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Digital Skills Survey Results

Thank you to everyone who took part in our recent Digital Skills Survey.  You have helped us gain a better understanding of the experience and confidence levels across our teams, when it comes to using digital technology.

Here is what you told us…

About the respondents

  • 71% have 10 years or more service.
  • 66% were over the age of 45.
  • 68% rated their current level of digital skills at good or excellent.
  • 97% behave online and in all digital interactions in ways that are respectful, ethical, and appropriate to different audiences.
  • 78% are very/confident they can use digital in ways that promote safety of themselves and others, including physical security of equipment and devices and digital security online.
  • 69% are very/confident they can use digital and online technologies in ways that contribute to good health and wellbeing.
  • 65% are very/confident they understand the impact that their own and their team’s digital activity can have on the environment.

Here’s an overview of the main findings:


The survey was split into two, one set of questions for non-managers which was a repeat of the 2018 survey and used to rebase line the 2018 results and based around five key themes: Communicating, Digital Transactions, Problem Solving, Handling Information & Content and Staying Safe Online and captured information on digital skills relevant to the workplace and personal life.  


The skills required to communicate, collaborate, and share information i.e., using email or social media to communicate with friends, family, or colleagues.

  • 87% can collaborate with people digitally using a range of tools and technologies in my role such as Teams, SharePoint, One drive and Outlook. 
  • 76% participate in and contribute to digital networks, forums, conversations, and collaborative working groups e.g. I can leave comments, respond to questions on Yammer and on a chat in Teams.
  • 71% can use a range of digital devices, technologies, software, and applications to support new and/or innovative ways of working and thinking.
  • 77% can input and share data/information with colleagues across different systems
  • 81% can log in remotely to help with flexible working.
  • 83% can post messages and upload photographs and videos to social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram.
  • 97% can register and use passwords to protect my online accounts and activity.

Digital Transactions

The skills required to register and apply for services, buy, and sell goods and services, and administer and manage transactions online i.e., using online banking or shopping online.

  • 95% can use iTrent to view my payslips, submit holiday requests and record any absences.
  • 88% can manage my flexitime and access business news and information such as available training courses online.
  • 91% can buy things online and know how to check if a website is safe.
  • 94% can use the internet for online services and bookings e.g., retail, travel, accommodation.
  • 93% can use the internet to find the best deals e.g., insurance, utilities, banking/finance.

Problem Solving

The skills required to find solutions to problems using digital tools and online services i.e., ‘Googling’ or using YouTube to find an answer or learn how to fix a problem.

  • 93% can use the internet to find solutions to work-related problems.
  • 82% can use a range of digital tools to support research, audit, quality improvement e.g., search
  • 94% can participate in e-learning/online learning activities with little to no assistance.
  • 95% can use a range of devices to support my own learning/self-development. e.g., a desktop computer, a smartphone, a tablet.
  • 89% can use a range of digital tools and technologies in my online learning e.g., podcasts, video tutorials, online courses.
  • 89% can review my learning and identify new areas for learning and development. 
  • 95% can use the internet to find out how to do something new out with my working environment e.g., YouTube tutorial videos.

Handling Information

The skills required to find, manage, and store digital information and content securely i.e., saving your personal phots and videos online or using ‘cloud’ service such as Microsoft 365 to create, share and collaborate with colleagues at work.

  • 94% are aware of and able to follow the organisation’s IT policy when sharing, storing, and handling information.
  • 84% can organise, store, and share work-related information with colleagues using various devices.
  • 85% can save information and find it again from a different computer, tablet, or phone.
  • 92% can  use the internet to legally access entertainment such as films, Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc.
  • 78% can check if online information is true or false.

Being safe, legal, and confident online

The skills required to stay safe, legal, and confident online i.e., being able to use safe and strong passwords to keep your personal information secure online.

  • 88% can identify and report suspicious communications.
  • 95% can understand and follow my organisation’s IT and data protection policies e.g., GDPR.
  • 98% can understand the importance of using, changing and not sharing passwords.
  • 88% can recognise suspicious web links and pop-ups.
  • 78% understand how to use privacy settings to control what people see.


Questions for senior/managers focused on slightly higher-level questions given their role in embedding our modern workplace vision and culture.  Five key themes:  Communication, collaboration and participation, Teaching, learning and self-development, Information, data and content literacies, Creation, innovation and research and technical proficiency

Communication, collaboration, and participation 

The ability to use a wide range of digital technologies to communicate with people and to understand the different nature, purpose, and function of different methods of digital communication, acting accordingly and appropriately

  • 79% are confident and capable in my use of different and appropriate ways of communicating and participating in a range of online/digital spaces e.g., personal, professional, and informal.
  • 63% can initiate and manage digital collaborative work with people using a wide range of tools and technologies.
  • 55% can build, develop, and manage digital networks and forums for communication and collaboration

Teaching, learning and self-development

The ability to use digital technologies and tools for personal learning and professional development as well for teaching, coaching and mentoring others.

  • 65% are confident in my use of a wide range of digital tools, technologies, software, and productivity tools that supports my learning and teaching both online and offline.
  • 56% can work actively at seeking out online and digital opportunities on a regular basis to support my own learning and self-development and/or my teaching
  • 81% can actively promote digital learning and support others in using digital to learn and develop.

Information, data, and content literacies
The ability to find, manage, organise, store, and share digital information, data, and content.

  • 52% are very/confident they can provide leadership in the adoption of new/innovative digital devices, technologies, software, and applications that promote effective, secure, and efficient use and sharing of information, data, and content.
  • 52% are very/confident they can provide leadership and guidance to others on the use, editing, storage and sharing of information, data, and content in a wide variety of formats across a range of systems/technologies.
  • 96% always by and provide leadership to others on legislation, guidelines, policies, and protocols to protect privacy, copyright and intellectual property in the use and sharing of digital information, data, and content.

Creation, innovation and research

The ability to create new digital resources and/or curate existing ones working individually or in collaboration with others

  • 55% are very/confident can express themselves through the creation of the most appropriate digital means and guide others to do so.
  • 49% are very/confident are confident and capable in proposing new ideas and processes relating to digital.
  • 49% have developed their understanding of existing digital tools and technologies to inform future digital development.

Technical proficiency

The ability to use a wide range of technical devices in a personal and professional context both individually and with others.

  • 54% are very/confident and proficient in the use of a wide range of digital devices, technologies, software, and applications.
  • 55% are very/confident and proactive in the adoption of new/innovative digital devices, technologies, software, and applications to meet personal or professional changing needs.
  • 45% are very/confident they can lead on their own and others’ technical self-development and training to keep up to date with digital technology evolution and innovation.

We will continue to share the work we are doing to address the results and will seek ongoing feedback to ensure it is making a difference.

If you have any questions or ideas to support change, please get in touch via: digitalnl@northlan.gov.uk

Updated on 17th June 2022

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