USMC Ground Climate Assessment Survey System (GCASS)
1. USMC Ground Climate Assessment Survey System (GCASS) - a safety assessment tool: The eight available surveys are a tool for your commanding officer. The value of the data is directly proportional to the effort that you (the survey administrator) and your command put into conducting the surveys.
2. Best path to enter the GCASS website: https://www.SemperFiSurveys.org
3. Anonymity of the survey respondents: This survey process will NOT succeed unless survey respondents are assured that they have complete anonymity of their responses. Please emphasize that your CO cannot and does NOT see any of the demographic data provided by the respondents. Only the averages of the safety survey items are viewable by the CO and anyone with whom the debrief access codes are shared.
4. Confidentiality for the CO: Only your CO will receive the access code to view his/her data. If anyone else wants the access code, they will have to get it from your CO. The access code is passed to your CO via telephone. It is only passed to your CO by e-mail when phone contact is impractical (i.e., deployed aboard ship, in remote theaters of operation, etc).
5. How often should a battalion/squadron conduct the survey process? Requirements for completing any safety climate assessment surveys are established in Chapter 2 (Ground) and Chapter 3 (Aviation) of Enclosure 1 in MCO 5100.29B and are summarized in the Marine Climate Survey Requirements Matrix.
6. Who should take the surveys? The GCASS surveys are generally designed to solicit feedback from all personnel in your command. Some surveys are focused toward particular individuals or groups within the command - for example, the motorcycle survey is intended only for those Marines who operate a motorcycle on a regular basis.
7. How many personnel should take the survey? ALWAYS request a number of surveys equal to the total number of personnel in your unit who should take a particular survey. Then, strive to achieve participation from as many personnel as possible. If 100% participation is not achieved, refer to Table 1 below for determining an acceptable level of responses for each survey.
8. How many personnel have taken the survey? The battalion/squadron survey administrator can determine how many individuals have completed the survey by going to the "SURVEY ADMIN" link on the menu at left and entering the survey ID where it says, "Please enter the Survey ID:" This will produce a dialog box showing how many surveys have been completed.
9. Bandwidth limitation: The Internet is the medium that relays information to/from the survey server. Bandwidth is a limitation of this medium. Therefore, plan accordingly. When deployed, bandwidth and connectivity are factors to consider prior to taking the surveys or reviewing their results. Please contact the survey administrators at 888-603-3170 or e-mail to surveys@AdvancedSurveyDesign.com to discuss concerns or issues your unit has regarding bandwidth limitations.
10. Setting up the survey: To set up the survey for your battalion/squadron, select "SET-UP UNIT SURVEY" from the menu to the left. Complete the forms indicating which surveys your battalion/squadron requires, how many respondents for each survey, and your unit's contact information. Then, to finalize your request, call the survey managers toll-free at:
If phone contact is not available, please e-mail: surveys@AdvancedSurveyDesign.com. You will be given a unique survey ID for each group of survey respondents. So, for example, all the Marines taking the GCA will use one survey ID, those taking the motorcycle survey will have another survey ID. If you break it into groups, like instructors and students, then each group will have a unique survey ID.
11. How to conduct the survey: Recommend the battalion/squadron set up computers in your unit spaces. The computers should be open to the survey website, www.semperfisurveys.org. Disseminate the Survey IDs so that respondents can take the survey (usually 5-10 minutes per person) and then leave.
12. Taking the first survey: Recommend the battalion/squadron survey administrator take the first survey(s) so that he/she is better informed if anyone has any questions.
13. Minimum survey responses: Unit survey administrators should strive to obtain the maximum possible participation. Table 1 at the bottom of this page shows the participation levels necessary to achieve 95% confidence that the survey results are within 5% of what they would have been had the entire unit population been surveyed. If a unit participates at a lower level than the figures given in Table 1, we will advise the CO during debrief that the statistical confidence in the available results could be better, possibly substantially better. Debrief is possible at any level of participation, but whether the data offers meaningful results is largely determined by what percentage of the unit provides survey responses. The more participants, the more confidence the CO will have that the results truly reflect the opinions of the unit. We do NOT monitor survey submission rates; that is the responsibility of the unit survey administrator. Once the administrator believes maximum participation is attained, contact us (see Instruction #14 below) and we will contact the CO to offer a debrief of the results.
14. What to do after completing the survey process: When the command has achieved maximum participation, contact the safety survey managers (888-603-3170 or email@example.com). They can verify your command's level of participation and then call your CO with the CO's access code(s) to view the survey results. If you are deployed aboard ship or in a location where phone access is impractical, your CO will receive the access code(s) via e-mail.
1. USMC Ground Climate Assessment Survey System (GCASS) - a safety assessment tool: The eight available surveys are a tool for you. The value of the data is directly proportional to the effort that you and your command put into conducting the survey.
2. Anonymity of the survey respondents: This survey process will NOT succeed unless survey respondents are assured that they have complete anonymity of their responses. It is in the interest of the command to ensure that the survey respondents understand the you, the CO, cannot and will not see demographic information about the respondents. You can see only numeric averages for the various safety survey items and any open-ended responses that were provided.
3. Confidentiality for the CO: Only the CO will receive the access code to view the survey results. If anyone else wants the access code, they will have to get it from the CO. The access code is passed to the CO via telephone. It is only passed to the CO by e-mail when phone contact is impractical (i.e., deployed aboard ship, in remote theaters of operation, etc).
