Annex B. Methodology note on the Survey of Career Guidance for Adults

This report uses data collected in the 2020 Survey of Career Guidance for Adults (SCGA). The SCGA was conducted to better understand adults’ experience with career guidance services and to improve international data on coverage.

Fieldwork was conducted by Cint1 using an online survey developed by the OECD. It took place from mid-June to early July 2020 in six countries: Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the United States.2 The sample was restricted to adults aged 25-64, in order to target those who had left initial education.

The survey was prepared in five languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) and distributed in the country’s official language. Cint disseminated the online survey to a “pre-approved” panel of registered users using a stratified sample methodology, which imposed quotas on age, gender and region. This means that Cint drew a sub-sample from its panel that is representative of each country’s population in terms of age, gender and region. The age and gender quotas were based on UN World Population Prospects statistics (, while the region quotas were based on Cint’s data.

After data collection, two quality checks were applied. First, if a respondent completed the survey in two minutes or less, the respondent was excluded. This is based on the assumption that the survey takes more than two minutes to complete with appropriate consideration. Second, if a respondent did not answer the final question of the survey, they were also excluded. This was to ensure that only respondents who completed the full survey were captured in the final dataset.

To ensure adequate sample sizes and comparability, the data collection aimed at 1 000 observations per country. Table A B.1 shows the final sample sizes by country, after sample restrictions, quotas and the quality checks had been applied.

Online surveys tend to under-represent the behaviour of people who are not online. These are generally older adults with less formal education. Figure A B.1 compares the composition of the country-level samples by age, gender and education with the composition of the actual population in those countries. Thanks to quotas, the sample is very close to the actual population on age and gender. However, the SCGA oversamples adults with higher levels of education. To understand the impact of this oversampling, Annex C presents a sensitivity analysis.


← 1. Cint is a digital insights gathering platform ( The Cint platform and products comply with standards and certifications set out by various market research associations including ESOMAR, MRS, ARF, MRIA, AMA, AMSRO and Insights Association and ISO 20252 quality standards.

← 2. The online survey was conducted in June-July 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. One implication of this is that more people were able to respond to the survey because they were confined at home, were teleworking, and/or because they lost their job and had more time available. Cint noted that response rates were higher than expected as a result. Any impact this might have had on sample composition, however, was mitigated by the use of quotas on age, gender and region.

Countries were also at different stages of the pandemic when the survey was conducted. It is possible that policy measures adopted in different countries to cope with COVID-19 could have indirectly influenced the use of career guidance services. For instance, those countries that were more heavily affected by the pandemic at the time of the survey may have had more people out of work or at risk of losing their job as a result of the policy measures that were adopted (e.g. temporary business closures, travel restrictions). This could have affected the share of people who used career guidance services.

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