The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

Qualitative Member Research | Member Survey | Communications Audit

Three major projects in three years: qualitative member research, the first full membership survey for more than five years, and an organisation-wide communications audit.

In 2011/12 the RCSLT (15,000 members, mostly in the UK) appointed us to carry out qualitative member research to determine the RCSLT's 'fitness for the future'.

Richard Guy, then Director of Membership and Communications at the RCSLT, said:
"We have plenty of information from membership work in the past and we know what members say they find of use but we needed to understand what we're not doing which would add significant value and be of relevance to our members in these difficult times. In the light of their track record, we trusted Ashridge would handle communication with our members sensitively and professionally. Their report is helping us to shape our plans for meeting our members' needs; it gives us a firm foundation for evolving as an organisation."

In October 2014 the RCSLT had the confidence in our research and consultancy team to appoint us to carry out their first full membership survey for more than 5 years. We achieved a 24% response rate; the results were analysed and benchmarked against other membership bodies (where possible), and presented to the senior management team, staff and the Board.

In November 2015, we carried out a project to address one of the areas for improvement that was identified from the member survey: communications. We delivered a full audit, analysing and reviewing the communications that members received from the RCSLT head office, country offices and regional Hubs. Our recommendations focused on changes and developments that would lead to a more targeted communications programme and improvements that would help increase member satisfaction and engagement.

Working with Ashridge on our membership survey and communication audit projects has been a very positive and productive experience. From the initial planning stages through to the analysis and interpretation of findings, Ashridge has demonstrated its undoubted expertise in this field. The combination of sound methodological approaches with a sensitive consideration of the RCSLT's particular needs has resulted in two very useful reports and sets of recommendations for our future actions. The presentation of findings to our trustees and staff was particularly engaging and effective, and very much appreciated. I would not hesitate to recommend Ashridge for similar projects and look forward to working with the team again in the future.

Steven Harulow, RCSLT Communication Manager