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Adult Social Care User Survey (ASCS) 2019-20 guidance and materials for councils

The Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) asks service users questions about quality of life and what impact care and support services have on their quality of life. 2019-20 is the tenth year the survey has taken place. This page contains the survey administration guidance document and the materials required for councils to undertake the survey.


This survey administration guidance document sets out the actions that Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) will need to perform in order to carry out the 2019-20 Adult Social Care Survey and provide the data to NHS Digital. CASSRs are strongly encouraged to read the guidance document fully before starting the survey.

Guidance was last updated in January 2020.


Resources from our adult social care survey webinar which took place on 21 April 2020.  

Additional questions

Any additional questions or free text boxes that CASSRs would like to include as part of the survey must be sent to NHS Digital to review, this includes questions that have been approved for previous surveys. All additional questions must be submitted using the additional questions form. This form needed to be returned to by Friday 29 November 2019.

A selection of additional questions previously used is available with the question bank.

Sample size calculator

The sample size calculator informs CASSRs how many questionnaires they need to send out, based on their eligible population and anticipated response rate.

Questionnaires, letters and other materials

Translated materials

Translated versions of the questionnaire, covering letter, reminder letter and consent form are available in 17 other languages.

Data return

The final data return is available through the Strategic Data Collection System (SDCS). For more information on SDCS, contact the data collections team. Only the final version that is available on SDCS can be submitted. 

A draft version of the data return is available here.

The final data return is protected to ensure the structure of the data return is not changed. Councils are able to request an unprotected version of the data return for their internal use only. The unprotected version of the data return must not be used for the submission that is made to NHS Digital. If councils require a copy of the unprotected data return, please email to request it. Please include in the email the reason you require the unprotected version of the data return and confirmation that you understand that only the version on SDCS can be used to submit data to NHS Digital.

Last edited: 4 June 2020 9:47 am