Perform was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Human Services (DHS) to undertake observation studies of participants completing questions in a Voluntary Field Test for Carers. The aim of the testing was to identify issues with the question sets in the current carer claim forms and ascertain ways to improve the questions to gather more accurate information.
Seventeen participants took part in the studies. The participants were guided through the process by a Perform facilitator who, at the end of each day’s testing, provided a phone debrief of the findings to representatives from DHS and the Department of Social Services. Where it was deemed that changes were required, Perform designers made the changes to the question sets and produced new copies for testing the next day. The testing took place over 5 days and each revised version of the question sets resulted in a better comprehension of the questions by participants. On completion of the observation studies, Perform prepared a report for DHS detailing key findings and a list of recommendations for consideration.
Departmental representatives who observed the testing commented that the process was very beneficial as it not only highlighted problem areas within the question sets, but also provided a better understanding of the issues faced by customers completing the questions. These findings would not have been evident if the testing was not undertaken.
For more information on payments and services delivered by Human Services, go to humanservices.gov.au