Our services

CIPFA Research utilises a variety of methods to enable you to obtain clear, concise and actionable data in the quickest time and in the most cost effective way.

We provide both standard products and tailored ad hoc services to clients across the public and not for profit sector. The services we provide include:

Self-completion surveys

We develop, test, evaluate, refine and roll out self-completion surveys online or on paper in order to get the best level and quality of response to meet your needs. We provide all aspects of the service for you, including coding and analysis of results and providing final reports. We also scan paper-based surveys for you and provide the results in electronic format.

Paper-based surveys are also a popular approach for visitor-based services such as libraries, archives and museums where they have been deployed extensively.

Depth interviews

CIPFA Research undertakes depth interviews, either in person or over the phone. We can provide full transcripts or summarised analysis and coding of the outcomes as required.


We recently undertook an independent evaluation of a nationwide staff engagement pilot, interviewing participants about the benefits and drawbacks of the survey. Prior to undertaking the interviews a discussion guide was developed to ensure that the outcomes or findings matched the research requirements or objectives. These interviews, conducted over the telephone, were digitally recorded and then transcribed for analysis purposes.

Focus groups

CIPFA Research conducts focus groups on behalf of clients across the public sector, supporting you to identify appropriate participants and ensuring that the discussions will meet your needs. We develop and agree discussion guides, digitally record and transcribe the focus groups and analyse the results, providing you with a report on the outcome.

Desk research

With CIPFA Research’s survey topics ranging from libraries, to finance users, to health, the team constantly works to keep up to date with issues within the public sector. The team draws on its own knowledge and that of our colleagues across CIPFA to add context to the research at hand. If you would like the team to undertake desk research on behalf of your organisation, please get in touch.

Online discussion groups

CIPFA Research has experience in hosting and monitoring online discussion groups, which includes developing pertinent research questions and prompting participant responses.

Data collection:


All our paper based surveys are scanned. This offers a number of advantages including: accuracy, speed of turnaround times and accessibility to scanned images online. The scanned images are then read to extract the salient information. The extracted data is subject to a number of quality checks to ensure its integrity and is then exported in a format according to need, eg SPSS or Excel. Whether your forms are one side of A4 or multiple A3 sheets you should talk to us about our expedient methods for capturing data in a user friendly format.


All our online surveys are designed, developed and hosted using IBM technologies and infrastructure. Surveys can be deployed in a variety of ways, for example by personal invitation, through a link embedded on a website or by entering a unique username, similar to the approach taken for the 2011 Census. Surveys can be run simultaneously in more than one language; furthermore respondents can be ‘routed’ according to a number of conditions or answers to previous questions.

Data analysis

We analyse all sorts of data using a variety of software packages as well as manual analysis of the written word. Examples of the type of output we provide can be found across our website. Alternatively do contact us for an initial informal conversation so we can suggest suitable approaches according to your budget. 

For more information, please download our bespoke research flyer.