2020 Survey Report

Each year, the National Guardian’s Office carries out a survey of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians. We publish the results and recommendations in annual survey reports.

Infographic describing the results of the survey

This is the fourth year that the National Guardian’s Office has surveyed Freedom to Speak Up Guardians in order to understand how speaking up is supported within organisations.

Their views give valuable insights into both how the Guardian role is implemented and what further support and learning is needed to truly create a culture where speaking up is business as usual. The results also reveal details about their perceptions of the barriers to speaking up, the sources of detriment for speaking up and the network’s demographics.

Read the 2020 survey report

Past Annual Surveys of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians

These past survey  reports provide insights into how the Freedom to Speak Up network has evolved since 2017.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Survey Report 2019

This report details the continued implementation of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role and perceptions of Freedom to Speak Up culture in the NHS in England

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Survey Report 2018

Published in 2018, this report details the progress with the implementation of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role and perceptions of Freedom to Speak Up Culture in the NHS in England

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Survey Report 2017

The first Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Survey, published in 2017

Pulse Surveys

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of workers being able to speak up freely is more evident than ever.

Between April to June 2020, we carried out monthly pulse surveys of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians on our directory to find out more about how speaking up is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The results of the surveys showed the pandemic was having an impact on Freedom to Speak Up Guardians and their networks.

The results also show speaking up was continuing, with the percentage of respondents reporting speaking up had increased in their organisation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic growing each month.

Third Pulse Survey

Workers continued to be encouraged to speak up. Ninety-three per cent (93%) of respondents to this survey believe workers were being encouraged to speak up – up from 72% in April.

Second Pulse survey

Speaking up to Freedom to Speak Up Guardians was continuing with a higher proportion of respondents reporting that speaking up was increasing compared to the last survey Twenty-nine per cent (29%) of respondents said there had been no change to the amount of speaking up in their organisation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

First Pulse survey

The survey showed that speaking up is continuing during the pandemic, and that Freedom to Speak Up guardians are adapting as a result of illness, redeployment, or social distancing. It therefore remains imperative that leaders support their Freedom to Speak Up guardians during this period of challenge and uncertainty.