Skip to main content

Technical note on virtual events survey data

This technical note accompanies the research findings in the blog post, 'Virtual casework events: Planning for the future' and sets out the survey limitations.

These findings are based on a poll of approximately 300 Planning Inspectorate staff and a poll of approximately 600 respondents from outside the Inspectorate who took part in at least one virtual event. In relation to the latter poll, the Inspectorate has not collated findings on the number of participants outside the Inspectorate that attended our virtual events to date, so it is not clear how representative this sample is of all attendees or the different groups of attendees.

Both polls were self-selecting samples, limited to those who agreed to provide feedback. The following limitations should be considered when interpreting the results:

  • Neither sample is necessarily a representative sample of all who could have responded and therefore the findings are not necessarily representative of the views of all possible respondents.
  • Those agreeing to respond are likely to be those with more extreme viewpoints, either positive or negative.
  • The findings give an estimate of the underlying measure of interest. We cannot be certain that this estimate is the true value of the underlying measure of interest, instead we must appreciate that there is a confidence interval around our estimate.
  • It is not clear from the data collected if all responses are separate or if people had responded multiple times.
  • Customer research from event participants does not consider those who were unable or unwilling to take part in virtual events. This inherent bias thus cannot be measured.
  • We also can’t tell at this stage whether people of, say, different ethnicities or gender have different views on virtual events. Or to which extent their views have been sought.

These findings cover poll responses received from Planning Inspectorate staff between August 2020 and September 2021 and from event attendees from outside the Inspectorate between August 2020 and July 2021.