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 2018 the Scottish Government commissioned Pye Tait Consulting to undertake the fifth annual national customer satisfaction survey for building standards. The purpose of the 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 new 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 2018 survey questionnaire replicated the 2017 version (a copy is presented in Appendix 2);
- The scope of the survey was all building standards customers from 1st April 2017, 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 sought consent from their customers to supplying their contact details (name and email address) to Pye Tait Consulting for the express purpose of being invited to participate in the national survey;
- To obtain customer consent and to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force on 25th May 2018, local authorities incorporated a Privacy Notice as part of the Application for Building Warrant/Completion Certificate forms, Amendment to Building Warrant form and/or contacted their customers by email to provide the opportunity to opt out prior to their contact details being shared with Pye Tait Consulting;
- The survey opened on 1st October 2018 and closed on 2nd November 2018. 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;
- When completing the survey, customers were asked to select the local authority to which their response related. Customers of multiple local authorities were invited to complete the survey more than once, as applicable.
Total email addresses supplied to Pye Tait from local authorities: 16,970
Total survey invitation emails sent by Pye Tait: 13,762
Total survey responses received: 2,323
Response rate: 16.9% (against 13,762 emails sent).
- The majority of surveyed customers (64%) stated that they were direct building warrant applicants and/or direct submitters of completion certificates during the 2017/18 financial year (the period in scope of the survey);
- More than a third (35%) 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 (68%) had submitted applications for domestic work only, 14% submitted applications for non-domestic work only and 18% submitted applications for both domestic and non-domestic work.
Table 1 2018 headline results and comparisons
|Key||Numerical rating questions||Percentage questions|
|Green (G)||Higher than previous year||Higher than previous year|
|Amber (A)||Between 0.1 & 1.0 lower than previous year||Up to 10% lower than previous year|
|Red (R)||More than 1.0 lower than previous year||More than 10% lower than previous year|
|Scotland||Scotland 2018||Scotland 2017||Scotland 2016|
|Overall satisfaction with the service (score out of 10)||7.0(G)||6.7(A)||7.1|
|Extent to which service met expectations (score out of 10)||7.0(G)||6.7(A)||7.2|
|Very/fairly satisfied with the timeliness of various aspects of the service||56%(G)||53%(A)||57%|
|Kept very/fairly well informed about the progress of an application or submission||54%(G)||51%(A)||57%|
|Quality of Service|
|Strongly agree/agree to some extent that sufficient advice and guidance was received to meet needs||66%(G)||63%(A)||68%|
|Strongly agree/agree to some extent that building standards service staff were polite and courteous||83%(G)||81%(A)||84%|
|Yes - an inspection visit was undertaken by building standards staff||64%(G)||63%(A)||66%|
|Very/fairly satisfied with the quality of the advice and guidance received from inspection staff||83%(G)||78%(A)||81%|
|Yes - aware of the need to notify the building standards service prior to commencing warrantable work||98%(A)||98%(G)||97%|
|Satisfied with the accuracy of written information (score out of 10)||7.9(G)||7.8(A)||8.0|
|Satisfied with the quality of written information (score out of 10)||7.8(G)||7.7(A)||7.9|
|Building standards service staff are accessible if I want to meet them in person||57%(A)||57%(A)||61%|
|Building standards service staff are approachable||73%(G)||70%(A)||73%|
|Very/fairly satisfied with the reception service||84%(G)||82%(A)||83%|