|The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, formerly known as ONS Opinions Survey or Omnibus, is a regular, multi-purpose survey which was carried out in eight months of the year until April 2005. From this point it has run monthly. It started operating commercially in 1990 and was set up originally to meet the needs of government departments for a survey that used short and simple sets of questions, had greater statistical reliability than private sector omnibus surveys and a properly designed random sample. Now, however, an increasing number of academics are finding it a valuable research tool.
The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey is used for a number of purposes, for example:
- to provide quick answers to questions of immediate interest
- to provide information on topics that do not require a full survey
- to develop and pilot questions for other surveys
- to sift for subgroups that can be followed up in another survey
From January 2008 the ONS Omnibus Survey changed its name to the ONS Opinions Survey (OPN) and became part of the Integrated Household Survey (IHS). As a result, certain classificatory variables were altered to harmonise with the rest of the surveys that form the IHS. For further information, see detailed breakdown of the changes contained within the documentation for 2008 studies onwards.
Subsequently, in January 2010, the OPN component was dropped from the IHS due to only one individual per household being interviewed, while the IHS requires questions to be asked of all household members. This process significantly increased the length of the OPN interview and, therefore, OPN reverted back to interviewing one household member, but still contains questions harmonised to the IHS.
From April 2012 the ONS Opinions Survey changed its name to the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey following the merger of the non-EU-SILC questions from the General Lifestyle Survey.
Special Licence Access Opinions and Lifestyle Survey data
With effect from 2008, the decision was made by ONS to make all new and existing Disability Monitoring data (Module 363) and Contraception data (Module 170) issuable only to Approved Researchers under Special Licence access conditions due to the disclosive nature of the modules. See the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey Special Licence Access datasets page.
|The non-core questions for this month were:
Tobacco consumption (Module 210): this module was asked on behalf of Customs and Excise to help them estimate the amount of tobacco consumed as cigarettes.
Careers (Module 280): this module was asked on behalf of Professor Michael Rose, head of Social Research at the University of Bath. The exercise is part of a larger, European study on people's satisfaction with their work and careers.
Internet access (Module 264): this module is being asked on behalf of a number of government departments, but primarily the Office for National Statistics and the E-Envoy's Office (part of the Cabinet Office). Designed to monitor internet use, which is currently a high profile government policy.
Web-CASI trailer (Module 283): Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing via the web, this is a project that has been established to examine the feasibility of using the internet as a mode of data collection.
Disability Discrimination Act (Module 271): this module was asked on behalf of the Disability Policy Division of the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) and the Disability Rights Commission. The questions concern access to services and facilities by disabled people.
Religious affiliation (Module 286): test questions for future possible inclusion in the Labour Force Survey.
Wealth and assets (Module 285): this module is the first part of a feasibility study carried out by ONS who are investigating the possibility of carrying out of full-scale survey on wealth and assets. This module concentrates on methods of valuing respondents' property.