Veterans Ombudsman's 2013 Veterans & Other Clients Awareness Study

The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman has conducted a representative telephone awareness survey of four client groupings, including War Service Veterans, Canadian Forces Members and Veterans, Royal Canadians Mounted Police members, and survivors and dependents during June 2013 in order to gather information from Veterans Affairs Canada clients on the extent to which they are aware of and/or have availed themselves of the services offered by the Office.

Q1. What was the main purpose of the Awareness Survey?

A1. The purpose was three-fold:

  • To gather information from VAC clients on the extent to which they are aware of and/or have availed themselves of the services offered by the Office;
  • To establish baseline information upon which to build service improvements into the business processes and service offerings for the Office; and
  • To meet the commitments outlined in the 2012-13 Veterans Affairs Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) and to capture achievements in the subsequent Performance Report for effective reporting of program performance and strategic outcomes for Canadians.

Q2. Who administered the Awareness Survey?

A2. In order to guarantee complete anonymity of client information, the OVO contracted an independent consulting firm, Corporate Research Associates, to conduct the survey. CRA has extensive experience in conducting public opinion and market research on behalf of leading public, private sector, and non-profit organizations throughout Canada and abroad.

Q3. Was the privacy of clients’ information protected?

A3. The conduct of the Public Opinion Research is addressed under a standard personal information bank (PRN 939) established by Treasury Board Secretariat. VAC, inclusive with the OVO, is registered in this bank in order to comply with the Directive on Practices as well as the Privacy Act.

The consultant also informed the participants about their rights under the Privacy Act and Access to Information Act and ensured those rights were protected throughout the research process. This included: informing participants of the purpose of the research; identifying both the sponsoring federal agency (OVO) and the research supplier (Corporate Research Associates - CRA); informing participants that their participation in the study was voluntary and the information provided would be administered according to the requirements of the Privacy Act. The consultant received permission to proceed with the survey at the onset of the interview process.

Q4. Who was the target population?

A4. The target population for this survey was the following four client groups of Veterans Affairs Canada:

  • War Service Veterans
  • Canadian Forces Members and Veterans
  • Serving and retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Survivors and Dependents

Q5. What percentage of those surveyed were aware of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman?

A5. Overall, 76% were aware that there is an office that works to ensure Veterans, serving members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP, and other clients of VAC are treated respectfully, in accordance with the Veterans Bill of Rights, and receive the services and benefits that they require in a fair, timely, and efficient manner.

Q6. How many knew the name of the Office?

A6. Awareness of the Office by name is not widespread, with currently about one-half (47%) of clients confirming general awareness of the Office. Relatively few can identify the Office by name without assistance.

  • 7% could name the office: “Office of the Veterans Ombudsman”
  • 40% confirmed they have hears of the Office when presented with the name.
  • 39% named VAC as the name of the Office

Q7. Are VAC clients aware of what the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman does?

A7.

  • 67% felt that the Office was accessible
  • 65% felt that the Office understood the issues Veterans are facing
  • 58% felt that the Office had identified the main issues that Veterans and their families are facing,
  • 56% felt that the Office is doing a good job at educating and increasing awareness of the General Public in regard to Veterans Issues.

Q8. How do VAC clients hear about the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman?

A8.

  • 32% by newspaper/magazine
  • 22% by Veterans newsletters, such as the Salute!
  • 15% by television
  • 12% by VAC
  • 10% by friends

Q9. How many surveyed had previous contact with the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman?

A9. 14% of those aware of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman confirmed they have had contact with the Office.

Q10. How many surveyed indicated they would contact the office in the future?

A10. 31% surveyed indicated they plan to contact the Office in the future

Q11. Where do we go from here?

A11. The survey results will help OVO in building service improvements into the business processes and service offerings for the Office and in undertaking concerted efforts to increase VAC client awareness of the Office’s existence and the service offered.

Q12. Where can I get more information on the Survey?