How and when should information be collected?

In the CLD field, it is useful for us to know:

  • who is using our services?;
  • what people think of them?; and
  • what the outcome of our activities have been.

This means that equalities monitoring should be undertaken:

  • when people access our services;
  • when undertaking satisfaction surveys; and
  • when evaluating the outcome or impact of our activities.

The way in which each organisation gathers monitoring information will vary, depending on the kind of CLD activity you are involved in.  For example, if you will have an ongoing relationship with the service user, it may be most appropriate to gather monitoring information once the user has had time to build trust and get to know you. 

Or, if you need people to register or fill in a form to participate in your service, it might be easiest to gather monitoring information at this stage.

You might also want to offer people different ways to complete the form.  Although monitoring should be anonymous, some people will prefer to talk through the form with you.  This means you can explain the questions, using different methods of communication – like art or different formats – as necessary.  If you are doing this, make sure that people always understand that they don’t need to answer any of the questions if they don’t want to.