CDM Research Survey FAQs

This page provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions in connection with independent academic research being conducted into the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM)

Further information about Sheldon's Project CDM can be found on the Hub here - the research is one part of this wider project. 

CLOSING DATE for the survey is 3pm on Friday 10th January 2020

If you have questions not covered here, please email

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About the Research

Who is conducting the research?

  • The academic partner is Aston University with lead researcher Dr Carl Senior
  • The non-academic partner is Sheldon (Mary and Martha) with Warden Dr Sarah Horsman as the lead
  • This is NOT a Church of England sponsored project, but there IS welcome and interest from many quarters because there is a recognised need to better understand the practical workings of the CDM

What is the focus of the research?

  • The lived experience of the Clergy Discipline Measure by clergy who have been Respondents 
  • Also, the experience of clergy in England who have been through a related process even if it wasn't actually CDM

How will the research be conducted?

  • A stage one online survey  
  • After completing the stage one survey participants can volunteer for one or more of the supplementary options
    • A supplementary free text survey
    • Focus groups conducted by the Research Assistant using the Nominal Group Technique (NGT)
    • Individual interviews carried out by the Research Assistant

About data collection and use

What data is NOT collected in the survey?

  • 'Personal data' such as name or date of birth 
  • Role, diocese or other geographic data
  • Details about allegations made against participants

What sort of data IS collected in the survey?

  • Year of birth by decade
  • Year of ordination by decade
  • Type of ministry and type of remuneration
  • Standard psychometric measures (such as anxiety)
  • Factual details about the experience of CDM process
  • Opinions about CDM

Where will the data go?

  • The data is being collected using Qualtrics survey software
  • The raw data will be accessible by the Aston researchers and by Sheldon
  • After the project is complete, the anonymous (and further redacted if necessary) dataset will be available under  CCBY license which means that any researcher can use it with attribution. 

What about contact details?

  • If you choose to complete only the main (first) survey, then no email address is requested or retained
  • If you opt in to the supplementary survey, focus groups or interviews then your email address is requested and retained within the survey software for the sole purpose of matching component parts of the research and contacting you to take part in the additional particiaption for which you have volunteered. Sarah Horsman and Carl Senior are the only people who will have login access to this data. It will be permanently deleted on completion of the research project. If you take part in focus groups or interviews then your contact details will be retained at Sheldon only, and soleley for the purpose of arranging these.

Who can take part?

All ordained members of the Anglican church who are either

  • currently serving in England or the Diocese in Europe
  • have been respondents in a CDM case when previously serving in England/Europe wherever you are now 

What if I am no longer in ministry?

  • We are especially interested to include people who have left ministry for any reason

Can clergy spouses complete the survey?

  • Sorry but no. We do understand CDM may have a significant impact on spouses but this is a pilot study and we have had to keep it to a manageable size. We hope to follow up with further research on the lived experience of spouses and children in due course. If you consent to take part in the survey but then click 'no' to say you are not ordained, it will take you to instructions on how to contribute alongside the formal research. 

How do I get the link to take part?

How will the survey be distributed?

  • Via all diocesan bishops who choose to take part (ask yours directly if you haven't heard anything by 4th November). 
  • (Note that there is NO access to raw survey responses by church authorities, they are only assisting with the distribution of the survey because of the challenges of getting the survey out and remaining GDPR compliant)
  • Via the Sheldon emailing list
  • Via the Faithworkers' branch of Unite the Union
  • Via the Retired Clergy Association of the Church of England (RCACoE)

How can I take part if I haven't received a link?

  • Email the Sheldon team at and request it (giving your name and confirming you are ordained in C of E)

About completing the Survey

How long will it take me?

  • If you have no personal experience of CDM (or other disciplinary process) about 10 minutes
  • If you do have personal experience please allow up to an hour

Do I have to do it all in one sitting?

  • Your survey response has to be completed within 1 week of starting (but only on the same computer/device - there is no email login so it cannot save across devices)
  • Your responses are saved automatically within the survey software during that week and then deleted if you do not make final submission

What is the deadline for responses?

  • We have extended the closing date to 10th January 

What does the survey consist of?

ALL questions in the survey are yes/no or intensity scales or selecting pre-set answers. There are no free text questions in the main survey. If you wish to make free text submissions you can do so through the supplementary survey.

  • Section 1: demographic information (factual but non-identifying information about you)
  • Section 2: psychometric questions set 1 (how you feel)
  • Section 3: CDM or other disciplinary process (factual information about your experience) ONLY if you have been through it yourself
  • Section 4: your opinions about CDM and its future
  • Section 5: psychometric questions set 2

Dates for focus groups

We have pencilled in the 9th - 13th and 23rd - 27th March as the most likely weeks to hold the focus groups at Sheldon. It is likely that not all of those who have volunteered to take part will be invited (there may be more volunteers than capacity for conducting the groups, and there will be a need to create groups that are consistent in their makeup). We won't be in a position to send out the invitations for participation until the very end of January or possibly early February. This can't be done until after the survey is closed and allowing time for start of academic term and preliminary analysis of the data. Each participant will need to be at Sheldon for half a day to take part, and will be offered one night of bed and board. We're providing advance notice of the dates for those who are keen to be free to take part if invited, but obviously need more diary planning than the academic timetable really allows.  

More links

The research design has passed Aston University's strict ethical assessment process. 

Link to Participant Information Sheet (PIS)