Collecting responses

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There are a number of issues that you need to consider about conducting the interviews to make sure that you comply with both good practice and legislation. These include the safety of the interviewers and ensuring that all interviews are conducted in a similar manner.

Consistency of interviews


The interviewers should use the same explanations of questions and if necessary use a script and ‘show cards’ to make sure that there are no differences between interviewers. Show cards give the list of standard responses to questions and can sometimes help to speed up the interview - it can take longer to read out the questions, but if there are a number of choices to a question the cards can help to clarify the options (the respondent doesn’t need to memorise things before answering).  If you decide to use the show cards, laminate them for use outside.

Safety of interviewers


When the interviewers are collecting responses make sure they are safe by ensuring that:

someone knows where the interviews are being conducted;

  • they are not working alone;
  • they have a mobile phone and know where phone reception is available;
  • they are suitably dressed for the conditions (including sunscreen in summer);
  • they are advised of ‘common sense’ issues relating to personal safety during interviews

You will need to ensure that you understand risks that are posed at each collection point, probably by making a site visit, and complete a simple risk assessment to give to the interviewers. You can use the guidelines to make sure that all interviewers are aware of their own safety considerations. This sheet should be given to all interviewers prior to their first session and a signed copy returned before they begin. We have also included instructions for interviewers in these guidelines - you need to fill in the postcode sectors and provide contact details for the interviewer to use.

Completing the form


Make sure that the interviewers complete the first question as it provides an ‘identity’ to each response. The majority of the questions are ‘closed’ - i.e. there is a defined response to the question. However, there is space to record additional information related to a number of questions. This is useful for capturing qualitative data, particularly opinions of respondents about their experiences of the network. It is not necessary (or desirable) to ‘force’ respondents to add extra information, but this space is given as a means of recording useful points that do not directly answer the question.

The Postcode Sector question (q13)


This is the most important question in the interview as it defines whether it is ‘long’ or ‘short’ - you do not need to ask this question as it is based on the answer to their postcode, which should be compared with the list of those included in the ‘local economy’ (please refer to section 4.3). Please ensure that each interviewer has a list of the postcode sectors.

About the toolkit


This toolkit has been designed and written by Walking-the-Talk based on research and initial development by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University.

© 2014 Paths for All - Registered Scottish Charity No: SC025535, Company Limited by Guarantee No: 168554 inc. 19 Sept 1996 at Companies House, Edinburgh