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CSPS Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) Summary: Qualtrics and NextGen Data Warehouse

The Canada School of Public Service (CSPS or the School) distributes surveys to learners who have taken its training. The survey responses collected are used to:

  • maintain and improve the School's learning products
  • provide input for instructor performance management agreements (PMAs)
  • complete corporate reporting

In 2021, the School began using a new cloud-based survey tool called Qualtrics ("the tool"). The tool's aim is to create a modern, user-friendly experience for learners completing the School's surveys, and to ensure the survey responses collected are made available to stakeholders to support decision-making.

In the interests of using survey data to its fullest potential, the School will incorporate a data warehouse solution to consolidate data from Qualtrics with other data sources to allow high quality and advanced analytical capabilities. The data warehouse solution is composed of a cloud-based data storage and processing application built upon Microsoft’s Synapse Analytics' platform, as well as Microsoft’s industry leading Power BI data reporting tool.

The survey responses collected by the School contain two types of personal information:

  • High-level demographic data about respondents, like classification group and level
  • Opinions about individuals, specifically about the performance of instructors

In preparing to implement the tool, a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) was undertaken to assess, mitigate, and resolve potential privacy risks associated with the collection and use of the personal information contained in survey responses.

The PIA identified eight privacy risks related to implementing new retention and disposition rules and ensuring safeguards around the data used to support decision-making. These risks have been resolved or have a resolution plan in progress, and personal information collected for administrative use (i.e. to make decisions that directly impact an individual) will only be made available to the individuals themselves and their superiors. These risks are considered to present a medium to low residual risk from a privacy point of view.

Of note, sections 4 and 5 of the Canada School of Public Service Act provide authority to collect data to support decision-making.

Privacy risks will remain a central consideration as the School expands its use of analytics in the future.

For more information on the disclosure, collection, use, retention, and disposition of personal information in relation to this PIA, please refer to the following Personal Information Banks (PIBs):

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