As mentioned previously, our contact centre uses the same survey platform and questionnaire design as used in the online mode. Additionally, they also use a pre-determined script for interviewers to guide them through interviews. This is designed to complement the survey by providing useful prompts that aid interaction between interviewers and respondents. While the survey itself is identical across the two modes (online and telephone), the interviewer script contains additional prompts and guidance for the interviewers to support direct interaction with respondents.
Prior to launch, the survey and platform were rigorously tested by the contact centre. This led to the identification of areas that required further guidance and recommendations from this exercise were incorporated into the original script.
The script is constantly reviewed by HESA, especially considering any issues encountered by interviewers during live interviews. Additional support in the form of guidance, prompts and reassurance texts are offered to mitigate the risk of respondents disengaging part way through the survey.
The entire interviewer script is also available in Welsh, to allow interviews to be carried out in that language should a respondent choose to do so. Further information on the handling of Welsh language requirements can be found in the section on data collection.