Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Completing the survey

Why are we carrying out a staff survey?

The University runs a staff survey every two years. The last survey took place in November 2015. The survey is important to the University Executive Board, as it gives them a valuable insight into how staff are feeling about working at the University. If you took part in the 2015 survey, your feedback will have contributed to changes locally to where you work and centrally to the actions being delivered through the People Strategy. The staff survey provides an opportunity to share your views on our working environment to ensure the continued and successful delivery of the University’s 2020 strategy.

How long will the survey take to complete?

The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Are all categories of staff invited to participate in the survey?

All fixed term and permanent staff, as well as Part-Time Hourly Paid Lecturers, have been sent a link to the survey. The University greatly values the contribution of seasonal, casual and variable hours staff. However due to the variable nature of seasonal and variable hours work, and the high proportion of students undertaking these roles, these categories have not been included in the survey. Separate student surveys are undertaken and all staff, including seasonal, casual and variable hours colleagues can participate in other surveys such as the biennial HE Staff Culture Survey.

If I don’t have access to a computer, or would prefer to fill in a paper version of the survey, what should I do?

A paper version of the survey (along with a freepost envelope) can be obtained by phoning extension 8567 or emailing

Who should I contact if I have a query about the survey or need help completing it?

The ORC Customercare team can be contacted on The team is there to answer any queries you may have about accessing or completing the survey. If you have any general questions about the survey, please contact

What do I do if I haven’t received an email invitation to complete the survey?

If you commenced employment with the University after 29 th September 2017, it is possible you will not receive an email to the online survey. We are however very keen to hear from new members of staff so please email and a paper copy of the survey will be sent to you.

Can I forward my survey email invitation to a colleague who has not received their own email?

As the weblink included in the email is unique to you, please do not forward it to any colleagues. If someone has not received an email invitation then they should contact

Do I have to complete the survey in one go?

You can exit the survey at any time and return to it later, by clicking on the ‘exit’ button. Your answers will be saved and when you log back in you will be able to pick up where you left off. You will need to keep your email inviting you to take part in the survey, as you will need to click on your unique weblink in order to return to your survey.

Can I go back and amend my answers once I have exited the survey?

Yes, you are able to amend your answers when you log back in, just click on the ‘back’ arrow to take you to previous pages of the survey.

Can I go back and amend my answers once I have submitted the survey?

No, once you click on the ‘submit’ button your answers will be submitted to ORC International and you won’t be able to make any further changes to your answers.

Is there a word limit on the free text box questions?

There is no limit to the size of the comment you can leave, however, please try to keep your comments as succinct as possible to aid interpretation and analysis.

I work in more than one department. Do I need to complete more than one survey?

You only need to complete one survey, as everyone has been given a unique weblink that automatically logs your survey results against your department. If you work in more than one department, your survey will be logged against the position you work the most hours in. If you work an equal amount of time in each department, you can check which department your survey results are logged against by emailing

Why do I not need to declare which department I work for on the survey?

You have been given a unique weblink to the survey that automatically logs your survey results against your department. If you have moved departments since 29 September 2017, it is possible your survey will be logged against your old department. You can check which department your survey results are logged against by emailing

What is the closing date for submitting my survey?

The survey closes on Friday 24 November 2017.

When will the survey results be published?

The survey results will be considered by UEB in January 2018. In February 2018, the University wide report will be published on the HR intranet page. As well as a University wide report, faculties and departments will receive their own reports. Managers will have a 6 week window from the publication of the University wide report in which to have shared local results.

How much money was raised for funds which support students in financial hardship as a result of the 2015 survey and how was this money used?

2,228 members of staff completed the survey in 2015 resulting in the University donating £11,140 to the University funds that support students who are experiencing financial difficulty while studying here.


How can I be certain my feedback will remain confidential?

ORC International belongs to the Market Research Society (MRS) and as such are subject to a strict industry code of conduct that protects the individual confidentiality of all survey participants. ORC International are legally bound to ensure that no-one from the University has access to the questionnaires or the raw data.

Everyone participating in the survey will be included in the overall University wide results. Reports for teams of less than 6 staff will be included at Faculty and Departmental level, in order to protect the identity of individuals.

Can my responses to the staff survey be traced back to my PC by the University?  

No. The survey is being hosted by ORC International on their web server and no-one at the University has access to the responses at any point during the survey.

Why do I have to give so many personal details?

It is important that we can group feedback from staff by different job roles and specialisms. This helps us to identify priorities in different parts of the University and whether we need to take action on a University-wide, or team basis.  Demographic information (e.g. gender, ethnic background) will help us to identify whether there are any equality issues we need to explore further.

Who will see my comments?

Your survey will go straight to ORC International which means that the University will not be able to see any individual responses. The results will be analysed in a way that prevents making any person identifiable, and names will be redacted from comments submitted. You will remain anonymous throughout the process.

How are open comments reported?

ORC uses a theming software to remove names and proof read the comments. Comments are reported back as they are written, though efforts are made to reduce the risks of individuals inadvertently identifying themselves. Key themes from open comments will be published but individual open comments will not be used.

What happens to the results?

The results will be analysed by ORC International and passed on to the University Executive Board. Once the results are received we will work on communicating them to all staff.

It is important to remember that the survey is not the end of the process and we need to work together on actions to address areas of concern as well as how best to share good practice around the University.