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Membership Survey 2020–21

RCS England Membership Survey 2021

Towards the end of 2020, RCS England launched its latest Member Survey.

Each survey is an opportunity for you, our members, to tell us about the professional challenges you face, how you feel about your membership, and where RCS England should focus its attentions in the future.

We want to better understand our members’ motivations and expectations and the findings will be used to inform and improve our work, ensuring that we are the membership body you want us to be.

Our approach

We developed our 2020 membership survey in conjunction with Enventure, a leading market-research company. A mixed-method approach of both quantitative and qualitative research was taken via an online survey and in depth interviews.

The quantitative questionnaire was designed to include questions posed in previous surveys to support tracking as well as new questions specific to the broader healthcare landscape of 2020.

The survey was open online between 28 October and 2 December 2020 and received 4,010 responses.   

In depth interviews were conducted to explore the survey results in greater depth and stratified to include a range of membership types, careers stages, UK nations, gender and ethnicity.

Our commitment

We ask the questions so we can listen, adapt and improve. Your feedback is vital to ensuring that the support, benefits and services that we offer you continue to meet your needs, now and in the future. We are committed to the continual enhancement of your member experience at the College and the results of our 2020 survey will build on those of 2016 and will directly help shape our future activities.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey and made this critical insight possible.

RCS England Membership Survey 2021
Attitudes towards membership
The perceived importance of membership has remained consistent and while satisfaction levels have increased compared to 2016, there remains a gap between importance and satisfaction:
  • 77% of respondents continue to view membership as important
  • 93% of those in foundation training cite membership as important
  • Core trainees perceive membership to be less important
  • There has been a 4% increase in satisfaction levels since 2016
  • 53% overall are satisfied with membership
  • There has been a 5% fall in those who would be critical of RCS England
Attitudes towards membership
RCS England Membership Survey 2021
Performance in key areas
Focus has been given to assessing the College's performance in 11 key areas. Performance is rated as highest in the following areas:
  • Promotion of patient safety
  • Provision of educational courses
  • Setting standards
  • Examining trainees
Performance in key areas
RCS England Membership Survey 2021
Benefits and services
The three most-used benefits are RCS England publications, library services and RCS England events:
  • 91% rated research fellowships, awards and grants as important
  • 91% rated library services as important
  • 89% rated RCS England events as important
  • 89% rated the RCS journals as important
  • 81% rated the CSAS Helpline as important
Benefits and services
RCS England Membership Survey 2021
Perceptions of RCS England
The positive words most commonly used to describe the College are: professional, excellent, standards, respected, supportive, leading and prestigious. Those more critical of the College use words such as: London-centric, outdated, remote and expensive:
  • 74% believe the College acts in the public interest
  • 55% agree that the College represents them
  • 38% believe that RCS England provides value for money
  • 22% agree that RCS England supports those outside London
  • 37% agree that we provide career support
Perceptions of RCS England
RCS England Membership Survey 2021
Perceptions of the profession
Members largely feel positive about the current state of the surgical and dental professions:
  • 53% feel positive about the current state of the professions, up from 30% in 2016
Top workplace challenges citied include:
  • COVID-19 - 45% of respondents
  • Lack of resources - 35%
  • Balancing clinical, professional and managerial activities - 33%
  • Mental health and wellbeing - 26%
Perceptions of the profession

Download the full infographic report here.

The report contains findings from The Royal College of Surgeons of England Membership Survey 2020, conducted online by Enventure Research on behalf of the College between October and December 2020. All survey results presented within this report are based on data weighted by membership type, location and gender, based on the latest membership statistics provided by RCS England. The survey received 4,010 responses, demonstrating nearly a 20% response rate.

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