuring an inclusive and diverse workforce. Any applicants who require special accommodation measures are encouraged to self-identify at any stage of the hiring process and identify any special accommodation measures they require at the time the recruiter calls. You may need to provide documentation from a medical professional with additional information on the specific accommodations required.

If you require new or additional accommodation measures at any point during the recruitment process or during the course of your census employment, notify your recruiter or supervisor.

9. I applied over a month ago. Why haven't I heard anything?

Statistics Canada receives many applications, and it can take several weeks to process them. Some applicants never receive a phone call because they do not live in an area where Statistics Canada is hiring, they do not meet the eligibility requirements of the position or all positions in their area have been filled.

10. My contact information has changed. How can I update this information?

Call 1-833-830-3106 and leave a message with your full name, the city where you live, the information you would like to change and your phone number, so that a recruiter can call you back. Recruiters make preliminary calls using the information you provide on your application. If you simply want to add additional details to your application, you will have the chance to do so if you are contacted by a recruiter.

11. How do I know whether you have received my application?

You will be given a reference number at the end of the online application process. Please write it down for future reference.

12. When will I be notified about whether I got the job?

Only candidates being considered for employment are contacted. Qualified candidates are notified a few days prior to the start of training. Crew leaders will start in March 2021 and enumerators will start in April 2021.

In the meantime, you can review information about the hiring process on the Census jobs page. You will also find information about the hiring process, including the screening, interview, and reference and security check processes.

13. Will doing this job help me to get a permanent job with the Government of Canada?

Gaining experience as an enumerator or crew leader for the 2021 Census can be valuable when applying for other positions with the Government of Canada. However, you must apply separately for these positions, which are advertised on the Canada.ca website.

14. Why do you need my email address?

We need your email address to provide you with important information about the hiring process.

Security and credit check

15. What level of security clearance do I need?

Statistics Canada requires that employees hold the level of "reliability status" to work with the census. A reliability status check is required for those who need access to protected information. This check includes verifying personal data. It also involves declaring any criminal convictions for which a pardon has not been granted. The criminal record check is completed by a police partner and a credit check is conducted by a licensed credit reporting agency. All security checks are performed by personnel security officers on behalf of Statistics Canada.

Note that your consent is required before a security check can be completed.

In addition, census employees are sworn to secrecy under the Statistics Act. This oath remains in effect throughout their term of employment and for life after that term of employment ends. Possible penalties for revealing the personal information of respondents include a fine of up to $1,000, a jail term of up to six months or both.

16. How long will my security file be retained at Statistics Canada, and when will it be disposed of?

As part of the security screening policy on file retention and disposal, the Departmental Security Office is required by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to retain screening files for at least two years following an individual's departure from the federal public service to ensure that the individual has a reasonable opportunity to obtain access to the information in his or her file. When a request for access to the information has been received, the information will not be destroyed until such time as the individual has had the opportunity to exercise all of his or her rights under the Privacy Act or the Access to Information Act.

17. Can't you use the security clearance that I had obtained for my volunteer activities or previous employment?

No, we are unable to use any previous criminal record check, either done by the federal government or by a third party. Due to the high volume of security screenings that we will be processing for 2021 Census operations, we will be unable to confirm or transfer existing security clearances from other departments or agencies. If you already hold a valid government security clearance, you are still required to complete this specific 2021 Census reliability check.

Please note that this reliability status will be issued for the length of your employment with the 2021 Census. It will not be transferable to other government departments or agencies.

18. Why do you need to perform a credit check?

In October 2014, the Government of Canada updated its policies on the security of government information. Part of this update included the Treasury Board's Standard on Security Screening, which is intended to ensure more effective and rigorous security screening in the Government of Canada. As a result, credit checks are mandatory for reliability status screening. Credit checks are performed to

  • determine an individual's reliability and trustworthiness
  • assist in confirming an individual's name, place of residence, previous place of residence, current and previous place of employment, and other personal history information when there is difficulty obtaining this information through other means.

Note: Credit checks conducted for the purpose of security screening have no impact on the individual's credit bureau file.

19. What is a credit report and what information does it contain?

A credit report is a record of an individual's borrowing and repayment history, and it includes information about late payments and bankruptcy. It is used as a measure of an individual's reliability.

20. What does my credit information have to do with security risks?

The overall reliability assessment takes into account an individual's trustworthiness in terms of protecting government assets, information and facilities. A credit check validates financial information and can flag individuals who might be subject to financial pressures that could negatively affect their reliability.

21. Will the credit check affect my credit history?

No, an individual's credit history will not be affected by the credit check.

22. Will other lenders know that the Government of Canada has requested a credit report?

No. A credit check conducted for a security screening is masked so that there is no negative impact on the individual's credit bureau file.

23. What if I don't want to consent to a credit check?

A credit check is an essential part of the new Standard on Security Screening. If an individual refuses to provide consent or the required information, screening activities cease and the individual will be withdrawn from the recruitment process.

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