Since setting up Education Space Consultancy we have focused our Teaching Space Utilisation Survey & Consultancy service towards providing all Universities and Colleges with an attractive and realistic option, for not only replacing an alternative external provider, but also those surveys managed and run by institution’s themselves.
Having worked previously as the Timetabling & Space Manager at a UK University and having delivered 10’s of these surveys as a consultant over many years, I have gained a thorough understanding of the what is required to successfully carry out a Teaching Space Utilisation Survey. Plus, throughout my career, I have continually analysed and utilised survey and timetable data to provide and action recommendations that have made a significant difference, to both how space is utilised and how the timetable is delivered.
We have used this experience to ensure that every Teaching Space Utilisation Survey & Consultancy project we carry out, provides our clients with the following 5 benefits and therefore provide an beneficial alternative for replacing an internally managed space utilisation survey;
1) Releases Senior Management Time
Having both carried out these surveys when working within a University and having provided them for 10’s of institutions before and since, I fully understand the time required to carry out a survey accurately and get the most out of the results – it is considerable.
Survey staff need to be employed, trained and managed. Routes need to be planned and produced with survey documentation, access and ID provided. Onsite management is required to ensure all rooms are surveyed and data collected hourly, plus questions answered and disruption kept to a minimum.
Then once the survey is completed, data needs to be produced, analysed andreported on ASAP with recommendations and actions completed, again ASAP, in order to address and solve issues whilst the survey is still fresh in people’s minds.
The time this requires is considerable!
Add onto this, that the typical period for carrying out a space utilisation survey is one of the busiest – i.e. the start of semester – and the demand on your time can be very high. Carrying out a time demanding survey accurately and successfully at this time, can therefore become a huge ask that can result in the survey, data analysis and/or reporting getting side-lined by other, demanding and urgent tasks that require attention.
We focus on ensuring our survey service can manage every aspect of each survey we carry out, releasing all your time to spend on other projects and priorities during this typically busy period. To ensure we are able to do this we;
a) Use our own survey staff, who are provided with all documentation, ID and onsite route training.
b) Plan each survey route ourselves onsite.
c) Provide all senior survey management support throughout all hours of the survey, enabling us to answer questions and ensure all data is being collected accurately with minimum disruption caused.
d) Ensure all survey data is provided in the format required by the agree deadline (within one working day).
e) Ensure all data analysis and reporting is provided when required (within 10 working days).
2) Professional and Experienced Survey Service
We aim to ensure that every institution we provide a Teaching Space Utilisation Survey service for, is provided with the same level of excellent service from start to finish. As noted previously, all survey staff are selected, employed and trained by Education Space Consultancy ensuring that only suitable staff are used.
During all stages of each survey, a dedicated and experienced senior management staff member provides all offsite and onsite support. This includes all onsite planning and dedicated onsite support during all survey hours.
Our extensive experience of carrying out this type of survey and the provision of onsite senior management, ensures that disruption during the survey is kept to a minimum, questions are answered quickly and effectively plus we can offer experienced solutions to any survey complexities raised during the planning stages (i.e. surveying restricted access areas).
3) Detailed analysis and informed reporting
All our data analysis and reporting utilises our extensive HE and FE space utilisation and timetabling experience, to ensure that we analyse and highlight all key parameters within the survey data. Our reports are continually developed to reflect our clients’ needs, ensuring that each report addresses any specific objectives and provide genuinely useful analysis and recommendations.
Our experience of carrying this type of survey for 10’s of UK institutions as well as my timetabling and space management background, ensures we have the knowledge and experience to highlight genuine issues and provide recommended solutions, that consider all implications and if actioned, will make a positive difference to how space is utilised at your institution.
If available, we ensure that the timetable data for the chosen survey week is compared and analysed also. We always recommend this extra analysis, as it enables us to highlight any differences between the two data sets and provide recommendations for solving these differences. Typically, solving these can result in significant improvements in teaching space availability, timetable accuracy and the data available for estates planning. This extra timetable analysis is provided at no extra cost, as we feel it is an integral part of the survey data analysis for our clients.
4) Affordable service
We believe that the cost of Teaching Space Utilisation Survey can be one of the major issues resulting in Universities and Colleges carrying out Teaching Space Utilisation Surveys themselves, as the cost of using an external company can be considerably greater the carrying out the survey internally. Our Teaching Space Utilisation Survey service however, has been developed to not only deliver an excellent service, but also an affordable one.
My experience of providing this type of survey within a University, ensures that we understand not only how institutions carry out this type of survey themselves but also the typical costs of doing so. We therefore aim to ensure that we provide a service that compares favourably with the cost of an institution carrying out this type of survey themselves once survey costs and management time gave been factored in.
In order to address any concern over affordability, we are always happy to provide an institution with a quotation as well as a document that details the type of service we provide. We are also very happy to meet with you to discuss how we carry out this survey service and answer any questions, free of charge and no commitment required – it’s always a pleasure to meet with people!
5) Fast data, data analysis and reporting delivery – we never miss a deadline!
I have found in past experiences that agreeing to and keeping deadlines, are often two very different things and this can result in a lot of stress and issues. We therefore ensure that all deadlines are agreed to during the project start-up meeting and once agreed, always met. This can include the delivery of all survey data in the agreed format within 1 working day and all data analysis and reporting within 10 working days, after data confirmation.
We target this fast delivery, to ensure that each client is provided with the information they require when the require it, so they can immediately start looking at the results and addressing any issues raised via the report. The period directly after the survey is typically the most effective period to raise issues with departments and staff, as the survey is fresh on peoples minds and therefore the chances of accurate responses is higher.
I hope this article has gone some way to explain why we believe we not only provide an excellent Teaching Space Utilisation Survey service, but also a survey service that is an attractive option when compared to carrying out this survey yourself.
If you would like more information on this service, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. We are very happy to provide a survey quotation and more detail on how we could carry out the survey for your institution, plus are always happy to come and talk about our survey service in more detail and answer any questions if this would be of any help. I have also provided links to further information on Teaching Space Utilisation Surveys below, for those who would like to find out more.
All the best