Hi! My name is Megan, and I am a member of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) Customer Insight Team. Together we work on various research activities, with customers and colleagues across RPA and Defra, to help improve the services and schemes we deliver…
We know that you – our customers – have the greatest knowledge, experience, ideas, and feedback to help us make things better and better. Your insights help improve our current schemes, shape our future, and make our services more accessible to farmers and landholders all across the country.
We want to work with you – to meet and understand your needs no matter what scheme, grant, size of farm/holding, type of agriculture business or location you may be. We know that everyone has a unique set of circumstances, and that experience of RPA will vary from person to person. Therefore it is vital for us to hear as many voices and views as possible to help us improve.
That is why are we are delighted to announce the launch of our Research and Insight Network Group. The Network will be the voice of farmers, land managers and rural businesses and an important part of the wider insight we collect.
What will the Research and Insight Network Group do?
The Research and Insight Network Group (or RING for short!) gives our customers a chance to not only make their voice heard; but to make a difference.
RING members will be able to take part in various types of research throughout the year… We will regularly conduct surveys and polls to get a better idea of how we’re doing, and where we need to improve. We may invite you to attend a virtual workshop to tell us about your experience of RPA’s schemes and services in more detail. We may meet with you, and other farmers, in person – to look at how we can make our letters and guidance easier to read. Or even just chat on the phone about any questions or concerns you have about the future of agri-subsidies.
In other words, whatever is on your mind, is what we want to know about...
If there’s something you’d like us to look at, get in touch. Perhaps you have a suggestion, or feedback? We want to hear from you! Please use our suggestion form to let us know.
Where and when will activities take place?
As one farmer once said to us, “Cows don’t just decide to calve between and 9am and 5pm!”
We appreciate how hectic and unpredictable your daily schedules can be… So we will host multiple events at different times of the day (including evenings and weekends) both virtually and in different locations across the country... We will be as flexible as possible to meet your needs, because your feedback and ideas are invaluable to us.
What commitment would I have to make?
By agreeing to join our group, we would like you to attend (either virtually or in-person) at least one research event or focus group per year. We would also like you to complete at least one survey.
That said, there is no pressure; just lots of different opportunities for you to be involved... And your views and participation will always be voluntary, anonymous, and so very much appreciated.
You can even opt out of the group at any time (although we really hope you don’t!) all you need to do is send an email to RPAInsight@rpa.gov.uk and let us know.
Can I really make a difference?
Yes! My team and I don’t just listen to your feedback; we act on it too... An example of how your suggestions make a difference are the changes RPA made to our latest “How to” videos on YouTube… We asked some of our customers for their thoughts about the current videos, and – after hearing your feedback – we made a number of changes, such as clearer introductions, improved audio quality, and more information about accessibility.
If you would like to sign up just add your details to this form – or to simply find out more about what’s involved send an email to RPAInsight@rpa.gov.uk, and I or a member of my team will be in touch…
We will look forward to talking to (and working with!) you soon.