Survey Policy


This policy applies to all PharmD students.

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The purpose of this policy is to establish consistent procedures for notification and processing of surveys administered to pharmacy students and reduce the survey burden on students.


The UCSF School of Pharmacy (SOP) is concerned about excessive surveying of the student body. Therefore, the content of surveys for students should be reviewed to determine if the data are being gathered through other means. This policy allows the SOP to strengthen educational research, improve program evaluation, and facilitate curricular innovation.

The SOP employs consistent procedures for notification and processing of surveys administered to pharmacy students. The school requires anyone who sends surveys to pharmacy students to do so in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy. While surveys may be developed for a variety of purposes, any data collected from UCSF SOP students by UCSF faculty and students should be made available to the Office of Education and Instructional Services (OEIS) upon request. Management of these data is essential for the success of this policy and its intent to reduce survey burden and strengthen research in pharmacy education, curriculum evaluation and the overall quality of the data.

All surveys developed in accordance with this policy that gather feedback on required curricular programs and student services will clearly display the following official endorsement: “This survey is endorsed by the UCSF School of Pharmacy for the purpose of improving our programs and services.”

Other surveys developed with OEIS consultation will bear the following: “This survey is endorsed by the UCSF School of Pharmacy.”

These endorsements are intended to improve completion rates by our pharmacy students. Endorsement requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval except for those surveys that are part of the UCSF SOP program evaluation as determined by the associate dean of accreditation and quality improvement. OEIS will indicate to the researcher which endorsement has been granted. In the absence of either endorsement, students should complete any survey about their pharmacy school experience at their own discretion.

Outside vendors, organizations and individuals not officially associated with the SOP must have approval from the Associate Dean of Student Affairs to survey UCSF pharmacy students. At minimum, external studies for research purposes must include evidence of an approved institutional review board protocol. The SOP reserves the right to refuse access to our pharmacy students by external constituents.


All individuals conducting surveys of pharmacy students should go through the steps that the OEIS has defined for conducting a formal survey, as follows:

Surveys that are part of a research study must be accompanied by a copy of the approved protocol from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) before they can be implemented. See the policies and procedures at The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). OEIS encourages faculty to work with OEIS staff and resources in developing educational research protocols and survey instruments prior to applying for IRB approval.

Upon approval of a request the responsible representative within OEIS will coordinate final development and dissemination of the survey.

Survey data will be compiled and distributed in a timely manner through OEIS.

Survey priority

In the event that there are multiple requests to survey pharmacy students within the same timeframe, the following criteria will be used to determine priority (from highest to lowest priority):

  1. Required (‘core’) education programs and services

  2. UCSF faculty and student educational research

  3. UCSF pharmacy student-initiated surveys not related to educational research

  4. Other proposed and approved surveys

Data collection and reporting

OEIS is responsible for archiving the data related to core SOP educational programs and providing results to the surveying party and educational leadership (priority 1 and 2 above). Priority 1 and 2 data sets collected outside of OEIS should be made available upon request and should include a codebook and relevant data analysis. OEIS is not responsible for analyzing data but will provide raw data to the surveying party. Should the investigator require data in a certain format, they should submit a request and allow a minimum of ten (10) business days for processing. Special requests, such as contracting with an outside firm for data analysis, should be discussed and coordinated with OEIS during the initial development of the survey. OEIS will maintain copies of all data related to pharmacy student programs.

Survey participation

Although a professional expectation of our students includes the ongoing improvement and development of programs, investigators conducting surveys of UCSF pharmacy students may not force or compel users to participate. The survey requestor is responsible for initiating all publicity for their respective surveys. Methods for publicizing surveys can be suggested by OEIS in consultation with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

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