Participant Guidelines

Thank you for being involved and participating in ASPIRE: an assessment tool looking at your organisation’s operations and underlying values. You may wish to read the ASPIRE Overview for further background to ASPIRE and an overview of what is being measured. Your views matter and will not be directly traceable back to you. You will only be asked to give a general job title, rather than your name. Along with the questionnaires from a wide spectrum of other staff in your organisation, your answers will make up an assessment report to help your organisation to develop further. It is important to bear in mind that this is an organisational assessment not a personal assessment of your views.

How should ASPIRE be completed?

With honesty:

For the assessment to be most effective and helpful to the organisation, we would encourage you to be as honest as possible. There is always a temptation to answer the questions in a way that reflects the way you want it to be or are working towards.

Asking yourself "does this really happen?" will help you evaluate how far you have got in this on-going process.

With a spirit of understanding:

We have endeavoured to phrase questions in the light of the spectrum of organisations and churches using ASPIRE. Care needs to be taken in understanding the spirit of the question. We have phrased most questions in a way that implies a formalised process or policy, but this can apply equally to an informal approach in a smaller organisation. For instance, when we talk of "policy", larger organisations may have structured and detailed policies, whereas a smaller church may just have an unwritten understanding, that has been thought-through, discussed and agreed. Please note also that references to prayer can include individual and/or collective prayer that is either audible or silent.

In one go:

For the best results you should finish the questionnaires in one go. If this is not possible, then you will need to make a note of your participant ID (generated when you log-on) and contact your co-ordinator (so you can go back again via the co-ordinator's access point).

Understanding leadership:

Questions about 'leaders' refer to those who provide overall leadership of your organisation. (E.g. the senior leadership team.) However you may need to clarify with your coordindator whether this includes your trustees. It is also important that you understand you are all being asked to assess how you feel about the collective leadership style rather than just one individual.

When you complete the questionnaires, you will be asked to comment on various aspects of your organisation or church and rate them in one of the following categories. In order to bring about better consistency, we have found it helpful to clarify these categories in the following ways:

5: Strongly Agree
4: Agree
3: Neither Agree nor Disagree
2: Disagree
1: Strongly Disagree
n/a This question is not applicable to me or our organisation

We appreciate you taking the time to complete this assessment and help your organisation continue to develop. If you have any further questions, there are a number of links to definitions as you go through and you may also want to refer to the Glossary. Please also refer any specific questions you have back to your co-ordinator. Thank you.