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Removing responses - how to remove responses from your consultation

Tom Blockley -


From time to time you may find that you have responses to a survey that you need to remove from it. There are various reasons why you may need to remove a response:

  1. It is a test response added to the survey
  2. It is a manually entered response, for example a postal response that's been added by an administrator, that has mistakes in it
  3. A respondent has got in touch with you to ask that you remove their response
  4. If you are running the same consultation both as a public survey and an internal (private) survey to distinguish responses, and someone fills in the wrong one by mistake
    and so on...


What does removing a response actually do?

Once removed, a response will no longer be included in any listings, exports, reports or statistics for the consultation. The only place it will appear is the list of removed responses, along with the reason for its removal, the date it was removed and the user who removed it.


Who can remove a response?

Any administrator who can add a response manually to a consultation can remove a response. This includes people who are analysts assigned to the consultation, as this allows them to clear up any mistakes they may make without having to escalate the request to a supervisor. All removals are logged, and any responses that are removed in error, or by accident, can be put back again.


Instructions for removing a response

To remove a response from a consultation:

  1. Navigate to the Dashboard of your consultation
  2. Click the "Responses Organised by Respondent" link in the "Responses to this Consultation" section:
    Responses Organised by Respondent link
  3. Use the search filters to find the response you are looking for, and click on their "Response ID" to view them
  4. You will now be looking at a single response. At the top of their response you will find a link that says "Remove this response", click it:
    Remove this response link
  5. This will take you to a confirmation page which asks you to provide a reason for removing the response:
    Screenshot of 'Remove Response' form showing 'Reason for removal' text box, 'cancel' and 'remove' buttons.
  6. Enter the reason for the removal of the response, and click "Remove Response"
  7. You will be taken back to the response, and you will see that now there is an information box at the top of the response detailing the date, user and reason for removal:
    Summary of removed response details
  8. The response is now removed, and will not be included in any listings, exports, reports or statistics for the consultation


Can I see a list of all removed responses for a consultation?

You can see a list of the responses that have been removed from a consultation by following these instructions:

  1. Navigate to the Dashboard of your consultation
  2. Click the link entitled "Removed Responses" at the bottom of the "Responses to this Consultation" section:
    Location of the Removed Responses link
  3. If you just want to know how many responses have been removed, you need not click the link


Can I restore a response that has been accidentally removed?

A response that has been removed from a consultation can be restored at any time:

  1. Follow steps 1-2 in the previous section to get to the list of removed responses
  2. Find the response you want to restore and click its "Response ID"
  3. In the information box at the top of the page, there is a button that says "Restore this Response", click it:
    Location of the 'Restore this response' button
  4. You will be returned to the response view page, and the response itself will once again be included in all listings, exports, reports and statistics for the consultation


Troubleshooting / FAQs

I removed a response but it is still showing in the PDF summary report

If the PDF report was requested before the response was removed from the system, it will still be included in the current PDF summary. To remove it, request a new summary report. The new report will no longer include the removed response. This will also be true of any results exports that were downloaded before the response was removed.

I have response publishing in my Citizen Space.  Will removing a response remove them from this too?

Yes. Removing a published response will immediately remove any approved answers from public view.  Restoring the response will restore all the publishing information about the response, including any redactions that have been made.

I removed a response but the respondent can still download a copy of their response

This is by design, as the receipt email is to confirm that a response has been received in the past, and the respondent should be allowed to view their response at any time, even if it is being removed from the listings, exports, reports and statistics for the consultation.

Will removing a response also remove the respondent from the mailing list if one was set up?

No. Signing up to receive emails about similar consultations is considered to be a separate action to actually responding to a consultation. Mailing list removal should be handled separately on request.