COMSA Privacy and Data Sharing Statement


The following document describes the data collected on COMSA and privacy and security measures taken to protect this information. The measures described are specific to interacting with the COMSA platform and do not extend to other external protocols and guidelines. COMSA users are responsible for following any external privacy, informed consent, or other regulations that govern their work.

COMSA Survey Builder was developed and implemented by the Social Research and Development Corporation (SRDC) to increase access to reliable, valid skills assessment tools and measurement and evaluation resources for the skills training and employment services sector. 

It aims to increase the sector’s capacity to conduct high-quality measurement and evaluation, and to tell a comprehensive story of program outcomes by providing a wide range of measures, including those tailored to specific learner populations. 

COMSA account holders have access to a comprehensive and curated range of survey building tools to collect survey data online. Platform usage and survey data will securely be stored on Canadian servers.

Data collection and privacy for COMSA users (i.e., people who create a COMSA account)

What information about COMSA users is collected and why?

The COMSA platform collects platform usage data. Cookies and tracking tools collect information on platform usage to improve the platform and report usage to funders. 

At registration, user information (i.e., name and email) is collected to create a COMSA account. Emails are only used to send updates about COMSA and relevant opportunities. Users can opt-out of receiving these emails at any time. For more information, see the website Terms and Conditions.

Data collection and privacy for survey participants (i.e., people who respond to surveys created on COMSA)

How is survey participant data collected using COMSA? 

When you create a survey in COMSA, you have the choice to:

  • Option 1: export the survey to Voxco, a secure survey platform, whose servers are hosted in Canada, and generate a unique survey URL to share with survey participants; or 
  • Option 2: export the survey as a PDF and give the document to survey participants. 

What survey participant data can SRDC access?

Data (e.g., survey responses) from surveys collected on Voxco (option 1) will be available to you and to SRDC. Data from surveys collected through exported PDFs (option 2) will only be available to you unless you decide to securely transfer it to SRDC at a later date. 

How does SRDC use survey participant data?

SRDC uses anonymous and aggregated data from survey participants to conduct reliability and validity testing on survey measures to improve the COMSA platform. To protect the privacy of survey participants, only aggregated results will be reported or published. No names of individuals or identifying information will ever be shared.

How do survey participants consent to data collection? 

All surveys include an informed consent form so participants can understand the purpose of the survey, the nature of data collection, and how their responses will be used by SRDC. Mandatory text states that the survey is voluntary and no services should be denied if they choose not to participate. Additional information to support informed consent can be added to: the survey introduction message, which can be edited in COMSA; or in the invitation email (or other communications) to learners.

Where is survey participant data stored?

All survey data is stored on Voxco’s Canadian-based servers. COMSA users do not have direct access to Voxco but can download survey participant data at any time through the COMSA site. For reliability and validity testing, SRDC will also store de-identified survey participant data on protected internal servers. Survey participant data is stored on Voxco and SRDC servers even when a user deletes a survey from their COMSA account; however, a user can contact SRDC to erase data from these locations at any time. 

How long is survey participant data stored?

Data will be stored on Voxco for up to three years before it is securely erased. SRDC will indefinitely store a validity testing dataset that contains a reserve of de-identified survey participant data collected through COMSA. As the dataset is only for survey improvement purposes, identifying information (e.g., emails, program name, postal code) will be removed to reduce risk of participant identification.

Organizations that keep survey data on their own servers should comply with their own internal data retention policies.   



If you have more questions, you can contact the SRDC team at [email protected]