2021 Client Satisfaction Survey Report - Executive Summary
The Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) provides independent forensic scientific laboratory services to support the administration of justice and public safety programs across Ontario. CFS clients include police, coroners, pathologists, crown attorneys, defence attorneys, fire investigators and other official investigative agencies. Forensic science services include the provision of analytical test reports in the areas of biology, chemistry, documents, firearms and toxicology.
The CFS has measured client satisfaction annually since 2000. Client satisfaction measures are used to assess CFS performance and obtaining feedback from clients is a requirement of the accreditation standards to which the CFS adheres.
The annual client survey is used to determine how the CFS is doing in meeting its commitment to provide high quality forensic laboratory services.
In March 2022, 6,176 surveys were successfully delivered to clients who interacted with the CFS in 2021. Targeted clients included those that had used CFS services; made a case submission to the CFS; or had received a CFS scientific report in 2021.
The CFS received 983 survey responses (response rate of 16%), representing an increase of 3% from the previous year.
Responses to the 2021 survey reflect the CFS client population. The majority of survey respondents stated they were police officers (82%), crown attorneys (6%), coroners (4%), defense attorneys (3%), pathologists (2%), fire investigators (1%), special investigations unit (1%), and other (1%).
Client satisfaction with the quality of services provided by CFS is a key performance measure for the CFS, with a target of 87%. In 2021, the overall client satisfaction rate was 95%, which is a 4.5 percentage point increase from the 2020 satisfaction rate of 90.5% (Figure 2).
In the 2021 survey, clients were asked about their level of satisfaction in various key areas of interaction with the CFS:
- Information and assistance provided by CFS staff
- Response-time for inquiries made by clients to CFS staff
- Scientific responses to technical questions made by clients
- Online process of case submission
- Physical process of evidence submission
- Overall experience with laboratory reports
- Overall experience with training provided by the CFS
Client responses are summarized below:
92% of respondents were satisfied that the range of CFS services were meeting their needs.
Compared with the 2020 Client Survey, increases were seen in many key satisfaction measures: satisfaction with assistance from CFS staff - 96% (up 4 %); time to respond to inquiries - 94% (up 6%); scientific responses to technical questions - 95% (up 4%). Numerous comments highlighted the excellent and timely service provided by CFS staff.
71% of respondents stated they had consulted directly with a CFS staff member. Many comments highlighted how CFS staff were helpful and knowledgeable.
75% of respondents agreed that laboratory reports are easy to understand; 86% agreed that lab reports are thorough; and 82% agreed that reports provided sufficient detail. Similar to 2020 comments, ensuring that reports are easy to understand continues to be identified as an area of improvement for the CFS.
92% of respondents were satisfied with the CFS Online Case Submission system, representing an increase of 23%, from 69% in 2020.
48% of respondents had visited the recently updated CFS website: 96% of those stated that it was easy to navigate.
Client awareness of CFS training remains low with 68% not aware of training. Of the 7% that had completed CFS training, 96% stated that they were satisfied that the training covered needed content (an increase of 29% from 2020). When asked about preferred training format, 46% chose in-person training compared with 41% for virtual.
A significant number of respondents stated that they were interested in continued engagement with the CFS. 67% were interested in participating in focus groups, 38% in Town Halls and 33% in one-on-one interviews. Many comments highlighted suggestions for new ways that the CFS could engage with clients.
2021 Client Survey Next Steps
The CFS is committed to engagement and identifying opportunities to improve client satisfaction. Efforts to achieve this include:
Continued outreach to CFS clients to obtain additional feedback.
Improving communications to ensure effective ongoing dialogue with clients on service delivery.
Using other assessment methods, such as court attendance letters, training evaluation forms, and monitoring the CFS.Feedback@ontario.ca e-mail for additional feedback.