Collect information

Plan on what data to be collected.

As with all projects, it is good practice to develop a project plan stating:

An example evaluation plan is provided as a PDF download.

  • Ethics

    Ethical requirements need to be considered for any evaluation that involves engaging with people, such as students, passengers, station staff and BTP officers. Ethics principles include:

    • Minimising the risk of harm;
    • Obtaining informed consent;
    • Protecting anonymity and confidentiality;
    • Avoiding deceptive practices;
    • Providing the right to withdraw.

    There is extensive guidance on research ethics. The extent of ethics requirements should be proportionate to the risk.

  • Lower risk evaluations

    Lower risk evaluations include conducting interviews, questionnaire or workshops with employees, or adult members of the public on topics such as the process of fencing or use of CCTV. A half or one page ‘informed consent’ form may suffice, containing:

    • Who is conducting the evaluation;
    • Stating to participants the purpose of the evaluation;
    • Why they are being asked to participate;
    • A summary of the evaluation process;
    • How the information will be used and protected (General Data Protection Regulations);
    • Anonymity (if applied);
    • Right to withdraw.
  • High risk evaluations

    Interviews and other forms of engagement with children or vulnerable persons will be a higher risk evaluation and an ethics risk assessment and research protocol may be required as outlined by the Social Research Association guidance and / or the SPIRIT checklist.

    An assessment of risk should be conducted and documented, along with ethics measures covering matters such a recruitment of participants and the procedures for care and protection of vulnerable persons.

    It is recommended that specialist advice is sought for high risk evaluations.

  • Stakeholder agreement

    Whilst engaging stakeholders does provide high value inputs to an evaluation, it places a resource demand on those conducting the evaluation and those participating.

    Due consideration is also needed to determine the effort to collect and manage data and how to respond to stakeholders about concerns on data protection.

  • Personal safety of researchers / evaluators

    The potential risk to people collecting information as part of an evaluation should be assessed, especially with respect to field work (i.e. site visits) such as:

    • Visiting locations such as railway running lines, depots or sidings;
    • Engaging with members of the public, especially in remote or isolated locations;
    • Engaging with trespassers.

    Suitable safety measures should be considered, such as:

    • No lone working permitted;
    • Selection of ‘safe’ locations for interviews;
    • Mandatory track side safety training/ accompanied visits.
  • Activity logs

    It is good practice to provide aids, such as logs, to facilitate the recording of information such as:

    • Number of school educational visits;
    • Number of line side patrols;
    • Number of passengers engaged by a roadshow. 

    The option of providing notes on, for example, the suitability of a location for a roadshow can also facilitate recording information.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our Senior Safety Intelligence Analyst for further information.
Siona Vass
Tel: 020 3142 5485
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