CIPFA Research is provided by a team of senior researchers and analysts who between them have many years’ experience providing qualitative and quantitative research services. We also draw on public sector expertise from within CIPFA’s networks.

Our services 

CIPFA Research has provided research and associated services to organisations across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. 

In addition to high quality desk research we engage with members of the public, stakeholders and staff within organisations across all sectors. 

As part of the CIPFA group we have access to numerous datasets, expertise and knowledge that enable us to extract real value from our research and surveys, delivering you a greater insight. We produce high quality reports to client specifications, incorporating executive summaries, in-depth analysis and clear, thematic outcomes. 

We can offer an end-to-end service: designing your research programme, obtaining the data and providing both qualitative and quantitative analysis along with process management. 

We also offer supplementary research services to support and compliment any research you have already carried out. 

Standard products 

Our core products have enabled organisations to better understand their services, to engage with their users and improve decision-making. These core products are primarily focused on libraries, archives and finance users. 

Our library surveys include the adult Public Library Users Survey (PLUS), the Young People’s Library Survey, and a survey for those that make use of a library’s ICT services (ePLUS). The surveys look to understand how services are used, who uses them, and what users think of them. 

Our archive surveys include a Survey of Visitors to UK Archives and a Distance Enquiry Services Survey, which gauges how respondents think their enquiries are handled and what they think about the available online services. We also run the Finance Users Survey, which is designed to help you to gain insight into your budget setting process, identify finance function issues and plan for the future allocation of resources. 

Examples of techniques adopted

  • Self-completion surveys
  • Depth interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Desk research
  • Online discussion groups 

Data collection


This offers a number of advantages including: accuracy, speed of turnaround times and accessibility to scanned images online. The extracted data is subject to a number of quality checks to ensure its integrity and is then exported in a format according to need, eg SPSS or Excel. 


All our online surveys are designed, developed and hosted using IBM technologies and infrastructure. Surveys can be run simultaneously in more than one language; furthermore respondents can be ‘routed’ according to a number of conditions or answers to previous questions.

Data analysis 

We analyse all sorts of data using a variety of software packages as well as manual analysis of the written word.


  • All of your research needs can be catered for in one place – CIPFA the public sector experts.
  • Save time and money by allowing CIPFA research team to complete all of your research needs.
  • Over 130 years’ experience in the public sector means that we understand your requirements.
  • Multiple techniques, formats, tools mean that we can select the right approach for your needs.

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