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Editing questions and answer components in a published survey

Support -

If you have created and published an online survey, it's possible to edit your questions at any time. However, to do this you will need to retract the consultation.

Please use caution when editing a published survey as you risk deleting or invalidating your existing response data, for example:

1. If you edit an answer component that's already received responses, you could lose all of the data relating to that component.

2. If you change the wording of a question that's already received responses, you risk invalidating all of your existing responses as you cannot assume that respondents would still provide the same data in response to the new wording.

For these reasons, if you need to make a change to a published survey that has already received one or more responses, we would recommend you contact us via for guidance.



Steps to edit questions once a consultation has been published

1. Go to the dashboard of the consultation you wish to amend, and select the Retract button.

2. A 'Consultation unavailable' message will appear for you to edit if you wish. This will be shown to anyone trying to access your consultation URL whilst it is retracted. Select 'Retract consultation' once you are happy with the message to be displayed.

3. Next, on the consultation dashboard select option 2, the Online Survey link.

4. On the left hand side of the screen, you will see the list of pages in your consultation. Select the page which contains the question you wish to amend.

Doing this will expand that section in the sidebar, and you can then select the question you wish to edit.

5. Select the button "Edit this question". You will see the following warning message: 

Error message says You are editing an online survey which already has responses stored in it. Please proceed with caution, as changing the meaning of questions may affect existing answers

4. Edit the question text as needed, and select Save. You are also able to add/amend the answer components by using the 'Edit component' link above the component to be edited.

We can't stress this enough - edit questions/answer components with caution if you already have submitted responses. Doing so may change the overall meaning of the question or the options available to people, which could invalidate previously submitted responses, or even result in the loss of your existing response data.

5. When you're happy, select the Consultation dashboard link and then use the Publish button to re-publish your consultation.