Making information available
A major strategic objective for the Citizens Advice service is to provide easier and faster access to quality advice and information for more people. As a responsive service Citizens Advice is actively seeking to work with other agencies to improve access to advice.
Most visitors to our corporate website citizensadvice.org.uk in 2007/08 were looking for advice, their local bureau or for details of how to volunteer.
Adviceguide.org.uk (our advice website) had nearly 7.3 million visits during 2007/08, an increase of just over one million from the previous year. Clients are increasingly using different routes to get advice from the service and this frees up the availability of face-to-face advice for those who do not have access to the internet.
Content on Adviceguide is in 12 languages and is kept up to date by a team of information specialists covering legislation, policy and practice changes. We also work with external agencies that provide relevant content in their area and links to external resources.
CAB advisers use our unique internet based information system, AdviserNet. Our information specialists maintain and develop AdviserNet so that bureaux have easy to access, up-to-date and relevant information to enable them to advise clients.
Last year we said we would aim to create a national phone and email service to increase the ways people can access advice. Forty per cent of bureaux are already providing email advice and Citizens Advice introduced an email service in 2007/08. Users of Adviceguide and the Citizens Advice website can now identify bureaux that provide email advice using a search tool.
The single telephone number will be launched in Wales in June 2009 and throughout England in March 2010. It is anticipated that the service will help four million new clients a year once the number is in full operation.
Information in numbers:
- Corporate website visits: 4.4 million
- Adviceguide visits: 7.3 million
- Bureaux satisfaction with Adviceguide: 95%
- Bureaux satisfaction with AdviserNet: 98%