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Welcome to the Taking Part update!

Changes to the Year 13 Taking Part survey questionnaire.

As outlined in the Taking Part strategy if Taking Part is to remain relevant and useful, it needs to ask the right questions.
DCMS is currently reviewing the Taking Part adult questionnaire in preparation for the start of the next survey year in April 2017. This is partly to improve the overall flow and wording of the questionnaire and also to reduce the length of the questionnaire, which is currently overrunning. The Taking Part survey will fully transition to the new methodology from April 2017 so this is an opportunity to review the questionnaire and make any significant changes. 
The main proposed changes are summarised below. We are very interested in the views of users on these changes.
If you have any concerns about these proposals or would like more details on the specific changes, please contact the Taking Part survey team at preferably by Friday 6th January 2017 – but please let us know if you need a bit more time.
 Proposed changes to the questionnaire include

1. Reordering some questions to improve the flow of the questionnaire. This involves moving the follow up questions to the relevant sector module so respondents will be asked about participation, clarification follow-up questions, frequency and barriers in one module rather than split across the questionnaire.

2. Changing the response options for some questions, mostly to bring them up to date or to clarify/refine the wording. Some questions with a long list of response options may be split into several questions (e.g. questions on the types of Arts activities/events respondents have participated in/attended).                                                                                     
3. Revising some question wording. This includes some changes to core questions on participation to clarify the definitions/coverage. In particular: 
  • Expanding the question on library use to make it clear that this includes a range of library services. [“During the last 12 months, have you used a public library service? This includes either visiting a public library or using public library services somewhere else, including online” Additional text highlighted in pink]
  • Rewording the question on archive use to include online archives [“In the last 12 months have you used (changed from “been to”) an archive centre or records office?”]
  • revising references to “heritage sites” and “the historic environment” to “places of historic interest”
4. Amending the questions on the respondent’s education to align with ONS harmonised questions 

5. Deleting the following questions: 
  • whether respondents have recommended activities to friends/families
  • frequency of childhood participation in activities   
  • most of the questions on public participation:
    • influencing decisions over the provision of local sporting/cultural facilities;
    • influence over quality of local environment;
    • whether consulted by any organisation on local facilities;
    • whether taken action to get something done about local cultural/library provision or quality of environment in local area;
    • involvement in planning decisions;
  • whether respondents who have participated in online activities relating to the arts have done so as part of a club or group 
  • questions on the types of live sporting events attended (international, ticketed, non-ticketed, free)
6. We propose adding new questions on: 
  • barriers to participation in DCMS sectors, subject to cognitive testing
  • whether respondents who used an archive had done so by 1) visiting an archive centre or record office or 2) accessing services online. 
Online data analysis tools 

In addition to the five online data analysis tools, we have recently added an overview dashboard showing which Taking Part survey questions are covered by each tool.

We would love to hear how you are using these tools, your thoughts on them, and if you have encountered any difficulties in using the tools. If you do have any feedback, please send to the Taking Part survey inbox.

To keep up to date with all DCMS statistics, follow us on Twitter using the Twitter handle @DCMSInsight.
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About Taking Part

The Taking Part Survey collects data on many aspects of leisure and culture in England, as well as an in-depth range of socio-demographic information on respondents.

For more information please visit the Taking Part section on the DCMS website.


Pass us on - colleagues can sign up to receive the Taking Part newsletter here.

Next releases

A release of rolling annual estimates for adults, including the first half of the 2016/17 survey year is due to be published in January 2017. You can find out about our upcoming releases in our Official Statistics release calendar

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Taking Part is produced in partnership with:

Arts Council England logo

English Heritage logo

Sport England logo



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If you have any queries or would like more information,
please email Taking Part

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