5. Monitoring and Feedback
Monitoring Use of Knowledge Bank
5.1 The Staff Information Manager uses Google Analytics36 to check use of the Knowledge Bank. These reports are printed weekly but can be done more often if required. They show results of the most visited Knowledge Bank sites (usually chapters of Case Marking Guidelines); 'Search Words' used; time spent on each search; which pages are looked at, etc.
5.2 Reports can also be produced for 'groups' of staff who are targeted to receive information according to their role. This illustrates whether staff are reading 'must read' materials that are emailed to them. Reports can also be used to show the amount of usage of external sites such as Linets and Westlaw.
5.3 The reports are analysed and action may be taken where appropriate, for example, analysis of search words used prompted the creation of 'top tips'. Results are also reported to management and have recently been fed into the Improving Legal Guidance Communications project.
5.4 The Legal Editor proactively encourages all feedback both positive and negative. Comment boxes have been added at the bottom of some documents on the Knowledge Bank asking staff to contact the Legal Editor if they cannot find what they are looking for, to suggest key search words or to advise if there is any material that they know will help others.
5.5 We were shown comments and results from a feedback survey conducted in 2012 by the Legal Editor and Staff Information Manager. Although the response rate was relatively low the Legal Editor advised that the comments were very useful. Overall the feedback showed that the Knowledge Bank is valued, deemed to be a great resource and that changes that had been made were moving in the right direction although there was criticism relating to the poor search facility. The following results were particularly encouraging:
- 89% respondents said it helped them do their job more effectively
- 86% used the Knowledge Bank monthly or more often (61% weekly or more often)
- 93% agreed or strongly agreed that it is a useful resource
5.6 The Knowledge Bank staff would prefer an interactive tool such as a 'blog' where questions/suggestions can be posted and answers provided real‑time as a better mechanism for obtaining feedback. This is supported by the comments in the feedback survey which indicated that staff would find an interactive feedback facility useful.
5.7 The proposed new software platform should allow for more features and better interaction and there is a proposed feedback facility.
Focus of the Knowledge Bank
5.8 The Knowledge Bank was initially set up as a legal and precognition resource but it has evolved and expanded and now also includes guidelines and processes to assist non-legal and VIA staff.
5.9 However, there are clear differences in the use of the Knowledge Bank by different groups. Our feed back survey supports this finding. The results can be split by area of work ie Legal, Precognition, Administration and VIA. The main contributors to the survey were legal and administrative staff:
5.10 Results of our survey show differences in use of the Knowledge Bank between legal and precognition staff compared with administration and VIA staff with 82% of legal and 47% of precognition respondents advising that they use the Knowledge Bank frequently while only 10% of administration and 29% of VIA do so. 32% of administration respondents indicated that they never use it.
It is recommended that the relevance of the content of the Knowledge Bank for all staff is publicised through PF Eye and team briefings with specific examples provided to demonstrate the usefulness and importance of the information contained in the Knowledge Bank.
- Poor search facility
- Intranet system crashes
- Lack of time
- Takes too long to find the information eg how it is categorised/filed
- No access to computers at court
- Lack of IT availability
5.12 Other constraints include the design of the Knowledge Bank in that it is 'very busy', information is not up to date or there is an absence of information.
5.13 Findings suggest that respondents feel the layout (ie how it is organised) of information on the Knowledge Bank is not always helpful and that content could be more up to date, more accurate and more consistent with other materials.
5.14 As the main users of the Knowledge Bank 69% of legal and 63% of precognition staff say they can confidently rely on the information on the Knowledge Bank with a further 28% and 31% stating that they can sometimes rely on it. (See Annex A)
5.15 Two thirds of all respondents with a large proportion of legal respondents (88%) find that the Knowledge Bank allows them to be more efficient and effective in their work. The main users (legal and precognition) also tend to find information on the Knowledge Bank to be relevant to their needs, however, many respondents believe that the Knowledge Bank does not contain all the information they need to perform their duties.
5.16 Some of the suggested materials and links for inclusion on the Knowledge Bank include:
- Case reports/case law by subject matter
- Further procedural information eg COPLINK
- Guides on how to prosecute certain offence types guides
- Court based scenarios eg leading evidence in court
- Draft written submissions
- Further style draft charges
- Specialist information eg Health & Safety
- Further VIA information
- Index of Crown Office Circulars under subject matter
- Further information on how to find documents
- More information on offences including dangerous dogs
5.17 Staff indicated that in addition to the Knowledge Bank they may refer to other information sources such as external sites, for example, Linets, Westlaw, Renton & Brown, the Scottish Government website or speak to colleagues/library staff or refer to text books, statutes, case reports or shared files on their computer. Direct links to such sites would be useful.
5.18 There were indications that staff find the Knowledge Bank to be helpful with some saying it is an 'important tool' which has 'vastly improved' and is an 'excellent resource' with 'very good material on it'. Many do however feel it 'could be improved' especially in terms of the search function, organisation/indexing of material and accurate and up to date manuals.
5.19 Suggestions by staff for improvement of the Knowledge Bank include:
- Better search facility
- Accurate manuals eg Case Processing Manual/Precognosers Manual/Disclosure Manual
- Interactive feedback button
- User guide/cases indexed by case variety/type
- Need to 'declutter'
- More cohesive organisation of information
- Have knowledge managed through one specific point eg one stop shop
- Style documents/charges
- Build a bank of research notes
- Links to external sites such as Renton & Brown and Linets
- Better links to Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995
- Links to training
- Format of documents eg Word rather than scanned in documents
5.20 As described earlier in the report a project is underway to improve the internal website and this should address many of the limitations described and this will hopefully incorporate feedback from staff as described above.
5.21 We noted an overall high satisfaction rate from the main users of the Knowledge Bank facility with 86% of legal staff and 87% of precognition staff being somewhat or very satisfied. However there was a lower satisfaction rate from administrative staff at 47% and VIA at 57%:
It is recommended that the Legal Editor and Staff Information Manager take account of suggestions made by staff in our feedback survey when making future improvements to the Knowledge Bank.