Department for Culture Media and Sport

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Consultation on Sport Participation Measurement - now closed

We consulted during the summer of 2012 (June to August) on proposals to change the way sport is measured in the Taking Part (TP) and Active People (APS) surveys.

There was an excellent level of response from a wide selection of stakeholders and our thanks go to all who took the time to respond.

Most respondents supported local and sport specific measurement, with a single result for sport, and data collected through a mixed mode. Consultees also expressed the importance of retaining consistency with previous results, which means that we need to implement any potential changes carefully through testing and with technical advice. We therefore intend to take a considered and phased approach to survey improvements, testing different modes and their effect on the national, sport and local result, to inform any future changes and/or integration.

What we are implementing now:

  • APS data collection was extended to include 14 and 15 year olds from summer 2012
  • We have begun work to harmonise the sports questions in TP and APS as a first step to a single measure of sports participation

Both of these steps were strongly supported in the consultation.

Further testing underway:

  • Trialling data collection using mobile phones – mobile phone telephone interviews with mobile only households were tested during APS 5 (2010-11) and data collection commenced in October 2012 via mobile phones without screening for mobile phone only households and via a mobile ‘app’
  • An online pilot has been set up and fieldwork commenced in November 2012
  • Parallel runs of face to face and telephone interviewing using the APS questions to measure mode differences have been completed
  • Trials to examine the impact of prompting and options for using prompts in telephone interviewing have begun (prompting is currently used in TP)
  • The Methodology Advisory Service and the Government Statistical Service Methodological Advisory Committee within the Office of National Statistics and the survey contractors TNS BMRB have provided guidance on mixed-mode integration of results
  • Assess procurement options and potential to use a single contract for the survey(s) in the future

Further updates will be available during 2013.

Taking Part Survey: Guidance note

This note provides provides information on the Taking Part survey (PDF 204kb) - the interviews, methodology, quality of the statistics and how to interpret them.

Taking Part questionnaire refresh

In March and April 2011, the Taking Part team at DCMS undertook a questionnaire refresh to ensure that the next wave of Taking Part met the needs of its users. The Taking Part team would like to thank everyone  who responded to the consultation. Your views informed the development of the 2011/12 adult and child questionnaires which are now in the field.

Details of the questionnaire development process and copies of the revised adult and chlid questionnaires can be found in this section.

2012 user event


The annual Taking Part User Event was held on 28 November 2012. There were six presentations by users of the Taking Part Data as well as a panel session on the future of participation measurement. Material from the day can be found below.

2011 user event

The annual Taking Part User Event was held on 18 August 2011. The event showcased Taking Part analysis and encouraged discussion on many topics, including the new Taking Part longitudinal panel. Material from the day will be used to inform the next wave of Taking Part.


2010 user event

The first Taking Part User Event was held on 19 August 2010. The event, attended by many people, encouraged a lot of discussion about the future of the Taking Part Survey.

User survey

In September 2010, the DCMS Taking Part team ran the inaugural Taking Part user survey via Survey Monkey, which was sent directly to known Taking Part users. Fifty-one people responded to the survey from which the main findings have been summarised:

Quality indicators

Taking Part survey releases are published in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics (2009), as produced by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA). This provides guidance on the quality that is expected of statistical releases. These quality indicators outline how statistics from the Taking Part Survey match up to the six dimensions of quality defined by the European Statistical System (ESS). These are; relevance, accuracy, timeliness, accessibility, comparability and coherence

Taking Part Survey: Project Management and Governance   

This note sets out project management arrangements (PDF 237kb) for the Taking Part survey.  It includes the terms of reference for the Taking Part Steering Group.

Taking Part Survey: Longitudinal

This note sets out the longitudinal element (PDF 160kb) for the Taking Part survey.  It includes links to the pilot report and consultation with stakeholders

Taking Part Survey: Questionnaire changes

This note sets out the questionnaire changes (PDF 142kb) in the Taking Part Survey since 2005/06. It includes changes in sample size and questions.

You can also download a spreadsheet showing each of the questions and corresponding variable names from 2005/06 to 2011/12 (XLS 64kb).

If you would like to join the Taking Part mailing list and be kept up-to-date with Taking Part developments, please email your details to: