Survey Futures: Thinking about the post-pandemic role of survey interviewers

The seminar will share insights gathered from interviews with survey data collectors at various UK organisations
  • Event time:
    22nd February 2024 12:00 – 13:00
  • Format:

In this seminar, independent HR consultant Chris Charman and NatCen researchers Sierra Mesplie-Cowan and Debbie Collins will share findings from a Survey Futures project that is exploring the post-pandemic role of survey interviewers. The seminar will present findings based on discussions with individuals responsible for face-to-face survey data collection capacity at UK-based survey organisations, which explored:

  • the ways in which the role of the face-to-face fieldworker is changing in response to societal, commercial, technological and methodological trends; 
  • identify the key skills and attributes needed by the face-to-face fieldworker today and how this is likely to change in the future;  and
  • identify the implications for sourcing and retaining skilled face-to-face fieldworkers.

This is the seminar forms part of a wider stakeholder engagement exercise.


  • Chris Charman
    Human Resources and Reward expert
    Chris Charman is a Human Resources and Reward expert who supports organisations in the development of strategies and policies for the effective management of their people. In a 25 year career with Willis Towers Watson and Mercer he has worked with public, private and not-for-profit organisation on such varied topics as job architecture and design, job evaluation, pay structure models, incentives and gender pay. At the heart of his work is helping organisations take better, evidential decisions in the space of people performance, cost and risk.
  • Sierra Mesplie-Cowan
    Senior Survey Methodologist National Centre for Social Research
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    Sierra Mesplie-Cowan is a Senior Survey Methodologist who joined NatCen in October 2021. Since joining she has worked on a variety of projects focused on survey design and methodology. 

    Sierra has experience of large-scale survey design and management. Prior to joining NatCen, Sierra was a Survey Manager at UCL, working on a number of Britain’s cohort studies. 

    She holds an MSc in Survey Methods for Social Research from the University of Essex.

  • Debbie Collins
    Head of the Methodology and Innovation Hub National Centre for Social Research
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    Debbie is the Head of NatCen’s Methodology and Innovation Hub. She is an experienced survey methodologist, specialising in survey design, questionnaire development and testing. Debbie is also an experienced trainer in survey research design, questionnaire design and pretesting methods and is an author and editor of several books and journal articles. She is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Southampton, looking at the teaching and learning of social research methods online.