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Course Details

Developing and Testing Survey Questions

Professional Development Centre
Contact Provider
1 day
Short Course
(See Description)
All statisticians who wish to improve their ability to help non-statistical clients.
Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London, EC1Y 8LX, Greater London, United Kingdom


This one day training event is designed to give participants a good grounding in the essentials of questionnaire design, from both the survey experimental literature and practical experience. The morning session will look at individual survey questions and the questionnaire as a whole for both interview and self-completion questionnaires.  The afternoon session will focus on industry standards for testing survey questions and cover traditional methods to more recent innovations in question testing (e.g., expert review, systematic forms appraisal, respondent debriefing, behaviour coding, cognitive interviewing, and focus groups for question testing).

Learning objectives

After this course, participants should:

  • Have a greater awareness of the different aspects involved in developing good survey questions and questionnaires, taking into account the important differences between questionnaire design for interview surveys versus self-completion surveys
  • Have the tools to critique and test new and existing questionnaires
  • Have the knowledge to be able to write their own high quality questionnaires

Topics covered 

  • Getting started with a new questionnaire
  • Diagnosing problems with single survey questions (multi-item scales not covered)
  • The questionnaire as a whole with special concerns for interview surveys and the visual layout of postal and web surveys (shown to affect both item and unit nonresponse)
  • Overview of the main types of question testing methods currently available

This course is suitable for those new to questionnaire design and testing as well as those who have experience in this area but would like to brush up on the latest thinking.

Feedback from previous delegates:

“The instructor was fabulous – her knowledge and enthusiasm for the topic was apparent."

 “I found the course thoroughly enjoyable and very informative.”

 “I was extremely impressed by the instructor’s knowledge and experience of survey design”.

Course presenter

Dr. Pamela Campanelli is a survey research specialist who has worked in this field since 1982.  Prior to starting her business, The Survey Coach, she worked at Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and the Bureau of the Census in the U.S. and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and the National Centre for Social Research in the U.K. She regularly teaches short courses to a range of public sector organisations, private institutes, survey research organisations and for a variety of universities in the UK and overseas.

For details of registration fees, please visit our website

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