Social Security Experience Panels: annual report 2022

Fifth annual report from the Social Security Experience Panels programme, covering the key activities and outputs from 2022.

This document is part of a collection

Research with Social Security Scotland clients

About the Client Panels

In previous Annual Reports we have shared information about Social Security Scotland's Client Panels, and how they work together with the Experience Panels to create an improved Social Security system in Scotland.

The Social Security Experience Panels are made up of people with experience of the DWP benefits that are moving to Social Security Scotland. Some of those people are now clients of Social Security Scotland, and others will become clients over the coming years.

As more benefits are launched by Social Security Scotland, it is important that the way the agency continues to improve is informed by its clients. That is why Social Security Scotland runs the Client Panels. The Client Panels run in a similar way to the Social Security Experience Panels and are a crucial part of the agency's ongoing improvement and development. The Client Survey is sent to everyone who applies for or receives a Social Security Scotland Payment. As part of the survey, people are asked if they would like to join the Client Panels.

We work closely with the Client Panels team to ensure that research engages with the most appropriate panel members – for example either Client Panel members who are clients of live benefits in Social Security Scotland, or Experience Panels members who are likely to be clients of future benefits.

Research with Client Panels members is published on the Social Security Scotland social research publications page. In 2022 reports were published on:

Spotlight On: Staff working locations research

From November to December 2021, Client Panel and Experience Panel members took part in a survey to explore views about the working location of Social Security Scotland staff. Our research examined panel members' opinions on where staff worked and how they felt this relates to confidentiality and data privacy. We also asked for their thoughts on why working location does or doesn't matter.

Most respondents said that they didn't mind where staff were working, although this varied depending on the reason for contacting Social Security Scotland and by demographics. For all of the proposed reasons for getting in touch, a clear majority of respondents said they do not mind where the staff they speak with are working. However, a substantial proportion of respondents did express a preference to speak with staff based in an office in each case. This ranged from one in ten preferring this when seeking general advice or information (11%), to one in three when challenging a decision (32%) or making a complaint (33%). Older respondents and those with a disability or long-term health condition were more likely to prefer or strongly prefer to talk to staff working in an office

Most respondents said they would feel confident discussing their personal information with staff in an office or at home. However, people were relatively less confident about doing this with staff working at home. Respondents were also relatively less confident that their information would be kept private when staff were working at home.

Respondents often stated working location shouldn't matter, as long as client service and data security can be maintained. Some felt that office environments were better suited for this. Emphasis was also placed on the importance of staff being professional and helpful, regardless of working location.

The Charter Measurement Framework

One of the key roles played by the Client Panels is to help measure Social Security Scotland's performance against Our Charter. The Charter Measurement Framework is published annually to show how Social Security Scotland is living up to the commitments made in Our Charter, and to provide information and insights to help the organisation to keep improving.

The Charter Measurement Framework is informed by research with clients, staff and partner organisations. The framework uses findings from the Client Survey, and also involves interviews with Client Panel members. Surveys and sometimes interviews are also conducted with staff and partner organisations. The 2021-22 and previous reports can be found on the Social Security Scotland social research publications page.



Back to top