DAOD 5062-0, Social Science Research

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2014-06-18

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members).

Supersession: CFAO 8-3, Civilian Requests for Sociological/Psychological Research Assistance

Approval Authority: Chief of Military Personnel (CMP)

Enquiries: Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis (DGMPRA)

2. Policy Direction


2.1 The DND and the CAF recognize the need to understand human behaviour, and the opinions and attitudes that shape it, by conducting social science research in order to:

  1. respond to operational priorities;
  2. optimize organizational effectiveness; and
  3. develop policies, strategies and operational doctrine for DND employees, CAF members and their families, and members of the cadet organizations, and to ensure the maintenance of their well-being.

2.2 Social science research consists of the use of scientific logic or systematic methods, procedures and techniques to guide research on issues normally associated with fields of study such as psychology, sociology, economics, business administration, political science or any other academic discipline that uses these methods. Social science research offers impartial, systematic and reliable methods to acquire an understanding of human behaviour through the study of a wide variety of human issues in organizations. Research techniques include mailed and electronic questionnaires and surveys, focus groups, individual interviews and participant observation. Social science research does not include medical science, health surveillance, public health research or health programme quality assurance.

2.3 Social science research has an organizational perspective, which differs from a natural or applied science approach. Social science research includes studies of knowledge, skills, aptitudes, attitudes, personalities, behaviours and other psychological or sociological phenomena. Social science research may involve quantitative studies of human phenomena and their relationships, with the objective to develop a mathematical model to test theories. It may also involve qualitative research, which entails the examination, analysis and interpretation of observations for the purpose of discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships.

2.4 The completion of social science research is a core element in some academic programmes in which DND employees or CAF members are engaged for professional development.

2.5 For purposes of the DAOD 5062 series, social science research participants are limited to DND employees, CAF members and their family members, CAF applicants and members of cadet organizations.

2.6 Clinical psychology research, such as might inform the diagnosis, classification or treatment of mental disorders and aberrant, maladaptive or abnormal behaviours, and research related to the promotion, protection and restoration of health, are addressed in the DAOD 5061 series.

Policy Statement

2.7 The DND and the CAF must conform to the requirements of the Treasury Board Communications Policy of the Government of Canada,andare committed to the conduct of social science research of the highest standards, which entails the rigorous screening and coordination of any proposed research to ensure that it:

  1. conforms to DND and CAF organizational aims and policies;
  2. demonstrates value to the DND, the CAF and the level one advisor (L1 advisor) organization in which the research is to be conducted;
  3. does not conflict or otherwise interfere with higher priority efforts within the DND, the CAF or applicable L1 advisor organization;
  4. does not compromise operational security or the safety of DND employees or CAF members;
  5. is conducted in accordance with accepted professional practices and is of sufficiently high quality so as to result in reliable, accurate and valid findings;
  6. is in keeping with the DND and the CAF commitment to respect the rights of DND employees, CAF members and their family members, applicants for enrolment in the CAF and members of cadet organizations, including the protection of their privacy and personal information; and
  7. does not contribute to incidences of refusal to participate because of survey fatigue.


2.8 The DND and the CAF must:

  1. establish procedures for a Social Science Research Review Board (SSRRB) to ensure the proper review and conduct of social science research;
  2. provide education and training in the DND and the CAF related to social science research; and
  3. designate a personnel research advisor for each L1 advisor to ensure awareness of and assist in the coordination and approval of social science research projects in their organization.

2.9 The SSRRB Chair must notify the CMP of any non-compliance with this DAOD.

Top of Page

3. Consequences

Consequences of Non-Compliance

3.1 Non-compliance with this DAOD may have consequences for both the DND and the CAF as institutions, and for DND employees and CAF members as individuals. Suspected non-compliance will be investigated. The nature and severity of the consequences resulting from actual non-compliance will be commensurate with the circumstances of the non-compliance.

Note – In respect of the compliance of DND employees, see the Treasury Board Framework for the Management of Compliance for additional information.

4. Authorities

Authority Table

4.1 The following table identifies the authorities associated with this DAOD:

The … has or have the authority to …

L1 advisors

  • designate a personnel research advisor for their organization;
  • accept or reject requests to sponsor social science research projects related to their assigned functional areas; and
  • grant or refuse permission for researchers to approach or solicit the participation of targeted research participants.


  • approve procedures for social science research within the DND and the CAF;
  • consider and determine applications for the reconsideration of SSRRB decisions; and
  • take appropriate action in respect of non-compliance with the DAOD 5062 series.


  • oversee the planning, conduct and coordination of the public opinion research activities of the DND and the CAF (see policy requirement 8 of the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada for the meaning of "public opinion research");
  • obtain the approval of the Minister of National Defence for the annual public opinion research plan; and
  • implement the procedures for the planning and contracting of public opinion research.


  • establish and approve the terms of reference for the SSRRB, and appoint its members;
  • approve the SSRRB standard operating procedures for the conduct of reviews;
  • approve the protocols, including the design and conduct, of social science research projects proposed for conduct in the DND and the CAF; and
  • co-ordinate the scheduling of social science research projects.

5. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: