Government – guidance

Taking Part: information for survey participants

What you need to know about being part of the Taking Part survey.


Taking Part aims to find out how people spend their time and their views on the leisure activities and facilities available to them. It also helps with understanding people’s lifestyle choices and the reasons why they do and don’t participate in activities like:

  • sport and active recreation
  • visits to museums, galleries and heritage sites
  • use of libraries and archives
  • arts events and activities

The guide Taking Part: information for survey users provides more detail.

Being chosen for interview

Addresses are randomly selected from the Post Office’s list of addresses in England, so that the results reflect the experiences and views of the whole population. If you are chosen to take part in the survey you will get an introductory Taking Part letter (MS Word Document, 54KB) and a Taking Part leaflet (PDF, 1.28MB, 2 pages) .

A few days after these have been sent an interviewer will call at your address. If it is an inconvenient time they can arrange with you to return another time.

Everyone’s views and experiences are valuable to Taking Part, even if you do not participate in any activities or you do not think that your views are relevant. If you don’t participate in any activities, we are keen to know the reasons why not, such as cost, lack of access or interest.

Interviewers do not know anything in advance about you or your household.

The interview

If there is more than 1 person in your household aged 16 or over, the interviewer will randomly select 1 person and will interview only them. If the randomly selected person is aged 16 or 17 and still living with parent(s) or guardian(s), parental consent will be required.

You will be questioned at home by a professional interviewer. The interviewer is able to enter your answers straight onto a laptop. The interview should take around 45 minutes, depending on your answers.

A small proportion of interviews are checked to ensure that the interviewer acted in a professional manner and that the information you gave was recorded accurately. You may receive a phone call or letter to confirm this.

The interviewer

All interviewers involved in Taking Part work will carry the Market Research Society Interviewer identity card. You can see an example in the Taking Part leaflet (PDF, 1.28MB, 2 pages) .

You can also contact TNS Field or TNS-BMRB directly to check that the interviewer is one of our interviewers working in your area.

Interviewing children for the survey

As part of the survey we are also talking to children. We need to understand how much time they spend doing sports and cultural activities both in and out of school so that we can improve the opportunities available to them.

If the person chosen for interview is the parent or guardian of a child aged 5-10, we would like to ask them about their child’s interests. If there is a child aged 11-15 at the address, we would like them to take part in their own short interview. The interviewer will ask for written permission from the parent or guardian before doing the interview.


Your name and address are kept separate from your answers, so you won’t be identifiable and the information you give is entirely confidential. TNS-BMRB will not pass on details to any other organisation without your permission.

Who is conducting the survey

TNS-BMRB are carrying out the survey on behalf of The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It was jointly commissioned with Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) such as:

NDPBs have a role in the processes of national government but are not part of a government department.

TNS-BMRB are a large independent agency specialising in social research. They carry out a large amount of social research on behalf of the government, charities and the voluntary sector, as well as commercial organisations. Some examples of their work include:

  • the British Crime Survey: a high profile survey completed on behalf of the Home Office
  • Community Life a large scale survey conducted for the Cabinet Office

More information about TNS-BMRB


TNS-BMRB Survey Information Line, for use by members of the public who have been asked to do the Taking Part survey:

Tel: 0800 015 2476
Interviewer ID check (office hours)Tel: 020 8433 4214

For further details about the questionnaire and survey outputs, please contact the Taking Part team at DCMS: