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About Client Panels

Client Panels include Social Security Scotland clients from across Scotland. All clients are offered the chance to join when completing the Client Survey, which goes to everyone who has applied for a benefit.

As a member, you're invited to:

  • take part in research
  • share your experiences
  • share your opinions on how Social Security Scotland should work 

Client Panels are run by a team of Social Security researchers and support staff. They work independently from the rest of the organisation.

Your membership lasts for 2 years from the date you most recently signed up, unless you choose to leave before then. So if you fill in another Client Survey and re-join, your membership continues for 2 years from then.

We will ask if you still want to be a member before your 2 year membership ends.

Types of research 

You can be invited to take part in:

  • surveys
  • interviews
  • focus groups 

Taking part is always optional. 

Surveys can be completed online, over the phone or on paper. They will always be written in simple language and formatted in accessible ways. 

If you’re asked to meet to discuss something in person, the cost of your expenses will be covered. Further support can also be provided to allow you to take part.

Sometimes you won’t hear from the team for a while. This might be because the research taking place is on a benefit not relevant to you. 

When the Client Panels team contact you they will often include links to websites. The Client Panels team will send you links to

They also use a site called Questback to run surveys, with links that begin

Their reports will be published on the Social Security Scotland website . There will always be the option to get information over the phone or by post instead. 

Keeping your answers confidential

Your answers during research will be kept confidential. No one will be able to identify you in any of the reported results. Only people working in the research team will be able to see your name and contact details.

Taking part will not affect any of your applications or benefits. No one involved in making benefit decisions now or in the future will have access to your answers or know if you have taken part.

Any personal information you provide will be held according to the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). You can find out more about this in the privacy notice and data protection of Social Security Scotland section


When you take part we will send you our report when it is published.

You will also be kept updated through a regular newsletter.

The newsletter will have information on recent research and on future opportunities for you to take part.

If you want to leave the Client Panels

You can leave the Client Panels at any time. If you no longer want to take part, or want to stop being contacted for a while, you can contact the research team to let them know.

This will not affect the information Social Security Scotland hold about you in relation to your applications or benefits. If you apply for other benefits in the future, you might be invited to join the Client Panels again.

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