North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Self-coding Tool

Consultation objectives

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is a system used by Canada, Mexico and the United States to organize economic data by industry. The NAICS and its codes are revised every five years to reflect the changing structure of the economy. To adapt to the constant evolution of the NAICS, Statistics Canada is developing a NAICS self-coding tool. This tool will use modern technology and approaches to allow Canadian businesses to self-code their business activities based on their knowledge of their business.

The creation of a single, centralized tool will allow for a more rapid evolution and adaptation to NAICS classification changes, while reducing maintenance and associated costs of multiple decentralized tools.

This consultation ensured that the interactive self-coding NAICS tool is compliant with a set of usability principles and identified any potential usability problems so that improvements can be made.

Consultation methodology

Statistics Canada conducted in-person usability consultations in Ottawa, Ontario. Participants were asked to complete a series of tasks and to provide feedback on the tool.

How participants got involved

This consultation is now closed.

Individuals who wished to obtain more information or to take part in a consultation were requested to contact Statistics Canada by sending an email to

Statistics Canada selected participants for each consultation to ensure feedback is sought from a representative sample of the target population for the study. Not all applicants were asked to participate in a given consultation.

It was reiterated that Statistics Canada is committed to respecting the privacy of consultation participants. All personal information created, held or collected by the agency is protected by the Privacy Act. For more information on Statistics Canada’s privacy policies, please consult the Privacy notice.


What worked

All participants indicated that the NAICS self-coding tool was simple and well organized. They thought that the information was clear, concise, and easy to navigate through. They also appreciated that the self-coding tool was provided on a single screen and that examples were listed for each industry code.

Areas of improvement

  • The need to refer back and forth between the left and right side of the page was not intuitive.
  • The search bar wasn’t noticeable enough.
  • The difference between the list of subsectors in the navigation pane and the category filters was unclear.


  • A section should be added containing additional information on NAICS, such as what it is and what it is used for, as well as a link to a page with more detailed information
  • The category filters should be incorporated into the list in the navigation pane, as an additional layer to drill through.
  • More space above and below the search bar should be added.
  • Definitions of some of the terminology used on the tool should be included.

Statistics Canada would like to thanked participants for their participation in this consultation. Their insights will guide the agency's web development and ensure that the final products meet users' expectations.