CERN Accelerating science

FAQ Survey

Information on the survey of CERN employed members of personnel (staff and fellows) at the initiative of the Staff Association and in view of the 2021 five-yearly review of employment conditions.



Every five years, CERN's management and the Staff Association shall jointly conduct a general review of the financial, social and employment conditions that CERN offers to all its staff. The next five-yearly review is to be concluded in December 2021 when the Council adopts the measures that will have been decided in concertation between the Director-General and the Staff Association.

But first of all, the Staff Association must know what are the main orientations that the staff want to put forward, what solutions it must propose and defend. To this end, the Staff Association conducts a survey of the Organization's employed members of personnel before each five-yearly review.


Who will conduct the campaign

The campaign to collect the opinions of employed members of personnel for the five-yearly review of employment conditions was entrusted by the CERN Staff Association to the Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics of the University of Geneva (IDESO).

The Institute is active in teaching in socioeconomics (master's and doctoral levels) and demography (doctoral level) as well as in fundamental or applied research on contemporary socio-demographic phenomena.

The Staff Association has chosen to collaborate with Prof. Philippe Wanner and his team. because of their proximity to CERN (promotion of local research and training) and their very high competence in the socio-economic field and in conducting major surveys in Switzerland and worldwide.

The Staff Association receives the assurance of a more detailed drafting of the questions put to you, of a good cross-referencing of the themes, but also of a professional analysis of the results of the survey with expert consideration of the different biases and constraints that such a survey may entail.


How the survey is organized

We also entrusted this survey to IDESO so that the Staff Association would not be involved in the addressing of the survey to you, nor in the collection of your responses.

The survey is addressed directly by the Institute on the basis of data provided by CERN's HR department. These are personal data that have been transmitted directly by the HR department to the Institute after CERN has been satisfied with the processing of the data, in accordance with Operational Circular No. 11 "Processing of Personal Data at CERN" (OC11).


What data have been transmitted and how they will be used

The data transmitted by the HR department to the Institute is a list of all employed members of personnel of the Organization, staff and fellows, as of 14 August 2019, containing the following data.

  • Last name, first name,
  • e-mail address,
  • department or unit,
  • sex,
  • preferred language (FR or EN),
  • status (Staff or Fellow).

None of this personal data will be used in the survey. They are only used to send CERN employed members of personnel a personalised invitation to respond to the Staff Association's survey.

Each invitation sent contains a personal code generated on the basis of the personal data received. This personal code is only used to verify the uniqueness of the answers and will not be associated with the answers themselves.

Each person invited by email to complete the survey can choose whether or not to complete it. The Institute will provide targeted reminders to those who have not yet responded. Individuals will be able to request not to be contacted again, without having to respond to the survey. Those who have already replied will no longer be contacted.

At the end of the survey campaign, the personal data will simply be destroyed, as well as the personal codes that have been generated. No link can be made between the answers and the personal data. The Institute is the guarantor of this process.

The Staff Association that initiated the request for these data is the controlling service per OC11 and has therefore drafted a registry of processing operations (RoPO) that is registered in ServiceNow (link to the registry)

Finally, the Staff Association is not recipient of this data, which was transmitted directly by the HR department to the Institute in a secure manner. The Institute has of course undertaken to process these data only within the framework of the campaign entrusted to it, to the exclusion of any other use and in particular without these data being transmitted to third parties.


How your answers will be handled

As for the data collected by the questionnaire, they are anonymised and collected on the basis of consent, by invitation to complete the questionnaire but without any obligation.

The data collected by the questionnaire are dissociated from any identification of the person who submitted the response. The only identifiable information stored is whether a given person has already completed the questionnaire. This information will be destroyed at the end of the campaign.

The data collected are therefore not personal data, and it is also impossible to guarantee the rights of access, rectification, temporary suspension of processing and the right to erase such data. Indeed, even if a person requests to exercise these rights, we are not in a position, by design, to make the link between this identified person and the data he or she provided in response to the questionnaire.

The data collected in the survey responses are also stored on a server physically separate from the computer used to send invitations and manage reminders.

Demographic questions (age, gender, nationality, etc.) were chosen in order to be able to make an appropriate statistical analysis taking into account the variety of issues and themes addressed. However, in agreement with the Institute, we have decided not to ask certain questions when they are not absolutely necessary.

As the raw data will not be published and will not even be received or held by CERN staff, but will only be used to compile statistical responses, anonymity and confidentiality are guaranteed. Aggregation will be made by the contractor.

The data collected will only be used for the survey that the CERN Staff Association commissioned from the Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics of the University of Geneva, to the exclusion of any other use. The data will be destroyed after analysis. No other use is allowed for the data in response to the questionnaire. Under no circumstances may these data be transmitted to third parties.


Which regulations are applicable

The personal data transmitted by CERN are subject to CERN's internal regulations, namely the OC11. The Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics is subject in Switzerland to the Federal Data Protection Act (LPD - SR 235.1) and the Geneva Act on Public Information, Access to Documents and Protection of Personal Data (LIPAD - A 2 08). These regulations are considered equivalent as regards the processing of personal data in the context of this investigation.

CERN's data protection office has found that the guarantees offered are indeed adequate.


Further information

If you would like additional information on this subject or answers that you have not found here, you can contact the Secretariat of the Staff Association directly via the following link: