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Focused on staff experience
National NHS Staff Survey Co-ordination Centre

Survey Documents

The survey documents for the 2019 NHS Staff Survey are available on this page.


Core Questionnaire and Optional Questions

The core questionnaire, which is used by the Care Quality Commission as part of the ongoing monitoring of registration compliance, is the only obligatory section of the questionnaire. You must use the core questionnaire.

Participating organisations are also able to select from three additional question modules and an optional, editable question on values.

Please note: The patient experience module has two versions, Ambulance and Standard - please make sure you use the correct version for your organisation.


Core Questionnaire


Leadership and Development

Optional - Questions relate to training, ability to become a leader, the vision of the organisation and fulfilling potential.

Patient Experience (Standard)

Optional - Questions look at whether respondents believe patients are treated with respect and dignity, have confidence in the staff treating them, and are included in decisions.

Patient Experience (Ambulance Trusts)

Optional - Questions look at whether respondents believe patients are treated with respect and dignity, have confidence in the staff treating them, and are included in decisions. This version should be used by Ambulance Trusts.

Health and Safety

Optional - Questions relate to respondent's working environment, the safety culture, and the implementation of safety processes.


Optional - The question text can be edited to better identify the organisation's values statement.

Questionnaire Compilation Tool

The questionnaire compilation tool for the 2018 NHS Staff Survey is available here.


There are two versions of the 2019 NHS Staff Survey guidance, one for participating organisations and one for contractors.

There is also an additional guidance document with advice for organisations that wish to use local questions to assess health and wellbeing initiatives.

Guidance for Participating Organisations

Guidance for Contractors

Health and Wellbeing Local Question Guidance

GDPR guidance

Communications Documents

Good internal communications strategies are very important for publicising the survey to staff and maximising response rates. Below are posters, leaflets and email tags which organisations can use to publicise the 2019 survey.

Poster - Standard (sample)

Standard poster for organisations surveying a sample of staff.

Poster - Standard (census)

Standard poster for organisations running a census survey.

Poster - Template

This version of the poster is editable, allowing organisations to add their own logo and text.

Leaflet - Standard

Standard leaflet for all organisations.

Email tag - Standard resolution

Standard resolution image file that can be used in emails.

Improving Response Rates & Top Tips for Staff Survey Leads

To help all NHS organisations achieve a good survey response rate we have compiled the following documents:


Methods for Improving Response Rates

Methods for Improving Response Rates for Online Surveys

Survey confidentiality

This document contains an explanatory note around the confidentiality of survey responses and an example letter to staff

Tips for improving response rates from high response rate organisations

This document contains tips for improving response rates from trusts who attained an excellent response rate in the 2015 NHS Staff Survey.

Top tips for running the staff survey

This document contains top tips from trust representatives on the Staff Survey Advisory Group on running the NHS Staff Survey.

Letters and Emails

These are the covering letters and emails that must be used when contacting staff.

Below you can find download links for:

- The pre-approach letter/email 

- Seven emails, one initial email and six reminders

- Three letters, one initial letter and two reminders

Pre-approach letter/email

Use this for both paper and online surveys

Email 1 - Invitation

Email 2 - First reminder

Email 3 - Second reminder

Email 4 - Third reminder

Email 5 - Fourth reminder

Email 6 - Fifth reminder

Email 7 - Final reminder

Letter 1 - Invitation

Letter 2 - First reminder

Letter 3 - Second reminder