This data element should only be collected from people whose Labour force status is employed.
Occupation is too complex and diverse an issue to fit neatly into any useable small group of categories. Therefore the ABS recommend that this data element be collected by using the following two open-ended questions:
Q1. In the main job held last week (or other recent reference period), what was your/the person's occupation?
Q2. What are the main tasks that you/the person usually perform in that occupation?
The information gained from these two questions can then be used to select an appropriate code from the QHD job codes.
If only one question is asked, question one should be used. The use of question one only, however, sometimes elicits responses which do not provide a clear occupation title and specification of tasks performed. As a result accurate coding at unit group or occupation level may not be possible.
While agencies are encouraged to use the recommended questions described above, it is acknowledged that this is not always possible in practice. For example, where the data collection is a by-product of the provision of a health or community service, the information may be ascertained using different means. However, the recommended questions should be used wherever possible.