1. Begin study

Thank you for taking part. The information you give us is protected by law and treated as confidential. Find out more about how we protect your data.

Before starting, please check that the letter is addressed to your household. You will need to enter the household access code from your letter to begin.

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Find out more about the Office for National Statistics and why you should take part.

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2. Guidance on completing the study

The Shape Tomorrow study covers a range of topics, including:  

  • work, retirement, and unemployment  

  • training and education  

  • health and well-being  

  • travel to work 

  • characteristics and background 

You should complete the study by the deadline date in your letter. 

Questions can be based on facts or opinions. No specialist knowledge is needed to take part. Your honest answers help us produce reliable statistics about society.

Your answers will be saved each time you move to the next page. You can return to complete the study any time up to the deadline using the same household access code. Exactly how long the study takes to complete depends on the number of people in the household and their characteristics.

To keep your data secure, survey sections will automatically lock as you progress. This means they can no longer be accessed by yourself or any other member of the household. Once locked, answers cannot be changed.

If you are not able to return to complete the study, the information you have shared with us is still useful. Saved data will be submitted and, where possible, will be used for analysis.

The study is available online in English and Welsh, you can change the language at any point.

Alternatively, you can contact us if you would like to:

  • book a telephone interview

  • find out about our translation service

  • request large print or Braille letters

  • ask further questions

Everyone living at your address should take part using the same household access code from the letter you received. Anyone aged 16 years or over can answer for themselves or on behalf of other household members if they give their permission.

The study includes detailed questions, so it is best if each person answers their own section. They can ask any other adult for help to complete the study if they need it.

A small number of questions are asked about household members aged 15 years or under, an adult should complete these on their behalf.

It is important that everyone aged 16 or over in your household sees the letters and leaflets we send and agrees to take part.

For further information about our studies, see our studies.

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3. Why you should take part

This study is carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s largest independent producer of statistics. The ONS is not linked to any political party. Read more about what we do.

Taking part in this study is your chance to help us understand the changing needs of the whole community.

The information you provide is used to create statistics, such as official employment and unemployment rates. You can read about these in our statistical bulletins.

Government departments, public bodies and charities use our statistics for many projects, including:  

  • improving health care, well-being, and social care services  

  • removing barriers to work and supporting people unable to work  

  • meeting the need for housing, school places and recycling services

Households have a fair and equal chance of being chosen to take part and cannot be replaced. It is important to represent your local area, although you do not have to take part.

The information you provide cannot be found anywhere else. You will be offered a £10 gift voucher to say thank you within 30 days of your whole household completing the study.

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4. How we protect your data

The information you provide will be combined with the data from across the country and will not be used to identify you or your household in any way. 

All the information you submit is protected by law and treated as confidential under the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Collected information will be held securely for five years or until it is no longer being used for producing statistics. It will then be deleted. All identifying details will be removed at the earliest opportunity.

This de-identified information may be shared with approved accredited researchers for statistical purposes only. Information is shared through our Secure Research Service, find out more about our approved researchers scheme.

The ONS has commissioned a third party, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), to carry out some of the data collection for the Shape Tomorrow study. 

The ONS will receive all data collected and remain in control of all information given by participants.

The ONS shares selected information with service providers to run our studies. They only receive the information they need to carry out their role.

These organisations help the ONS to:  

  • send your £10 gift voucher (the service provider for this is Pluxee, a subsidiary of Sodexo)  

  • get in touch with you with your permission (these service providers are GovDelivery and GovNotify)  

  • securely collect the information you give (these service providers are NISRA and Total Mobile)  

Your name and email address will be shared with Pluxee to send your e-voucher. Pluxee will not use this information for any other purposes. Eligible retailers are subject to change as per Pluxee's terms and conditions. A paper voucher is available on request although retailers may vary.

For more information, see data protection.

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5. Contact us

For accessibility assistance, email accessibility@ons.gov.uk.

To take part over the phone, call us for free on 0800 085 7376.

Opening times are:

Monday to Friday 8.00am to 7.00pm
Saturday 8.00am to 1.00pm

For further information about our social studies, see our studies.

If you have any other queries, see our get in touch web page.

When you are ready to take part, please return to begin study.

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