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Case study: British Social Attitudes Transformation Programme

The Centre for Social Survey Transformation is currently overseeing the British Social Attitudes (BSA) Transformation Programme. This is a three-year programme to review the end-to-end design of BSA and explore the feasibility of transitioning the BSA from a face-to-face design to a web-first design.

BSA was created in 1983 and is now widely considered to be Britain’s most authoritative and robust measure of people’s attitudes. However, falling response rates and changing societal expectations mean that it is important to review the design to ensure that it continues to provide the most robust and reliable data possible.

To achieve this we are undertaking a systematic process of reviewing, evaluating and experimenting with alternative designs. This has included a review of the survey’s purpose, including its research and information needs; an evaluation of alternative design options; and the development and testing of a prototype push-to-web design, including a full review and re-design of the questionnaire. We are now moving on to a further stage of testing, looking at the feasibility of a mixed-mode web-first design. The outcome of this testing, and recommendations for the future design of the survey, will be published in the second half of 2022.