Certification Course for Field Investigators (CCFI)

This course covers all aspects of becoming a professional field investigator.
The curriculum has been designed by experienced professionals, experts in the field and based on feedback from students and professional field investigators.

Why Take This Course?

There is huge demand for Pre-trained, Skilled and Professional Field Investigators.  The manpower providing ‘sourcing agencies’ are neither equipped nor eager to train these Investigators. They just collect the minimal information from the aspiring investigator candidates and forward them to the survey agencies. There is no occupational standardization or the minimal knowledge or understanding on which the functions of field investigator can be built up to perform.

Inferential Survey Statistics and Research Foundation (ISS&RF) envisaged the idea to start a Certification Course for the Field Investigators to ensure that the investigators trained and certified by ISS&RF have done the basics of field investigator course and are competent and motivated. The recruiting and employing agencies, both governmental and non-governmental are expected to give preference to such candidates who have done this course that have added values to ‘field investigation’ profession. The recruiting, research and survey agencies/ institutions are empaneled in this platform to facilitate locating and recruiting trained field investigators from the database maintained by the ISS&RF. 

The Certification Course has target group with occupational classification no. 3314.0100 under National Classification of Occupation (NCO), 2015 of Government of India with limited job description as to collect statistical and other data on prescribed forms by observation, interview, and interrogation or by application of other standardized technique for study, analysis, and interpretation of various economic problems. As the nature of ‘survey market’ has undergone structural changes, and continuous employment is hardly available; the successful candidates those who complete this course would be preferred and earn additional income and employment. The key words in this Course are certification and quality assurance.

Objectives of the Certification Courses for Field Investigators is two-fold:

  1. Training and skill development of the eligible and aspiring field investigators in collection of statistical and other data on prescribed forms/instruments by observation, interview, interrogation or by application of Information Technology and other standardized and established techniques for study, analysis, and interpretation of various social and economic problems.
  2. Certification of the aspiring field investigators through standard of performances, knowledge and understanding to work as Field Investigators. In the process, a standardized curriculum and training module with quality assurance has been developed.

The mission of ISS&RF in this project is to put in place trained field investigators in rural and urban locations all over India from where the survey agencies can pick them for their survey needs and the investigators can enjoy working in their own backyards. Keeping this in view, ISS&RF has prepared a comprehensive Certification Course for Field Investigators on distant and on-line mode. This program prepares surveyor/ statistical field investigator candidates for government and public/private sector firms and institutions and to assist them to identify suitable candidate(s) available for upcoming surveys at required locations. For certified field investigators, it provides avenues to work with survey agencies and at a place of their choice.

Information Technology (IT) has become integral part of our day to day life for communication and decision making process. IT includes use of Computer, Office Productivity Tools (Word, Excel etc.), Email, Website and Online Application software, Mobile Apps, and other advanced software tools. All these technologies are being extensively used for data capturing, data processing, data analysis, report generation and queries for presentation of data to take timely and reliable decisions in any socio-economic surveys as well as administrative/business applications.

 This certification program provides opportunity to learn basic knowledge and hands-on-training for practical exposure using these technologies. This will empower the student trainees to strengthen their resume in getting regular jobs in any survey work as well as regular work in related areas. The 4 lectures reference material for online access through the ISSRF Website include the following.

  1. Basics of Computer and Communication: How to operate Computer and Internet, access of data from Website and exchange of information through email/social media Applications.
  2. Basic features of Office Productivity Tools: How to use Word Processing and Excel for data processing and communication of information.
  3. Basics of Application software for survey work: Online Data Entry Software, Editing, Report Generation and uploading of data.
  4. Practical experience of Application software.

Scope of Course

Government of India, State Governments and Private organizations conduct socio-economic, industries/establishments, agriculture and other surveys both in sample and census mode to cater to their planning and decision-making needs. Many industries conduct market surveys to position their products/services and to strategize their investment and area of operations. Each of the surveys employs field investigators/ surveyors/ enumerators to collect quality information from the respondents.

Market size of statistical surveys has gone many folds in the recent years. Use of internet and smart mobiles and computer assisted interviewing through mobile apps has added dimensions of geographic tag and has enriched the survey process and prospects in terms of timeliness, validation, and monitoring. Government initiative and focus on evidence-based planning, importance to local development, concurrent monitoring and evaluation of schemes and programs, all have added to the newer demands for surveys. Availability of trained and skilled survey manpower well versed with the local environment, social setup and language in the survey areas is the hindrance. There are, at present, 6.64 lakh villages as per the Local Govt Directory database and another 7.30 lakhs urban enumeration blocks as the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) has planned to map out for Census 2021 in the country. Further, Office of the RGI for population census 2021 has plan to use 30-31 lakh enumerators for census of 20 days from 9-28 February 2021 while the MoSPI through Common Service Centres (CSC) are going to use around 12 lakh enumerators for Seventh Economic Census almost for 3 months period. It is felt that, keeping in view, the survey requirements on comparatively longer period of engagement, for local level planning, to start with, country needs at least one statistical field investigator for ten villages/ urban enumeration blocks and thus, the survey needs almost 1.50 lakh statistical field investigators on continuous basis. This force needs to be in place within a period of 3-4 years.

