back to listings SME Profile: Opinion Research Services
Introduction to ORS
1. Opinion Research Services (ORS) is a generic social research practice that works mainly for the public and voluntary sectors across the UK, specialising in studies on local government, equality and diversity, health, housing (including stock condition surveys and housing market and needs assessments), and emergency services (policing and fire and rescue services).
2 We have extensive experience of the whole range of quantitative and qualitative research, as well as consultancy and specialist training for a variety of public sector organisations.
3. About 95% of our work is for the public sector and we have a social (rather than market) research orientation.
Range of Methodologies
4. We use a wide range of methodologies including personal interviews and telephone, postal and on-line surveys, and we specialise in both quantitative and qualitative consultation, as shown below.
QUANTITATIVE SOCIAL RESEARCH including, in particular, residents, tenants and user surveys – and all the following:
Housing needs and strategic market assessments
BVPI and Place surveys for local authorities, police and fire and rescue services
BME community and social cohesion studies
Employee surveys including national cultural audit development
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH in particular for health, housing, hard to reach social groups, local government and emergency services, and employee surveys – using all the following methods:
Community and Stakeholder Forums
CONSULTANCY and TRAINING – including all the following areas:
Equality and diversity policies
Facilitation skills training
Sampling and statistics
Citizens’ Panel management
Mystery customer skills
5. ORS was founded as a social research organisation within Swansea University by Dale Hall in 1988. After 10 years, ORS became a university spin-out company and since then has retained its research-orientation while developing a UK-wide reputation for thoughtful social research.
6. We have grown steadily to a turnover approaching £2.5 million and have resources enough to be considered a very secure company.
7. We offer a genuine research service that is not unduly commercial. We provide a comprehensive service upon which clients can rely, with senior staff directly involved in projects throughout. Clients can always call ORS without feeling the clock is running.
Capacities and Capabilities
8. ORS has 38 permanent staff including specialist social researchers, analysts, IT developers and operational support staff. The majority of the team have degrees, with 3 have PHds and several masters.
9. As well as a national team of fieldworks equipped for computer assisted personal interviews (CAPI), ORS has a dedicated 35-unit Social Research Call Centre which is fully equipped for computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI).
10. With so many capacities, we do not outsource work but maintain our own fieldwork and Call Centre organisation in order to offer good value and quality control.
11. All ORS’ research activities and business systems are fully accredited to BS ISO 9001:2008; and we are aiming for BS ISO 20252. All our interviewers and fieldwork procedures are all fully IQCS accredited.
12. In terms of data security, we have been approved under the PASF scheme to work with Police data. Also we have recently reviewed all our systems and procedures with the aim of achieving ISO 27001 by March 2012.
13. As a university spin out company we seek to guarantee academic standards for our applied social research. We are a Market Research Society Company Partner and are fully compliant with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct.
14. Our managing director, Dale Hall, is a Board Member of the Wales Quality Council
Working with a Wide Range of Clients
15. As an established social research company, our expertise covers emergency services (both the fire and rescue and police services), education, employment and labour market issues, health, housing, social cohesion, tourism and visitor studies – as well as database design and management, statistical modelling, community profiling, computer programming and software development.
16. ORS works in all over the UK and in recent years we have worked with the following:
National Government including: the Home Office, ODPM, DCLG, Welsh Assembly Government and Scottish Executive
National bodies such as: CFOA, NPIA, the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Disability Rights Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality, English Partnerships
Most of the local authorities across the UK
Over a third of the police forces across the UK, including the Metropolitan Police and the Police Service of Northern Ireland
Most of the Fire and Rescue Services across the UK
Many Health Trusts and Local Heath Boards
Major housing associations
Large utility companies
International energy companies.
17. We have been appointed to a number of UK wide framework agreements:-
Policing Performance Assessment Framework which provides a range of research services to the all UK Police Forces
Housing Needs Assessments for English Partnerships
Public Health and Well-being for IDeA
Criminal Justice for the Home Office
Fire Service Consultation Association providing research services to over 50 Fire and Rescue Services.
18. Additionally, we have been appointed to a number of important contracts with councils where we undertake a range of public, stakeholder and staff consultation – for example, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Leicester, East Midlands, Bedfordshire, Neath Port Talbot, Birmingham, Leeds, and the Greater London Authority.