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Family Resources Survey (FRS) FAQs

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Frequently asked questions about the Family Resources Survey (FRS)

Why is this survey important?

The results from this survey allow the Department of Work and Pensions to understand how different parts of society are managing today and help them to plan for the future, monitor the impact of policy changes in the UK and measure the state of the economy over time.

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Why should I take part?

Whatever your circumstances, they are relevant to this survey. Obtaining information from as many selected households as possible is the only way we can get a complete and accurate picture. By taking part in the survey you will ensure that your experiences and circumstances become an important part of the bigger picture of life in the UK today and will be helping to influence matters that affect us all.

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What is involved?

An interviewer will arrange a suitable time to visit you to conduct the interview. All questionnaire data are collected face-to-face using computer assisted questionnaires. The interviewer will collect complete information about the circumstances of the whole household. They will ask you questions on a range of topics such as how your household manages financially, what savings and investments you have and what provision you have made for retirement - but only if they apply to you.

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How will the information I provide be used?

Government departments use the results of the survey to identify how and where they should be using public resources. They use the information to check how different groups in the community are affected by existing policies and to inform future policy changes.

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Who is carrying out the survey?

The Family Resources Survey is being conducted by a consortium including the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the government's largest producer of statistics and the National Centre for Social Research. The ONS compiles independent information about the UK's society and economy which provides evidence for policy and decision making, and for directing resources to where they are needed most. The ten-yearly census, measures of inflation, the National Accounts, and population and migration statistics are some of our highest-profile outputs.

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Do I have to take part?

Our work is very important and we need your help to make our studies successful. Every year about half a million people help us by taking part in our studies. No-one has to take part if they do not want to, but for us to paint an accurate picture of our society, it is vital that we interview as many people as possible, from all walks of life.

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Is the survey confidential?

Yes, the information you provide will be treated in strict confidence as directed by the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. It will be used to produce statistics that will not identify you or anyone in your household. Survey information is also provided to other approved organisations for statistical purposes only. All such statistics produced are subject to the Code and the same standards of protection are applied to your information at all times.

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Why have I been selected?

Households are selected at random from the Royal Mail's Postcode Address File. Now that you have been selected we cannot replace you with another household. This means your participation is very important to the success of this official survey in ensuring that all groups in society are properly represented.

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Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any further queries about taking part in the survey please contact the Survey Enquiry Line on 0800 298 5313.

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Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.