Research & Engagement

ORS is a full service social research agency that undertakes research and engagement using a range of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. We have the expertise to design an approach that best meets your objectives. Our projects range from large and complex national studies to small local projects, and we have the internal resources to deliver. Our specialist teams have a range of experience and regularly work together on mixed methodology projects. We work flexibly and collaboratively with clients to ensure we meet your needs.

Face-To-Face & Telephone Interview Surveys

Face-to-face & Telephone Interview Surveys

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Push-to-Web, Online & Postal Questionnaires

Push-to-Web, Online & Postal Questionnaires

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In-depth Qualitative Interviews

In-depth Qualitative Interviews

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ORS has conducted our residents’ satisfaction surveys on several occasions and we have always found them responsive, cost effective and reliable. They take time at the outset to understand what we are looking to achieve and provide us with sound advice. We always had ready access to a project manager, projects were completed on time and everything offered was delivered.

Face-to-face and Telephone Interview Surveys

ORS has been conducting large-scale fieldwork projects for over thirty years. Our work includes both ad-hoc projects and a number of continuous tracking surveys which report on a monthly or quarterly basis. All our interviewers are IQCS trained and the day-to-day delivery and quality control is managed by our Operations team.

Our in-house Contact Centre is based at our Head Office in Swansea. We have a permanent team of interviewers that are highly experienced in both social and consumer research and engagement, and routinely work on a wide range of sensitive and important projects. Our team can deliver interviews in a number of different languages, and we can routinely offer Welsh language interviews for surveys in Wales. All interviewing is undertaken using CATI (computer aided telephone interviewing) software.

We manage and deliver face-to-face surveys across the UK, and our regular fieldwork team includes many interviewers based in and around London. They conduct interviews at pre-selected addresses, door-to-door and on-street according to project requirements and regularly deliver work with complex quotas. Interviews are typically undertaken using CAPI (computer aided personal interviewing) tablets. This provides added security for managing responses and allows real-time downloads of data.

We use a bespoke in-house software for CATI and CAPI which includes sophisticated questionnaire scripting as well as sample management and quota controls, with facilities for multi-mode surveys.

The quality of the work was extremely high, from the initial discussions, through to the scoping of the surveys, the creation of the questions, the handling of the data, and the writing of the reports. A very professional service all round.

Push-to-web, Online and Postal Questionnaires

ORS routinely manages self-completion surveys using either postal or online methodologies and regularly employs a push-to-web approach. We have the experience to design a survey with a simple layout, accessible language and easy to understand instructions. This helps to ensure that all information collected is of a good quality.

Regular topics include resident surveys, customer satisfaction, stakeholder feedback and citizens’ panels.

We have our own well established online survey package. This offers us the flexibility to design complex surveys, as well as monitor response rates and send targeted reminders. We host questionnaires on our own secure sites. They can then be accessed through personalised email or text message invitations, or links on a client website. Depending on project requirements these can be set up to be closed, and accessible only to those invited to participate, or open to all those who choose to participate, potentially as part of a consultation exercise. Our online questionnaires can include client branding.

Large postal surveys typically include Freepost return envelopes. We use a system of unique reference numbers and barcodes to help manage and monitor responses. We have sophisticated scanning equipment and can process high volumes of returns quickly and accurately.

It has been a pleasure working with ORS on this project. The support they have provided to us in setting up our Citizens' Panel has been extremely high quality. They understood our ambitions from the start and worked with us to scope and design the most appropriate recruitment programme. They managed and carried out the recruitment exercise expertly and expediently and their advice and guidance at each stage has added real tangible value to our project, from selecting the best methods to reach our target audience, to the careful wording of communications to maximise sign-ups. The support received from ORS made a real difference in enabling us to successfully launch our Citizens' Panel on time and on budget. Thank you again, I really mean it, you can’t put a price on the added value your advice and guidance has given us.

In-depth Qualitative Interviews

In-depth interviews are a valuable part of many research projects. These use a discussion or topic guide rather than a formal questionnaire. This helps ensure key topics are covered whilst allowing time to explore personal experiences and really listen to the respondent.

Depth interviews can be conducted face-to-face, via video conferencing or by telephone. The recommended approach is usually driven by the respondent type and what makes them feel most comfortable.

This technique is particularly useful when exploring very individual experiences or highly sensitive topics. We have a particular specialism with topics such as mental health and domestic violence. Our highly trained social researchers are skilled in this type of interview.

It was such a pleasure to talk with you on Friday. Your warmth and kindness made it so easy to share difficult things and I really appreciated how sensitively you guided me through the interview. I do hope that your work will lead to great improvements in mental health provision in the area.
Research participant

Focus Groups and Workshops

The team regularly conducts focus groups and workshops for clients as part of our research and engagement projects.

Focus Groups typically involve 8-10 participants and last 1½ to 2 hours. They involve a structured in-depth discussion of the required topics exploring in detail people’s perceptions and reactions to stimulus materials. Focus Groups aim to engage participants in the open-ended exchange of ideas. This allows clients to identify new insights around products and services. They can involve members of the public, employees, business owners or other stakeholders. Those taking part will often have a common interest or experience of the topic under discussion.

Workshops are also a useful mechanism for early engagement – they are designed to be interactive sessions helping to establish priorities and requirements. They often form an early stage of a research project helping to define the rest of the work programme. Participants can include staff groups, stakeholders and members of the general public.

The whole approach from ORS was very professional, flexible and responsive, and the quality of work was of a high standard. We were pleased with the content and presentation of the final report and, given the amount of work involved in conducting the research and analysis, it was excellent value for money. There’s lots for us to take forward in practical terms to act on the findings. Thank you again for your team’s work in undertaking the study and producing the report.