4. CO Access: After entering the GCASS website, select "VIEW RESULTS" from the menu to the left. Enter here. Then, enter your "COs ACCESS ID" (provided to you by a survey administrator), and press "SUBMIT." This opens the Survey Summary webpage; continue from here. If you have the codes from your unit's last survey cycle, you may enter it in the bottom text box labeled "Option" - this gives a CO the ability to compare the current survey results with those of the last cycle.
5. How often should a battalion/squadron take the survey process? Requirements for completing any safety climate assessment surveys are established in Chapter 2 (Ground) and Chapter 3 (Aviation) of Enclosure 1 in MCO 5100.29B and are summarized in the Marine Climate Survey Requirements Matrix.
6. Who should take the surveys? The GCASS surveys are generally designed to solicit feedback from all Marines in your command. Some surveys are focused toward particular individuals or groups within the command - for example, the motorcycle survey is intended only for those Marines who operate a motorcycle on a regular basis.
7. How many personnel should take the survey? Recommend everyone eligible to take the survey, actually take it. Trying to develop a statistically representative sample of your battalion/squadron (e.g., appropriate ranks, work sections, etc.) takes significant statistical skills. Not done correctly, you have an inaccurate representation of the organization being surveyed. Refer to Table 1 at the end of these instructions for determining a minimum sample size.
8. Comparing your data with your organization's earlier data: For those organizations that have taken the survey process more than once, COs can compare their unit's current survey results with the unit's prior survey results on a single screen. This feature is available on the VIEW RESULTS login webpage. Enter the current Access ID code in the top block, then enter the previous survey Access ID code in the bottom block labeled "Option." You will then see that the graph which shows the distribution of responses for each item has both gold bars and red bars. The gold bars show the response distribution for the current survey cycle and the red bars show the distribution during the last survey cycle. If you do NOT have the access code for your previous cycle and it was given to your predecessor, you will need to contact that person to provide clearance for you to receive those access codes from us.
9. Comparing your unit's responses with other groups of interest: When viewing the webpage containing the bar chart of mean responses for all survey items (the Summary Graph), a vertical bar is overlaid on top of each survey item. To the right of the histogram chart are two radio buttons to select the comparison population of these vertical bars. The two options are:
||a. All USMC survey respondents
||b. My community's (e.g., artillery, aviation, infantry, etc)
It defaults to "All USMC" for comparison. Select the comparison population with which you desire to compare your unit's mean values. The center of the vertical bar contains a white dot representing the mean responses in the database for that survey item for the selected comparison population. The bar also displays ±½ standard deviation of that comparison population mean. A yellow flag will appear above the vertical bar if your battalion/squadron's mean value is less than the selected comparison population mean, but within ½ standard deviation below it. A red flag will appear above the vertical bar if your battalion/squadron's mean is more than ½ standard deviation below the selected comparison population's mean.
10. Survey Item Table: A table is provided that lists all the survey items and their corresponding means for the unit taking the survey. The table can be ordered either: (1) The number of standard deviations below the comparison group mean (aka "z-score), (2) Descending order by your battalion/squadron's survey item means, or (3) In the order that the survey was given. A yellow flag appearing in the "text" block of a survey item indicates that your battalion/squadron's mean is less than the comparative group mean, but within ½ standard deviation below it. A red flag appearing in the "text" block of a survey item indicates that your battalion/squadron's mean is more than ½ standard deviation below the comparative group mean.
11. How to print from the display screen: The GCASS webpage is basically divided into a left-sided panel (red background) and a right-sided panel (light gold background). To print from the right-sided panel: (1) highlight anything (e.g., a title, a word, etc.) in the right panel, (2) go into "File" in the top left corner of the computer screen, and (3) "Print". Note, the colors within the panel have been selected to provide adequate contrast for black and white printers.
12. How to make a PowerPoint slide from the display screen: The GCASS webpage is basically divided into a left-sided panel (red background) and a right-sided panel (light gold background). To make a PowerPoint slide from the right-sided panel: (1) press the "Print Screen" key (usually located next to the "F1" through "F12" keys) on your computer keyboard, (2) open a blank slide in PowerPoint, (3) go into "Edit" in the top left corner on the computer screen, and (4) "Paste" the screen capture into the blank PowerPoint slide.
13. Open-ended Survey Items: Note, the last several survey items in each survey provide for open-ended responses. This allows respondents the opportunity to provide the CO any additional input they desire and, type it in their own words. COs have found these responses to be of great value. To see these responses, go to the Individual Item Graph and under "Select Item to Display" in the top right, click on the number displayed and scroll down to the last two items on the survey. Select one and you will see your unit's responses to the open-ended survey items.
14. First-step for CO: Recommend you first make a printed copy of all the survey items prior to reviewing each individual survey item on-line. That way, you can see other survey items that may be related in character (e.g., one survey item dealing with "adequacy of resources" and a second survey item dealing with "cutting corners"). Do this by: (1) clicking on "SAMPLE SURVEY" on the left side of the screen, (2) select a survey type, (3) highlight anything (e.g., a title, a word, etc.) in the right panel, (4) go into "File" in the top left corner of the computer screen, and (5) "Print".