Customers' views on the information they obtain about rural grants, services and issues
Information sources (general)
Most (64%) RPID customers obtained information on rural grants or support services in the last 12 months.
The following groups were more likely to have done so:
- Business partners (69%) than owners (61%); and
- Younger (75%) than older (57%) customers.
In relation to wider rural and agricultural issues, RPID customers received information from a range of sources, the most common being: RPID/SG (46%), SRUC/SAC (40%), internet/email/social media (39%), Scottish Farmer (36%).
Just under half (45%) of RPID customers consulted a farming publication, and one in five (21%) a mainstream news publication.
There were key differences by business type, job role and age of customer, with the following more likely to consult a range of sources:
- Business partners (including Scottish Farmer – 45%, compared with 36% of owners and 31% of tenants);
- Farmers (including SRUC – 44%, compared with 35% of crofters and 28% of other businesses); and
- Older customers (including RPID/SG – 49%, compared with 33% of younger customers).
Information obtained on rural grants, support services and rural issues
In the 2013 survey, 44% had not obtained information on rural grants.
SQ1: In the last 12 months, have you obtained any information on rural grants or support services from any source? Base (all): 2,147
Q1: From which sources would you say you receive most of your information about rural and agricultural issues? Base (all): 2,147
Information sources (RPID)
RPID customers that had obtained information from RPID in the last 12 months were most likely to refer to two sources: their local RPID office (54%) and the Rural Payments and Services website (53%). Almost one in three (29%) customers had consulted both of these sources.
Differences by age of customer were most apparent here, with younger customers more likely than older customers to have referred to the following sources:
- Rural Payments and Services website (63% vs. 51%); and
- Rural Matters on social media (18% vs. 6%).
Preferences for future sources of information tended to align with current usage; the Rural Payments and Services website (45%), the local RPID Office (42%) and postal correspondence (33%) were some of the most common preferences. However, preference to be contacted by email/text in future exceeded current usage significantly (39% currently obtain information by email/text, but 55% would prefer to obtain information this way in future).
There were key differences by business type, with farmers more likely than crofters to have a preference for the following sources of information:
- Email/texts from RPID (57% vs. 51%);
- Rural Payments and Services website (47% vs. 38%); and
- Postal correspondence from RPID (36% vs. 31%).
In the 2013 survey, 64% had obtained information from their local RPID office and 49% from postal correspondence.
Q12: In the last 12 months have you obtained information from…? Base (all who have obtained information from RPID): 1,439
Q14: In future, which, if any, of the following methods would you prefer to obtain information from RPID? Base (all): 2,147
Main source of information (RPID)
The RPID website was, by some margin, the main source of RPID information. One in three (32%) customers reported this, compared with one in five (21%) for the next-most common source of information: email.
There were marked differences by business type, with crofters more likely to use the telephone (19%) and the area office (10%) than farmers (14% and 3%, respectively) and other businesses (11% and 3%, respectively).
Conversely, other business (39%) and farmers (34%) were more likely than crofters (24%) to use the RPID website.
There were also key differences by role of respondent: tenants (8%) were more likely than owners and business partners (5% and 3%, respectively) to use the area office.
Additionally, younger customers were more likely to use the RPID website (38%) and email (29%) than older customers (27% and 19%, respectively).
In the 2013 survey, 28% used the RPID website as their main source of information.
Q13: What is your main source of information from RPID? Base (all): 2,147
Types of information obtained (RPID)
Two in three (66%) RPID customers had obtained information from RPID in the last 12 months. On average, customers had obtained two pieces of information.
The following groups were more likely to have obtained information from RPID:
- Tenants (72%, compared with 65% of owners); and
- Crofters (71%, compared with 66% of farmers).
The most common types of information obtained related to applications for rural grants, including guidance relating to the customer's application or payment specifically (34%) and how to complete an application (31%).
There were key differences by business type with crofters more likely to have obtained the following information:
- Guidance on how to complete an application (38% vs. 29% of farmers); and
- Guidance relating to your application or payment specifically (37% vs. 32%).
In the 2013 survey, a quarter had not obtained information from RPID.
Q11: In the last 12 months have you obtained any of the following from RPID? Base (all): 2,147
Satisfaction with information from RPID
Customers are considerably more likely to be satisfied (53%) than dissatisfied (15%) with the information and services on rural grants and schemes provided by RPID, although almost one in three (30%) customers reported they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
Satisfaction was higher among customers who:
- Had completed their SAF without any support (57%, compared with 46% of customers who employed someone else to complete their SAF); and
- Were based in Golspie and Benbecula (65% and 61%, compared with 49% in Inverness and 44% in Inverurie).
Dissatisfaction was higher among:
- Tenants (18%, compared with 12% of business partners); and
- Crofters (18%, compared with 14% of farmers).
In the 2013 survey, 64% were satisfied with information and services on rural grants from RPID.
Q2: Thinking about your experiences in the last 12 months, overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with information and services on rural grants and schemes provided by RPID? Base (all): 2,147
Reasons for dissatisfaction with information
Reflecting the guidance customers were most likely to have obtained from RPID in the last 12 months, their main reasons for being dissatisfied with the information and services provided by RPID centred around applications. The two most common reasons for being dissatisfied were that the application process is too complicated (53%) and the application forms are too long/complicated (52%).
Differences were most prominent by business type, with crofters more likely than farmers to be dissatisfied by a range of things, including:
- The application process being too complicated (64% vs. 44%);
- The application forms being too long/complicated (61% vs. 45%);
- Payments taking too long to arrive (39% vs. 18%); and
- Staff taking a long time to respond to queries (30% vs. 17%).
Other businesses were more likely to report the information and guidance provided by RPID is not clear or accessible (71%, compared with 48% and 43% of farmers and crofters, respectively).
In the 2013 survey, the most common reason for dissatisfaction was not enough information being available (29%).
Q3: What are your main reasons for saying that you are dissatisfied with information and services provided by RPID? Base (all dissatisfied with information from RPID): 330
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