National Indicator Surveys
Opinion Research Services (ORS) has extensive experience of administering a wide range of standardised surveys that inform National Indicators and other regulated returns where guidance documents clearly set out the way in which surveys have to be undertaken and the way in which the collated data is then analysed. ORS is fully familiar with a range of guidance documents issued by Central Government and other national agencies, and can routinely undertake studies that fully comply with the requirements.
Our experience in undertaking standardised National Indicator surveys includes administering the PLACE Survey to the required standards set out by the Audit Commission and the Department of Communities and Local Government. This PLACE Survey is a statutory biennial postal survey introduced in 2008 which provides nationally consistent data in respect of public perception based performance measures. ORS' experience undertaking the PLACE Survey builds on having administered the triennial BVPI survey since 2000; on each occasion undertaking the surveys for over 25 authorities and distributing up to 200,000 questionnaires.
ORS is accredited to the National Framework for undertaking surveys of victims of crime to inform the statutory Home Office Analysis of Policing and Community Safety Framework (APACS) returns, and we have experience of undertaking the interviews to the necessary standards and also preparing the analysis and data submissions on behalf of local police forces. ORS is also working with a number of police forces to deliver the Public Confidence National Indicator 21 survey to the required standards set out by the Home Office, and have experience of delivering this survey through personal interviews, telephone interviews and using self-completion postal questionnaires.
The Standardised Tenant Satisfaction (STATUS) Survey developed by the National Housing Federation is a key source for the collection of performance indicators for both housing associations and local authorities. By using the same survey format, it is possible for housing associations and local authorities to benchmark their performance against other local housing associations or authorities or to compare their performance nationally. ORS has experience of conducting this survey on behalf of a range of Housing Associations and Local Authorities, producing benchmarked results where required.
The PLACE Survey
Hertfordshire County and District Councils
Hertfordshire County Council and the county's ten District Councils appointed ORS to undertake the PLACE Survey jointly on their behalf. Over 17,000 Hertfordshire residents completed and returned the survey, which enabled extensive further analysis of the dataset. This included a programme of "data workshops" where groups of officers interested in particular question sets or NIs worked with ORS to analyse their data in real-time.
Suffolk County and District Councils
Suffolk County Council and Suffolk's six District Councils commissioned ORS to undertake the PLACE Survey jointly for the whole county. This project built upon existing work undertaken by ORS as part of the Suffolk Speaks framework, which has included an extensive programme of consultation with residents across the county.
The PLACE Survey Roadshow: A joint Audit Commission and CLG Seminar
ORS was invitated to speak at one of three PLACE Survey roadshow seminars arranged by LARIA on behalf of the Audit Commission and CLG. Delegate feedback rated the ORS presentation as the most useful session of the entire seminar.
The Engagement Dilemma: Lessons from the PLACE Survey
Based on ORS' experiences undertaking the PLACE Survey, Dale Hall (MD) was invited to present the Keynote Address at the Consultation Institute's conference on Excellence and Public Engagement in London. His presentation focussed on the difficulties faced by Local Authorities and other practitioners seeking to use the PLACE Survey results.
Analysis of Policing and Community Safety Framework (APACS)
ORS was appointed by Merseyside Police to undertake their PPAF and ASB surveys. Under this 3 year contract, we undertook over 11,000 interviews each year, working closely with the force to provide additional services such as a full sample exclusion service, a text line for the hard of hearing, extensive monthly reporting include rolling data, and a safety line for victims that feel threatened during the interview process.
ORS has worked with Dorset Police since 2005 providing PPAF, ASB and now APACS surveys both as postal surveys and now as telephone interviews. Our longstanding relationship, and detailed understanding of the Force and Home Office requirements, has meant that ORS was successfully reappointed in 2009 when the contract was re-tendered.
South Wales Police
ORS was appointed to provide PPAF and ASB services to South Wales Police. In addition, we provided other services such as completion of Home Office returns, undertaking qualitative research with victims and completing a number of employee surveys across the Force.
Gwent Police commissioned ORS to provide PPAF and ASB services to victims of crimes with their areas for a period of two years. During this period, ORS also undertook a wide range of other pieces of work including detailed processing and analysis of data from their schools awareness programme.
Public Confidence: National Indicator 21
ORS was appointed to undertake Hertfordshire Police’s Public Confidence survey. This involved the completion of 6,000 telephone interviews over a 10 week period and the survey is now ongoing with quarterly interview targets. To comply with the requirements of the NPIA, ORS developed a complex sampling approach including the random selection of individuals to ensure that the sample was representative of the wider population.
West Yorkshire Police
Using face-to-face in home interviews, ORS completed the West Yorkshire Police Public Confidence survey with a representative cross section of residents from across their area. This National survey, which has to meet Home Office guidance, requires over 3,000 interviews to be completed over the year.
ORS initially gathered the NI 21 data for Gloucestershire Constabulary as part of their quarterly Crime and Safety Partnership survey - a postal survey sent to over 26,000 residents which looks at fear of crime and perceptions of the police. Gloucestershire Constabulary has now decided to complete the NI 21 survey using telephone interviews. ORS will be completing over 750 interviews each quarter to meet Home Office requirements.
West Mercia Police Force
ORS worked with West Mercia Police to develop a telephone survey to meet the requirements of the Home Office Public Confidence survey. Over a 6 week period, ORS completed over 4,000 telephone interviews with a representative cross section of the population meeting strict Home Office guidance. Going forward, the Force will continue to complete the NI 21 survey via telepone interviews with ORS providing quarterly datasets.
ORS was selected by Gwent Police to undertake the interviews required for their NI 21 survey using a telephone methodology. To meet the strict Home Office requirements for survey methodology, we utilise a complex sampling methodology to ensure the random selection of individuals within selected household based on rigorous application of the “next birthday” approach to avoid the need for supplementary quota samples.
The Standardised Tenant Satisfaction (STATUS) Survey
ORS has been working in partnership with Coastal Housing (and formerly Swansea Housing) for a number of years. We have conducted a range of proejcts, including periodic tenant satisfaction surveys compliant with the requirements for benchmarking against the standardised STATUS survey.
Midsummer Housing Association
ORS has undertaken the STATUS survey for Midsummer Housing Association over a number of years alongside a range of other research projects. For the STATUS survey, standard questionnaires are distributed to all of their tenants and an alternative questionnaire is used for the large number of residents living in shared ownership properties that the association manages.
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
ORS were commissioned by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to undertake a STATUS survey of their tenants. A total of 2,500 questionnaires were distributed using a postal survey methodology, and a 32% response rate was achieved. We have also undertaken a wide range of other projects for Neath Port Talbot CBC, including detailed face-to-face interviews with residents about the services they receive.
Dacorum Borough Council
As part of a programme of reseaerch with Dacorum Borough Council, ORS conducted a survey of their tenants using the STATUS survey. Questionnaires were distributed to 10,500 tenants receiving direct services, including speicifc questionnaires for around 2,000 tenants living in sheltered accommodation and around 1,500 leaseholders.