SSRG Briefings – User Satisfaction Performance Indicators: Guidance on Methods of Data Collection

Best Value and Audit Commission Performance Indicators for 2000/2001 – Volume 1

The information below has been abstracted from the Audit Commission website. The full document is available at

On 10 April 2000, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions published on those performance indicators which involve user satisfaction surveys. The guidance provides an overview of the different methods that can be employed for the collection of data. As well as aiming to help authorities to meet the requirements set out in the Order the guidance offers useful tips on how the User Satisfaction surveys can be used by the authority to consult with the public on other issues which they perceive as relevant to their authority.

The guidance does not provide specific guidance on social services surveys and some other surveys (eg libraries, housing, or police surveys.). A survey of social services usersis covered by the PAF (Performance Assessment Framework) guidance and will published by the Department of Health in the Summer. For further information see it is envisaged that the guidance will be published in the above DoH address.

The Guidance advises on the costs of the survey. DETR says that this will depend on such things as the method of surveying, number and complexity of questions (‘open’ questions which need coding afterwards are more expensive), and the numbers surveyed. A postal survey with 1100 responses could cost anything between about £4,000 and £10,000. A survey which involves interviewers going to people’s homes could be anything from around £20,000 to £30,000. These costs should include sampling, administration, data input, data analysis and report writing.