Select Committee on Social Security Second Report


The content of the training course

11.1  In recognition of the precise and sensitive nature of the work that the interviewers were being asked to undertake, and their comparative lack of experience in both research-type work and FAMC, each was required to undergo specialised training before commencing the fieldwork.


11.2  The objectives of the training were to ensure that each participating interviewer was fully conversant with the objectives of the exercise and their individual role within it, and to ensure that they had the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfil that role.

11.3  The interviewer training covered six main areas:

  • background to and purpose and objectives of the Benefit Review in general and the FAMC pilot in particular,
  • details of the methodology being used to conduct the Review, including all risks and sensitivities,
  • principles of research interviewing,
  • tuition and practice in research interviewing and use of questionnaire,
  • a working knowledge of FAMC rules, and
  • administrative issues including management and support of the fieldwork.

11.4  In addition, the course would facilitate networking between the fifteen interviewers and establish good links with the central helpdesk team which would be supporting them throughout the fieldwork.

Course Design

11.5  The course was held over 3 days and the training medium adopted was an instructor-led brief combined with syndicate exercises, practice sessions (role play) and question and answer sessions.

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Prepared 4 February 1999