National police wellbeing survey 2021

Published 25 Oct 2021
Written by
Oscar Kilo
National Police Wellbeing Service
Reading time
5 mins

More than 36,000 police officers, staff, and volunteers across UK policing have given their views on how the service can best support them by filling in the national police wellbeing survey.

The survey has now closed, read the results here.

More about the survey

The annual survey, which is now in its third year, gives everyone working in policing an opportunity to have their say on the current state of wellbeing provision and support offered by forces, so police leaders can assess where further improvements can be made.

The survey is led by Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), and is run by the Policing Research Unit at Durham University with support from the College of Policing.

Andy Rhodes, Service Director for the NPWS said:

We carry out this survey because it is important that our work is focused on what the people doing their jobs every day are telling us they need.

We have had fantastic response rates to the first two surveys, and we really want to build on that again this year.

We want every member of the police service to feel confident they can speak up and that we will act upon what they tell us.

The findings help us, and local forces, design and develop the right interventions and support that officers, staff and volunteers are telling us they need.

Each year, we have responded to the findings from the surveys, working with leading experts to deliver bespoke trauma intervention programmes (ESTIP), and to develop training, online learning and research studies in areas such as sleep and fatigue and physical fitness and other issues raised in previous years.

We can’t make changes unless we truly understand what is impacting people the most and so we want as many people to take part again in this years’ survey and have their voices heard.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, CEO of the College of Policing, said:

The national wellbeing survey is a crucial opportunity for us to hear directly from those on the frontline about how we can best support them to keep people safe.

Officers, staff and volunteers have been doing an incredible job in responding to the challenges of the pandemic but I am very much aware that there are many pressures which impact on the wellbeing of police workers.

It is vital we hear from as many people working in policing as possible so we can use that information to prioritise addressing the issues which matter most to them. I am determined to ensure that not only does the College help equip our police workforce with the latest knowledge, skills and guidance, but also plays a role in giving police workers the wellbeing support they need and deserve to perform their crucial roles.


Survey FAQS

What is this survey for?

Is it critical that we continue to ask you how you are truly feeling at work so we can build a really clear picture of what we need to work on.

Andy Rhodes, Service Director for the NPWS has re-launched this survey to build upon the findings from the last two years, so we can continue to focus improvement in the work of the NPWS.

This national survey is designed to assess wellbeing from the perspective of the whole policing workforce so that improvement activities can be prioritised and targeted.

To assess progress and whether improvements are being achieved the survey will be repeated in November 2022.

Who can complete the survey?

The survey is open to all officers, staff, volunteers, and specials within all UK police forces and national law enforcement bodies.

How do I complete the survey?

The survey is open for all personnel within your force to complete electronically. It will be available via a link on your local force intranet or you will receive it via email.

It can be completed using a desktop, laptop, mobile, and/or tablet to provide more flexibility to fit around your busy lives. It can be completed in works time or in your own time.

How long does it take to complete the survey?

We appreciate how precious your time is and so we have condensed this survey and it should only take around 10 – 15 minutes to complete, however, it is also acknowledged that it may take a little longer for some.

What’s the point in completing this survey, nothing changes?

We hope that by responding to the results from previous surveys by launching brand new, bespoke training and online learning around fatigue as an example will reassure you that we have listened and acted and that we will continue to do so. 

These surveys are a fantastic opportunity to be able to assess the state of wellbeing across UK policing and whether staff feel valued and heard.

It is important we get a good response rate from across all forces so that the strength of the evidence can influence the work of the national wellbeing service in the right direction.

The survey will be repeated so that we can continue to identify year on year progress.

It really is worth taking the time to respond as we will act upon what we hear from you.

Is it really anonymous?

Yes it is anonymous. You will be asked to provide certain information eg digits / letters from your date of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc, which will build a unique reference number (URN).

This URN will allow us to monitor changes over time from one survey to the next, to help us understand the impact of the improvement initiatives implemented since the previous survey.

The survey design, data collection, analysis, and reporting will be undertaken by Professor Les Graham and team at the Police Research Unit, Durham University.

Is it possible to have a paper survey to complete?

The survey will only be available electronically. Anyone working in a role who does not have regular access to a computer or mobile device will be provided an opportunity to access one. Paper copies have been offered in recent years, with little success in gaining responses.

I’ve been seconded to a new project / team, should I complete the survey about my seconded or substantive role?

Please complete the survey considering the role / working environment where you are at the time of completing it.

I am relatively new to the organisation, should I still complete the survey?

Yes, the survey is open to every employee. We want to hear your views and your experiences irrespective of the length of time you have worked for your force. The survey enables us to break down the results so we are able to see the perceptions of employees with different lengths of service.

Will I be allowed time at work to complete the survey?

This will be dependent on your own force policies but we would encourage organisations to allow you the time to complete this in work if you wish. You are able to complete the survey in your own time, if you prefer.

Can I answer some of the questions, save my answers and return to complete the survey later?

Unfortunately not, you will have to allow enough time to complete the survey in one go. You will not be able to save answers to some questions and return to it later.

Why do some questions seem to be repeated?

It may seem as if questions are repeated or that certain questions seem similar. Please consider and answer each individually this really helps with the overall accuracy of the data collected. Academics at Durham University, who developed the survey, are experts in this field, the questions are formulated to ensure consistency and that the results from the survey are as robust as possible.

What if there are questions I don’t want to answer?

If you are uncomfortable answering any question or do not know how to answer it, please leave that question blank. The survey is designed to skip to specific questions depending on how certain previous questions have been answered.

Will my force receive its own local report?

If a force has a meaningful response rate, they will be eligible to request a local force report that will be compiled by Durham University and sent directly on to that force.

What happens next – When will the survey results be made available?

Durham University will analyse the data and a report will be produced. Within the report, wellbeing attitudes of police employees in different job roles, and ranks, and grades will be investigated and reported on. This will be available spring/summer 2022.

Go to survey results