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Questionnaire Development and Testing

Pioneers in Questionnaire Development and Testing

In the 1990s, The National Centre For Social Research pioneered the use of cognitive interviewing methods in the UK. These methods focus on the respondents’ thinking process when being asked and answering a survey question. The value of this methodology for data quality is reflected in the establishment of a specialised unit in 2006, the Questionnaire Development and Testing (QDT) Hub, which brought together methodologists and field interviewers trained in cognitive interviewing techniques.

In addition to cognitive interviewing methods, we can apply a wide range of other methods for developing and testing questionnaires, such as depth interviews, focus groups, desk appraisal, expert reviews, piloting, debriefings, behaviour coding, paradata analysis, and experiments. In more recent years, we have adopted new methods, such as eye-tracking and usability testing of online questionnaires and other materials, like advanced letters, leaflets and ballot papers. We will work with you to find the best combination of methods to use for your survey.

We contribute to advances in this field by conducting our own methodological research, as well as collaborating with academics and other survey methodologists. Furthermore, we share best practice by delivering training courses for the Social Research Association , academics and other survey practitioners, on questionnaire design and cognitive interviewing.  And in 2015, a team of leading QDT methodologists at NatCen wrote a practical handbook for implementing cognitive interviewing methods  in the context of applied social policy research, which is widely used by students and researchers. 

Examples of our work:

 

Contact us

For more information about working with our QDT experts, get in touch at  new-business@natcen.ac.uk today.