Sharing the findings of our survey

rachelCompact Voice recently conducted an online ‘Satisfaction Survey’, as part of a wider research project into our work and future direction. I’d like to take the opportunity to share some of the findings.

As part of the research project, Compact Voice hired an external consultant to undertake a series of interviews about our work and the Compact more generally, and also held a ‘provocation panel’ session in the House of Lords, which was chaired by Lord Victor Adebowale.

The short online survey that formed part of this project intended to help us understand what people valued about our work, how well it is understood and what we could do to improve.

It can often feel like we are bombarded by surveys every time we go online, so we really appreciate everyone who took the time to answer our questions.

This survey is an important starting point for Compact Voice to begin assessing and evaluating our current services. The result will help us with our planning and thinking about how we can take our work forward this year.

Who responded?

We received exactly 100 responses, which allowed us to gain a broad understanding of how well we are doing our job, and in turn will help us to become more responsive.

A wide variety of organisations - from local authorities to voluntary groups and infrastructure organisations - responded to the survey and this has allowed us to see what different sectors find useful and what they’d like to see more of.

How well do people understand Compact Voice and the services we offer?

We asked people to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how well they thought they knew CV’s service and role (with 1 being ‘not at all’ and 10 being ‘very well’). The chart below details the responses. 

chart

It’s encouraging to see that almost a quarter of respondents chose number 8, though the average rating was 6, so this suggests we need to be slightly better at communicating our purpose and role.

Which resources and services provided by Compact Voice are the most useful?

35% of respondents read our monthly e-newsletter, and 30% visited our website on a quarterly basis.

We were pleased to note that 37% of respondents download our briefings and guidance monthly or quarterly. 20% of respondents read our blogs and news updates on a monthly basis.

It’s really helpful for us to be able to identify the resources and services our members engage with the most, so we can continue to maintain our high standard and work on areas that may need improvement.

We asked respondent if they wanted to highlight a service we provide that they found particularly useful. Many respondents praised the in-depth support that is on offer from our local Engagement Development Officers.

Respondents also highlighted our briefings and guidance as being especially useful, especially the short briefings we have done for voluntary organisations on engaging with Clinical Commissioning Groups and Police and Crime Commissioners. Similarly, the practical examples of good practice we gather from across the country were also well-received.

What could we change, adapt or do differently?

Many respondents wanted to see more local support offered, which shows how much the work of our local Engagement Officers is valued.

Many respondents also mentioned they’d like Compact Voice to be clearer in what it offers and its mission, so this is something we will work towards clarifying this year.

What should we be focusing on in 2014-15?

The second part of the survey was about looking to the future, and identifying areas of work for Compact Voice in 2014-2015.

Overall, the survey revealed that the majority of respondents would like to see us:

  • Supporting local areas to make the most of their local Compacts
  • Helping the voluntary sector to engage with new commissioning structures, such as Police and Crime Commissioners and Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Raising awareness of the Compact and partnership working
  • Providing practical support and training on the Compact both nationally and locally.
  • The chart below shows the results in more detail. 

Do people still find the national Compact useful?

Lastly, we asked respondents for their views on the national Compact, such as whether they still found it useful.

Responses here were very varied. Respondents seemed split roughly 50-50 on the national Compact’s usefulness.

Some respondents commented: “its implementation at a national level sets a precedent for Local Compact working”, “yes, it forms a basis for our local Compact” and “yes it is still important as it gives a national context to a local agreement, and prevents local authorities from disregarding the local agreement.”

Conversely, we also heard that “It needs to be promoted more”, “It’s difficult to say that it is directly helpful, but it does keep things on the agenda that we want kept”, and “the principles are still relevant, but we need to move away from talking about the 'Compact' as such, to 'working with the voluntary sector' and promoting an understanding of the mutual benefits this brings when done properly.”

All very useful comments, which will help to shape the way we work on a national level.

What’s next?

The results from the survey have provided us with new ideas about areas we are going to develop and engage with in 2014, so we can be as responsive as possible to the needs of our stakeholders.

We’re currently in the process of developing a new operational and strategic plan which we aim to make public in the new financial year. The work in this plan will be directly informed by the results of this survey and the wider research project.

Once again, thank you to everyone who took part in the survey, interviews or panel – check in with our e-newsletter and twitter to keep updated on our future publications, guidance and good practice case studies.
 

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