Frequently asked questions

Q: How does the RND tool work? How does this affect the accuracy of my data?

The RTRA System applies Additive and Controlled Rounding (ACROUND) to all frequencies. This method of controlled rounding does not affect the accuracy of the data. An example of how rounding is performed in the RTRA is available for download: Controlled rounding. This document can now be found in your account in the FTP account. Full instructions on how to connect to the location of all survey documentation and Real Time Remote Access (RTRA) support documents, can be found in this document: How to connect to RTRA using FTP. If you have difficulty accessing RTRA products, please contact

Q: If there are suppressed counts how do they appear on the output?

The RTRA does not apply suppression to counts.

Q: How can I submit a .zip file to RTRA?

A ZIP file can now be requested by the user. Instead of putting multiple files (.sas, .htm, .log, .txt, .sas7bdat, .csv) in the user's outbox, the files are first zipped and the user will receive only the ZIP file.

By default, users will get individual files (as usual) and will not receive a ZIP file. To get a ZIP file instead, the first line of the submitted program must contain the directive ZIP=YES.

  • It must be in a SAS comment.
  • It must be on line 1 of the program. Note: This does not mean the first non-blank line when there are blank lines at the top. It has to be on physical line 1.
  • It is not case sensitive.
  • There can be any number of spaces before and after the word ZIP and before and after the word YES.


 /* ZIP=YES */

/*zip    =     yes */

* Zip = Yes ;

/* Some comment here ZIP  =yes Last part of comment */

*zip=yes.My output files should be zipped;

 Please let us know if you have any questions in regards to the new zip procedure.

Q: I submitted my program but received output with different names on it. Why does the name change after my submission?

Output returned through the RTRA will be prefixed with a submission code. This code allows the RTRA team to track your submission in the occurrence of a system error.

Q: I received the results for the code that I submitted, but I can't locate the output table.

If you have not received a SAS output dataset and an HTML output table, please check your SAS log and RTRA log to view the errors associated with the submission.

For each successful SAS program submitted, four types of files will be returned to you:

  1. Customized SAS Log (.log) – Contains all elements of a standard SAS log with the exception of the number of observation, which has been removed to protect confidentiality.
  2. RTRA log created from the RTRA system (.txt) – Informs users about which stage of the RTRA process the SAS program has successfully completed.
  3. SAS datasets (.sas7bdat) – Contains output results in SAS database format.
  4. Table (.csv) – contain output results in SAS database format.
  5. HTML tables (.html) – Contains output results in HTML format.

Q: I have logged onto my EFT account, where do I download my dataset?

Researchers using the RTRA system do not gain direct access to the micro-data and cannot view the content of the micro-data file. Instead, users submit SAS programs to extract results in the form of frequency tables. As RTRA researchers cannot view the micro-data, becoming a deemed employees of Statistics Canada is no longer necessary. This relationship is the basis that allows the RTRA to service its clients rapidly.

Q: Where can I find the variable descriptions for my dataset?

RTRA users can find variable descriptions and details about their survey of interest through the RTRA Surveys and metadata page.

Q: Can I find out before submitting my program whether it will exceed the system limits for the RTRA?

Yes. A shell program has been developed to help users test their SAS code and program structure. Please consult the RTRA User guide for details.

Q: I forgot my password, who do I contact to reset it?

Please contact an RTRA agent to request a password reset:

Q: Who do I send my RTRA application to?

Please send the original signed copies of your application form and terms and conditions to:

RTRA, Microdata Access Division
Statistics Canada
R.H. Coats Building, Floor 10, Section J
100 Tunney's Pasture Driveway
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0T6