Information for participants


​Next Step is an annual suite of post-school destination surveys that identify the study and work destinations of school leavers after completing or leaving all government, Catholic or independent schools in Queensland. The suite of surveys include:

  • Next Step Year 12 Completers survey for all students who completed Year 12 (and were awarded a Senior Statement) in the previous year in Queensland. This includes international students.
  • Next Step Early School Leavers survey for students who left school before completing Year 12 in the previous year in Queensland.
  • Longitudinal studies that annually track targeted cohorts of Year 12 completers and early school leavers.

The Queensland Government Statistician's Office conducts the survey fieldwork on behalf of the department and Minister for Education.

A reference group advises the department on the surveys. It's membership includes secondary principals from the three school sectors (government, Catholic and independent) as well as members from the higher education sector and the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Why do we need Next Step surveys?

The Next Step surveys provide valuable information to improve the services available to school leavers in the future. The surveys collect information about what school leavers are doing in the year after leaving school.

The survey information helps:

  • parents and the wider public to know student outcomes in the year after leaving school and to appreciate the range of options available to students
  • schools to review and plan their services for students, especially in the senior years of schooling
  • school systems to review their education policies as they support student transitions from school to further study and employment
  • training bodies, universities, business and industry, local government and regional planners to plan their services.

How will I be contacted to participate in a Next Step survey?

Former students will receive a letter from the Queensland Minister for Education containing information and login details to participate in the survey online. If they do not complete the survey online, they will be phoned by the Queensland Government Statistician's Office and offered the option to complete the survey over the phone.

When do Next Step surveys take place?

The Year 12 Completers survey is conducted between March and June each year. The Early School Leavers survey is conducted between July and August.

Results of the surveys are available on the website from September.

What do the surveys ask?

The surveys ask former students about their initial study, work or other destinations since leaving school.

  • If working, it asks their occupation, industry, hours of work and if their employment is permanent or casual.
  • If not working, it asks if they are looking for work or for reasons why they are not looking.
  • If studying, it asks place of study, course, level of the program, if they are studying full-time or part-time.
  • If not studying, it asks their reasons for not currently studying and (for Year 12 completers) if they deferred a university place through Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC).

Will individual survey answers be passed on to my old school?

No. Answers of all students from the same school are combined before they are provided to the school. Data is reported in a way that school leavers cannot be individually identified by any of the information in the Next Step survey results.

Tell me about the surveys and privacy

Responses to the surveys are kept strictly confidential. The information collected by the Queensland Government Statistician's Office (QGSO) is protected by the Statistical Returns Act 1896 (QLD). Legal penalties apply to anyone who releases responses in a way that identifies that person. The QGSO are committed to conducting statistical surveys in a prompt, confidential and courteous manner. They employ a team of trained survey interviewers based in Brisbane. Refer to QGSO's survey participant charter for further details.

Next Step Year 12 presentation

This presentation provides an overview of the Year 12 Completers survey.

Last updated 18 November 2022