2004/5 Survey

2009 Survey

You Said We Did


Message of support from the Trade Unions

Guidance Notes for Managers / Academic Leaders

Full narrative report

Executive summary


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Frequently Asked Questions & Answers


Q Why are we doing a staff survey?
A The purpose of the staff survey is to benchmark developments since the previous survey - to understand what UCL has done well and what can be improved – and to develop ideas for new projects and initiatives. It is important that as many staff as possible from across the faculties and administrative departments complete the survey to ensure a representative picture is given.

Q Why should I participate?
A The survey is being conducted to gather the views of all staff who work at UCL and is an important opportunity for you to play a part in shaping the University’s future and making it a great place to work. It doesn’t matter how long you have worked here, or where you work, or what job you do – your views are equally valid and equally wanted.

Q Is it compulsory to take part in the survey?
A We would like as many people as possible to complete the survey. A good response rate will mean that the findings are robust and show how staff feel. However, the survey is voluntary - if you do not wish to complete it that is absolutely fine but we would urge you to participate so that your views are represented in the findings of the survey.

For every completed survey we will donate £10 to the student hardship fund.

Q What will the survey measure?
A The survey will ask your opinion on a broad range of topics which make a difference to all our working lives - my job, how you are managed, pay and benefits, career development, managing your workload, equal opportunities, communication, vision and values and overall perceptions. The survey presents a number of statements in relation to each of these areas and you are requested to tick the most appropriate response option from those listed. In most instances there are five options to choose from: Strongly Agree, Agree, Neither Agree or Disagree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree. 

Q Who is eligible to participate?
A All employees on UCL’s direct payroll who started work at UCL before 1 October.


Q How can I be certain that my feedback will remain confidential?
A We have appointed an independent survey provider to ensure the confidentiality of everyone’s opinions. ORC International belongs to the Market Research Society and is bound by their strict Code of Conduct ( This means that:

  • The personal details in the questionnaire will not be used to identify how individuals have responded to the survey but to understand any differences across staff groups within the University.

  • No-one within the University will ever see your completed questionnaire.

  • Results will not be produced for groups of fewer than 10 respondents.

These rules mean that ORC International cannot share raw data or individual responses with the University. They will only provide the University will anonymised reports. Therefore the University will not be able to view the opinions of individuals or know who has responded. 

Q The survey questionnaire asks me to give my personal details, such as gender, age, ethnic background, disability status. Why are these being asked?
A We are committed to providing a working environment in which all staff are treated equally and with dignity and respect. To support this objective, we ask you to provide the your personal information to help us understand if there are any differences in staff experience in relation to factors such as gender and ethnic group. However, you do not have to provide this information if you do not feel comfortable doing so.

Survey administration

Q How do I access the survey?
All employees with a UCL email address will be sent an email from ORC International on 31 October. This will have a personal link to the survey (through an encrypted URL). Your department details will be pre populated, from your email link, so do not forward your link to anyone else for them to complete the survey.

Staff without email access will be given a hard copy to complete and a pre paid reply envelope to send directly to ORC International.

Q. Why is information about where I work being ‘pre-populated’?
A. There have been a number of changes in the structure of UCL over the last few years and for ease of completion, information about which part of the University you work is pre-populated within the survey.

Anonymity is still guaranteed, and this information is only being used to ensure that results are being grouped together into appropriate areas to ensure that actions can be taken where needed.

Q  Do I have to complete the survey questionnaire at work or can I complete it away from work?
A  Managers and academic leaders have been asked to ensure that you have time to complete the survey questionnaire during your normal working hours. You are not expected or required to take the survey home in order to complete it. However, if you would prefer to complete the questionnaire away from the work place then you are welcome to do this. You will receive an email invitation with a link to the on-line survey questionnaire then you can forward this email message on to a different email address and access the link from that email account.  

Q I haven’t received an email inviting me to participate or a paper copy to fill in. What shall I do?
A Please contact the ORC International survey hotline as soon as possible (tel: 020 76751196 or email:  ORC will ensure you are given the opportunity to complete the survey questionnaire.

Q How long will it take to complete?
A The survey typically takes 15–20 minutes to complete. The time taken depends on how long you think about your responses and whether you wish to add any free text comments at the end of the questionnaire. Everyone will be given time to take part during their normal working day.

Q Can I save progress on my online survey questionnaire and come back to it or do I have to do the whole survey in one go?
A If you need to come out of the online survey part way through completing it you will be able to go back to complete your survey at a different time. All you need to do is click on the survey link that was originally emailed  to you. Please note, however, that you will not be able to then go back and change the responses to the questions you had answered previously, you will only be able to answer the remaining questions.

Q Can I change any of my responses once I have entered them?
A If you have not yet reached the end of the survey and submitted all responses (you will be told at the end of the survey that you have submitted your responses) you can use the browser back button (usually an arrow pointing to the left) to go to the page with the question response you wish to change and you can then make the change. Once you have made the change click the submit button which takes you to the next page of questions. However, you will then have to answer all the following questions again to the end of the questionnaire.

However, if you have pressed exit and return to the survey at a later time the back buttons will not work up to the point previously completed.

Q When I click the next page button the page counter shows I have missed a page/ questions – is this a program error?
A No – it just means that one of the questions you responded to on a previous page had some routing. A question with routing can take you to different questions depending on the response you gave. For example, if you were to be asked “Have you had a performance appraisal in the last 12 months?” and you respond “Yes” you could be asked further questions regarding your appraisal, but if you had selected “No” you would miss those questions, which may mean you miss a page/ set of questions.

Q Do I have to answer all the questions – can I leave a question without a response?
A The on-line survey does not force a respondent to answer every question as we are aware that there are always situations where a respondent may be unable or may not wish to answer a question. All questions are optional.

Q Can I browse through the questionnaire before filling it in?
A Yes! That is no problem. However, after browsing, please go back to the beginning and fill it in, do not press the next button at the end where it says your survey is going to be submitted, as a blank survey is then sent back to ORC. Alternatively a sample copy of the questionnaire is available on the staff survey website.

Technical/IT Questions

Q What browser version is needed?
A. The survey is formally compliant with Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, 8, 9. The survey will work with other main browsers used at UCL, such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera, but if anyone has any problems they should revert to using IE 6, 7, 8 or 9.

What happens next?

Q When are the results out?
A ORC will share the top-level results with the Senior Management Team in December and the detailed results will be available for all staff early in the New Year.

Q Is the survey a one-off initiative or will there be more surveys in the future?
A. This is the third staff opinion survey at UCL but it won’t be the last. This survey is an ongoing process to regularly gather feedback from staff on their views about working at the University.

You haven't answered all of my questions...

The ORC International hotline is there to answer any queries you may have about the survey - from questions about how to take part, to general questions about the survey and why and how it is being conducted. ORC International will try to answer telephone queries immediately, but if they need to get back to you after confirming anything they will get back to you within 24 hours.

If you have any further queries, please email or telephone the helpdesk on +44 (0)20 7675 1196.


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