Performance standards for Electoral Registration Officers

Overview

We set standards and monitor the performance of Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) through our performance standards framework. 

Performance standards for EROs

We commenced a 10 week consultation on a draft framework in January 2020 with the intention that we establish a new set of standards which can be used by EROs and the Commission throughout the year to understand and improve their performance, ensuring ultimately that registers are as accurate and complete as possible, enabling everyone who is eligible and wants to, to be able to vote. 

Overall, the feedback we have received has been positive and respondents welcomed the proposed approach. On the whole, respondents agreed that the standards – with some minor amendments – along with the proposed tools and templates to be provided by the Commission, will support EROs with understanding and improving their own performance. 

However, as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, we recognise that not everyone who would have wanted to respond to the consultation was able to do so. 

We have therefore decided to defer finalising the standards for a year, to enable further feedback to be provided. 

Although we are not formally launching the standards this year, we nevertheless still believe it is important to make them and the accompanying tools and templates available as they form a key part of our guidance and support package which aims to assist EROs with planning for and delivering well-run electoral registration services across Great Britain. We will use the draft standards to inform our engagement with EROs over the next year and will report on their effectiveness before finalising them and laying them in the UK, Scottish and Welsh Parliaments by next summer. 

Download the performance standards for EROs

About the standards

The standards are focussed on the outcomes that should be delivered, rather than the processes that are followed, with the objective of helping EROs and their teams to understand the impact of their electoral registration activities. This should help EROs to make informed decisions on what activities are undertaken, how these activities are carried out and how their limited resources can be deployed efficiently and effectively.

Objectives of the performance standards

  • To support EROs and their teams to deliver efficient and effective electoral registration services, and to allow them to demonstrate the impact of their electoral registration activity
  • To provide reassurance to the public and key stakeholders (such as political parties and elected members) that EROs are doing everything they can to ensure that everyone who is eligible and wants to vote is able to do so

What do the standards comprise of?

An outcome:

This states the broad goal that EROs should be seeking to achieve. The performance standards set out three broad goals that EROs should be seeking to achieve:

  • Electoral registers are as accurate and complete as possible, ensuring that everyone who is eligible and wants to vote is able to do so
  • Absent voting is accessible, ensuring that everyone who is eligible and wants an absent vote is included on the relevant absent vote list
  • Stakeholders and electors have confidence in the secure management of the electoral registers

What inputs are needed?

This sets out the resources that will need to be put into the service to enable the necessary activities to be delivered.

What activities are being undertaken?

This does not provide an exhaustive list of activities, but instead summarises the headline activities that EROs are likely to need to undertake to be able to meet the outcome. Our guidance and resources for EROs are designed to support them in determining the specific activities that will need to be carried out in their particular circumstances.

What information is needed to understand the impact of our activities?

This highlights the data and qualitative information which will help to demonstrate the impact of the activities and which should form the basis of how EROs and the Commission can determine the success of their work. Again this is not an exhaustive list and the information listed may be supplemented by additional data or information that the ERO feels is relevant to their performance. 

What difference is being made?

This summarises the combined effects that the activities should have and which, taken together, would contribute to the delivery of the overall outcome.

How can we determine the success of our work?

This sets out measures that will help to demonstrate what difference the work is making. In some cases the difference will not be straightforward to quantify or otherwise measure, and so an aggregation of several measures may be relied upon to demonstrate what the work is achieving.
 

Using the ERO performance standards

We want to ensure that EROs and their teams find the standards useful in understanding, improving and reporting on their performance.

The standards have been designed to help EROs understand the impact of their activities on the overall delivery of their registration services. They should also help to identify where improvements can be made, and support EROs to report on their own performance locally.

EROs should be using the data and qualitative information set out in the standards to help them understand the impact of their activities so they can identify what works and what doesn’t and where improvements can be made. The framework is designed to support this analysis and focus EROs on the key data and information that will indicate what is working well and what is not working so well.

The standards should also help EROs to demonstrate locally – whether within an ERO’s local authority, to elected members, or more broadly – how the activities they are carrying out contribute to the provision of an efficient and effective electoral registration service and, ultimately, will help to ensure that everyone who is eligible and wants to vote is able to do so.

Additional tools to support the standards

Additional tools to support the standards

Alongside the standards, ongoing support from your local Commission team and our guidance for Electoral Registration Officers in England, Scotland and Wales - which sets out how to run registration services in line with both legislation and good practice - we are also publishing a suite of further tools and templates specifically to support EROs in using the performance standards and reporting on their performance locally. 

These tools include:

  • Resources on using data, including information on how to access data, and how to analyse and assess data to help EROs make full use of the information which is available to them.
  • Key performance indicator (KPI) setting guidance, which includes practical information on how to develop, monitor and evaluate against KPIs and should assist EROs with establishing a baseline of their own performance and setting targets which take into account their specific circumstances. 
  • Reporting template, which provides a framework for EROs to report on their performance to political stakeholders and voters locally, with an emphasis on how they’ve delivered the outcomes set out in the standards.

The resources are in development and will be available to access from links above as soon as they become available.