National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), State Directorates of Economics and Statistics (DESs), other Government Departments (survey agencies) involved in data collection, compilation, and dissemination have their own cadre of Statistical Investigators who regularly conduct surveys of different nature. However, the ever-increasing demand of surveys on different aspects, their periodic repeat, exigencies, and lack of adequate manpower have compelled these organizations to engage Statistical Investigators on contract through private manpower providing agencies. Most of these investigators are not skilled in collection of information from the field. NSO and State DESs do all efforts, through their field/district offices, to train them but the exigencies and workload compel them to put the Investigators straight to the field without much exposure. The investigators lack proper training, proper understanding of the field survey and proper career progression. Similar is the case with other Census and Survey organizations like Office of the Registrar General of India for population census, NSO for economic census, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for National Family Health Survey and alike. Most sufferers are the institutions involved in socio-economic studies, industries associations and agencies involved in monitoring of schemes and programs that do not have any regular cadre of survey personnel and are dependent on manpower providing agencies. Thus, demand for quality pre-trained skilled and professional field investigators needs to be properly addressed. ISS&RF has a built-in platform to match the needs and aspirations of the survey agencies and the certified field investigators.

This course covers all aspects of becoming a professional field investigator.
The curriculum has been designed by experienced professionals, experts in the field and based on feedback from students and professional field investigators.

  • Suitable Curriculum: Prepared by experienced professionals to impart training in an optimum time frame (Though the course is for 3 months duration, it can be completed in a little over one month).
  • Learning Focused: Enjoyable and goals oriented. Trainer more as mentor and coach.
  • Strong Fundamentals: Focuses on fundamentals to set a strong foundation of the field investigators. The defining keys are skills, attitude and adequate knowledge to perform
  • Overall Learning: This is not just a course but an overall learning experience.
  • Video Training:  Course is taught also via videos, screencasts, and online face-to-face interactions
  • One to One Interaction: Built-in one to one interaction between instructors and students. Each student/trainee besides instructors gets help from experienced Supervisors with handholding.
  • Learning Exposure: Assignments given to the students to monitor the extent of learning which then will be checked by the system. 
  • Test Exercises: Appropriate exercises are built in the course for each of the topics.  
  • Live Experiments: Students are exposed to live experimentation and learning through practical exercises/assignments with ample opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge gained in the field surveys.
  • Focus on Details: Course specializes in focusing on minute details leading to adequate knowledge of the survey instruments and the fundamentals behind.


Essential Qualifications

a) Higher/Senior Secondary pass OR Passed students of 10+2 system

b) Not older than 45 years

Skill Required Basic Computer knowledge and ability to operate smartphone


Contents of Course




Chapter 1

Introduction to Certification Course for Field Investigators

Statistical surveys and their scope and market size. Need of certification course, eligibility, skills required, training, and assessment of field investigators.

Chapter 2

Statistical System in India

Present statistical system in the country, administrative statistical system, State Statistical Systems.

Chapter 3

Statistics Act and Rules

Collection of Statistics Act, 2008; Scope and features of the Act. Collection of Statistics Rules, 2011.

Chapter 4

Use of data, the role of surveyor, and communication skills

Data, information, and knowledge, quantitative and qualitative data, primary and secondary data. Role of data in planning, implementation, and evaluation of schemes. Surveyor as an agent of good decision making, characteristics of a surveyor, hard and soft skills requirement, Communication Skills to improve response from the respondents.

Chapter 5

Techniques of Sample Surveys

Components of sample surveys, sample frame, sample size, and sampling techniques, rural and urban areas, urban frame survey, elementary unit of the survey, questionnaires, and schedules. Data collection techniques and procedures, supervision and inspection, data validation, quality control measures, data processing and tabulation, analysis, and reporting.

Chapter 6

Household based Socio-economic Surveys,

Coverage, Concepts, Design and Definitions of Socio-economic surveys

Scope of the socio-economic surveys, subjects covered under National Sample Surveys, concepts and definitions involved in the surveys.

Chapter 7

Consumer Expenditure Survey

Objectives and approaches of the consumer expenditure survey. Schedule of consumption expenditure, items basket of consumption, Poverty measures and its relation with consumption expenditure survey, important indicators of household consumption.

Chapter 8

Employment & Unemployment Survey

Objectives of the employment and unemployment survey, Surveys of NSS and Labour Bureau, Periodic Labour Force Survey.

Chapter 9

Education, health, and sanitation surveys

Surveys covering education level, courses, attendance, dropouts, enrolment and out of pocket expenditure. General morbidity, the extent of use of health services, Incidence and nature of pre-natal and post-natal care, expenditure incurred on childbirth and maternal care, profile of aged persons by living condition, economic dependence and mobility. Dwellings and living facilities, housing characteristics and microenvironment, households living in slums and squatters. Important indicators of education, health and sanitation. Special reference to National Family Health Survey and Swachchhata Sarvekshan

Chapter 10

Time Use Survey

Objectives of the survey, time disposition of the household members, scope and coverage, sampling design and schedule of the time use survey.

Chapter 11

Economic census and Enterprise Surveys

Need and importance of economic census, scope and coverage. Business Registers, National Industrial Classifications, NSS enterprise surveys on non-agriculture enterprises.

Chapter 12

Industrial Surveys based on Balance Sheets and other records/ledgers

Annual survey of industries and its coverage, factories and establishments, ASI frame, census and sample schemes.

Chapter 13

Agriculture Surveys and Livestock census

Introduction to Agriculture census and livestock census, schedules of inquiry for land and livestock holdings and situation assessment of agricultural households of NSS, Important indicators from agricultural surveys.

Chapter 14

Debt and Investment Surveys

All India debt and investment survey of NSS, schedules and field organisation.

Chapter 15

Market and Opinion Survey

Market research, methods of market survey, focus group and field trials, surveys and interview methods, exit poll surveys

Chapter 16

Information Technology in Statistical Surveys

Basics of computer and application software for survey, computer aided interviewing, mobile apps and GPS based tracking, IT administered supervision and validation.

Chapter 17

Online, telephonic, and Alternate ways of survey

Advantages and deficiencies of the online surveys, surveys by telephone, email and through website.

Course Fee

₹ 4237

GST (18%)

₹   763


₹ 5000

1. The fee can be paid through online process only.

2. Transaction fee if any will be extra.