The remit of the building standards system in Scotland is to protect the public interest by setting out the standards to be met when building or conversion work takes place, to the extent necessary to meet the building regulations.
In 2019 the Scottish Government commissioned Pye Tait Consulting to undertake the sixth annual national customer satisfaction survey for building standards. The purpose of the annual survey is to obtain nationally consistent customer satisfaction data across all 32 local authorities in Scotland and to enable comparison analysis between years.
The survey aligns with Key Performance Outcome 4 (KPO4) of the ‘Building Standards Performance Framework for Verifiers’ (operational from May 2017). The purpose of KPO4 – titled ‘Understand and respond to the customer experience’ – is for local authority verifiers to monitor customer satisfaction with the building standards service and ensure it meets or exceeds customer expectations.
Approach to delivering the survey:
- The 2019 survey questionnaire broadly replicated the 2018 version with a minor change to how respondents selected the local authority their response related to (a copy is presented in Appendix 2);
- The scope of the survey was all building standards customers between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019, defined as:
a. Applicants for building warrants (including any agents);
b. Submitters of completion certificates (including any agents); and
c. Others that have interacted with the building standards service.
- Local authorities supplied their customers’ contact details (name and email address only) to Pye Tait Consulting for the express purpose of being invited to participate in the survey;
- The survey opened on 30th September 2019 and closed on 1st November 2019. It was hosted online and customers with email addresses were directly invited by Pye Tait Consulting to participate;
- Local authorities were at liberty to promote the survey link to their own customers (i.e. those within scope) as appropriate;
- For customers of one local authority the survey automatically assigned their responses to that local authority; while customers of multiple local authorities were presented with links for each local authority of which they had been a customer and thus could complete the survey multiple times, once for each local authority.
Total email addresses supplied to Pye Tait from local authorities: 23,522
Total survey invitation emails sent by Pye Tait: 18,408
Total survey responses received: 2,752
Response rate: 15.0% (against 18,408 emails sent).
- The majority of surveyed customers (67%) stated that they were direct building warrant applicants and/or direct submitters of completion certificates during the 2018/19 financial year (the period in scope of the survey);
- Nearly a third (31%) classified themselves as agents, i.e. acting on behalf of applicants;
- A small minority (2%) defined themselves as an ‘other’ customer type;
- The majority of customers (72%) had submitted applications for domestic work only, 13% submitted applications for non-domestic work only and 16% submitted applications for both domestic and non-domestic work.
Table 1 2019 headline results and comparisons
|Key||Numerical rating questions||Percentage questions|
|Green (G)||7.5 and higher||75% and higher|
|Amber (A)||Between 6.5 and 7.4||Between 65% and 74%|
|Red (R)||6.4 and below||64% and below|
Note that the colour-coding metrics have changed in 2019 (from previous years) to reflect The Scottish Government’s updated performance measurement requirements.
|Scotland||Scotland 2019||Scotland 2018||Scotland 2017|
|Overall satisfaction with the service (score out of 10)||7.4 (A)||7.0 (A)||6.7 (A)|
|Extent to which service met expectations (score out of 10)||7.4 (A)||7.0 (A)||6.7 (A)|
|Very/fairly satisfied with the timeliness of various aspects of the service||60% (R)||56% (R)||53% (R)|
|Kept very/fairly well informed about the progress of an application or submission||61% (R)||54% (R)||51% (R)|
|Strongly agree/agree to some extent that sufficient advice and guidance was received to meet needs||69% (A)||66% (A)||63% (R)|
|Strongly agree/agree to some extent that building standards service staff were polite and courteous||84% (G)||83% (G)||81% (G)|
|Yes - an inspection visit was undertaken by building standards staff||66% (A)||64% (R)||63% (R)|
|Very/fairly satisfied with the quality of the advice and guidance received from inspection staff||77% (G)||83% (G)||78% (G)|
|Yes – aware of the need to notify the building standards service prior to commencing warrantable work||97% (G)||98% (G)||98% (G)|
|Satisfied with the accuracy of written information (score out of 10)||8.1 (G)||7.9 (G)||7.8 (G)|
|Satisfied with the quality of written information (score out of 10)||8.0 (G)||7.8 (G)||7.7 (G)|
|Building standards service staff are accessible if I want to meet them in person||59% (R)||57% (R)||57% (R)|
|Building standards service staff are approachable||74% (A)||73% (A)||70% (A)|
|Very/fairly satisfied with the reception service||87% (G)||84% (G)||82% (G)|