Instruments and contact materials

This page contains more information about current instruments, including design (Survey Design Literature Review (.pdf) 97.01 kB), flexibility and ordering instruments from GCA, in the following sections:

  • AGS pre and post population
  • Telephone instruments
  • Contact materials, engagement and incentives

Pre-Population data guidelines and example file

AGS Pre-population Data Guidelines August 2009 (.zip) 112.50 kB

AGS pre- and post-population Outline (.pdf) 700.31 kB

Telephone instruments

Note that under the revised 2010 methodology, GCA will now accept CEQ and PREQ data collected via telephone. This practice will be governed by a set of protocols aimed at ensuring that the collection of these important data is consistent and fair across all institutions. Survey managers should refer to the 2012 AGS Manual for details.

The zip file below contains several documents to assist in collecting the graduate destination component of the AGS over the telephone. The zip file below contains:

  • the telephone script with data entry spaces (separate versions for coursework and research graduates)
  • interviewer instructions to accompany the script
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help interviewers address respondents questions (Note: this item in intended to be customised before by your institution.)
  • a summary of the literature review supporting development of this telephone script.

Master phone script 2011

Phone Script Components – 2011 (zip)

Contact materials, engagement and incentives

For the 2012 AGS, the 2009 protocols surrounding contacting students and graduates regarding the AGS are still in place. These protocols are outlined in the AGS Manual 2012 along with an example letter or email wording for initial distribution of instruments and example follow-up text.

Engagement and encouraging returns

Engagement encompasses any activity that raises awareness of the AGS within the survey cohort. The goal of engagement is to improve respondent recognition and enhance the salience of the survey to graduates, thereby improving response rates.

Pre-survey engagement and early collection of contact details

From the 2009 AGS, a firm commencement date was introduced for initial distribution of survey instruments, links to online instruments and phone surveying. This means that no surveying for a particular round can take place before this date. The commencement date is 1 October for the October round, and 1 April for the April round. Those institutions that have traditionally used early graduation ceremonies that fall before this date as an opportunity to survey graduates should replace survey forms at graduation ceremonies with a ‘pre-survey contact form’ in order to collect up-to-date graduate contact details.

We have provided some GCA pre-survey contact detail collection postcards (below) and a range of other engagement survey engagement materials used by institutions around Australia showing great creativity.

Engagement activities schedule

Thank you to all the institutions that provided the sample materials (below) for inspiration.

Schedule of engagement activities_USC (.xlsx) 51.50 kB

AGS information web page

University of the Sunshine Coast maintains a web page specific to the AGS. This is regularly updated with relevant information for each round so it acts as a pre-survey engagement and a follow-up mechanism, depending on the current stage of the survey round cycle. It also links directly to the AGS website and to USC Alumni and careers pages. Access this page at:

AGS sample contact and engagement materials

We have provided some GCA pre-survey contact detail collection postcards (below) and a range of other engagement survey engagement materials used by institutions around Australia showing great creativity.

Postcard with moving tag image for collection of contact details:

AGS Postcard-Tag (.pdf) 1.38 MB

Postcard with superhero image for collection of contact details:

AGS Postcard-Superhero (.pdf) 2.50 MB

Postcard for collection of contact details with blank front for institutional customisation:

AGS Postcard-Blank (PDF) 93.60 kB

Engagement postcards and flyer:

La Trobe Survey Postcard (.pdf) 267.07 kB
USC_flyer (.pdf) 115.38 kB
JCU AGS Postcard
(.doc) 365.50 kB

Engagement bookmark:

130813 ACT_BOOK MARK (PROOF 2)_ACT (.pdf) 114.95 kB

Graduation inserts (engagement and contact detail collection):

2708_AustGradSurvey08DRAFT1_UQ_graduation pack insert (.pdf) 905.54 kB

Grad ceremony flyer AGS Oct 2010_UTas (.doc) 1.78 MB

Lecture slide:

AGS slide for roger_JCU (.ppt) 1.04 MB

Pre-survey email:

AGS Apr09 Pre Survey Email_UTas (.doc) 13.50 kB

Reminder postcard

La Trobe Survey Postcard 2 (.pdf) 457.30 kB

Incentive flyer:

Curtin_flyer_08 (.pdf) 157.42 kB

Any institutions that wish to share their materials are encouraged to send these to GCA: [email protected]


Incentives are often used to encourage higher response rates. However, evidence of their effectiveness is uncertain. Institutions should think carefully about using incentives in the context of other strategies for improving response (e.g. more contacts, improving contact materials and tailoring materials for each iteration of contact).

The following paper presented to the SRG provides some consideration of incentives and includes a list of literature on the topic.

AGS survey incentives SRG paper (.docx) 131.86 kB