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Better Connected survey programme 2016-17

Mon 05 Sep 2016
Vicky Sargent

A number of people have been enquiring about the subjects and timing of Better Connected surveys for 2016-17. No details will be published until after the Better Connected reviewers’ meeting on 20th September, so look out for announcements from the end of September/early October.

Information about the Better Connected programme is published via the following channels:

  • Here on the Better Connected Website blog
  • The Web Improvement group on KHub – sign up for alerts
  • Socitm email alerts – weekly email alerts for Socitm members and employees of Socitm corporate member and Insight subscribers -who have registered at
  • The Socitm website
  • Twitter announcements - follow @btrconnected

The survey topics and timetable will also be published on the Better Connected website, as soon as it is available.

We are likely to carry out and publish results of at least one service area ‘task-based’ survey for every local authority type before Christmas.

We do not anticipate changes to the survey programme from last year’s formula, ie four service area task-based surveys for each council, and surveys covering mobile access, navigation/search/A-Z and accessibility.

We will complete surveys by the end of April/early May and announce overall star rankings ahead of Better Connected Live 2017, which will be held on 28 & 29 June in Birmingham.

Following the reviewers’ meeting on 20th September, we expect to publish some significant tweaks to the scoring of surveys. The basic method of review will not change. We are also reviewing how we do accessibility surveys and will publish details of any changes ahead of starting accessibility reviews.

A further development is the introduction of Better Connected re-reviews, in response to demand from our user base and along lines discussed at Better Connected Live 2016.

Re-reviews will allow councils that have improved their websites since Better Connected surveys were undertaken to request a re-review of one or more of their surveys. New scores from re-reviews will be published and used to re-calculate the council’s published Better Connected site ranking, which will be updated if changed.

The process allows a council that has improved its site to see that reflected in its published Better Connected scores well ahead of publication of the following year’s survey results.

Re-reviews will not be available until any challenges to original survey scores have been resolved in the normal way. As in 2015-16, such challenges may be made at any time following publication of survey results. The challenge process will close a month after publication of the overall site rankings.

The re-review ‘season’ will therefore run from July each year until the following April.

We are currently piloting re-reviews (which will be a paid-for service) including the review process and how results are presented on the Better Connected website. We will make an announcement with further details when the service is available.

One more development is in the pipeline.

We will be adding a new sharing facility for local digital innovation to the Better Connected website, presented in partnership with the Local CIO Council (LCIOC).

LCIOC is promoting ‘simplify, standardize and share’ as its principles for local digital. The Better Connected website, with its free to view page-per-council provides a unique and practical platform for the LCIOC’s sharing vision.

From this Autumn, the Better Connected site will provide an index of innovations by council and type. Access to the index will be highly visible on the Better Connected site as it will be situated on the council index page that people use to access council pages for individual results from Better Connected.

There will be links from the landing pages on the Better Connected website of every council that has innovations to share. Councils will be able to upload details of their innovations to the PublicServiceDigital eXchange site which will feed the Better Connected platform.

The PublicServiceDigital eXchange will also be linked to Looking Local’s Co-fund and Collaborate to Innovate initiative that is pioneering crowdfunding of local digital collaborative innovation.

Stay tuned for further details this Autumn and if you have any direct questions, comment here, or email us at








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