The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is the UK’s leading planning body for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning and is the largest planning institute in Europe with approximately 22,600 members. In order to better understand its membership and the state of the profession, the RTPI wished to collect key data about its members that would allow it to more effectively represent those members and the wider profession, and support membership growth. Enventure Research was commissioned to undertake an online survey of the RTPI membership to explore a number of different topics areas.
A questionnaire was designed in partnership between the RTPI and Enventure Research which consisted of 40 questions covering topics such as views of RTPI membership, awareness, usage and rating of RTPI membership services, communication, the RTPI website and social media, RTPI activities and the future of the RTPI. Demographic information was also collected. Before launching the survey, the questionnaire was piloted amongst a sample of RTPI members from across the UK to ensure that it was interesting, relevant, concise and easy to complete. Feedback from the pilot was used to produce the final version of the questionnaire.
The survey was administered via email to all members from whom the RTPI held a valid email address (18,760), which contained a unique link to take part in the survey, followed up by three reminder emails to those who had not yet taken part. An open survey link was also promoted on the RTPI website which allowed members to log in using their RTPI membership number. Hard copy postal invitations were sent to UK and Irish RTPI members for whom the RTPI did not hold a valid email address, or where the initial email invitation bounced back (3,595).
Results and Benefits to the Client
The survey was hosted online between 2 and 28 October 2013. During this four-week period, 5,718 RTPI members took part in the membership survey, with 5,345 taking part via their personalised email invitation and 373 participating via the open survey link promoted on the RTPI website. Assuming an overall membership size of 22,607 (including all UK and international members), this equates to a response rate of 25.3%, providing a very robust sample size to draw results from.
The findings from the research were used to influence RTPI business planning and performance management processes, and also to help inform further research on members’ views of RTPI services.
Enventure Research has been pleased to work with the RTPI on two other occasions since undertaking the membership survey, once undertaking research with student planners and once on research targeting those working in the planning profession who were not members of the RTPI.
To find out more about this, and other similar projects, please contact us – we would be happy to help!