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News & Press: SFPE News

SFPE Members Survey Feedback

Friday, July 28, 2017  
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Results from Member Survey

In a survey conducted this past April, members gave the Society a strong Net Promoter Score of 35 (association averages range in low-20s to mid-40s) and expressed strong agreement with “membership as a career asset.” These were just two of the findings from a pair of surveys to members and non-members conducted by Whorton Marketing and Research (WM&R) to help the SFPE Board of Directors and staff better learn how we could serve our members and the profession. The SFPE Board of Directors is using this feedback to map the Society’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan, which will be shared in late 2017. Here’s what you told us.


Methodology: WM&R conducted a series of phone interviews followed by an electronic survey in April-May 2017. The survey included members and non-members. Response rate for the member survey was 38.4%, with more than 1,673 individuals completing the survey. We also surveyed non-members, which yielded a 15.1% response rate. Our base of member and non-member responses have margins of error of 1.93% and 2.90% respectively at a 95% confidence level for questions with 50% incidence. This means that if the survey shows that 50% of respondents say "yes" to something, the real distribution of all members who would have said yes falls within 48% to 52%, or between 47% and 53% among non-members.


Members join and renew for a variety of reasons with the top three being: to be informed and keep up with developments in the field globally (46%); to support the profession (41%) and for professional credibility (40%). The value of membership is derived largely from education and knowledge: two-thirds of the total value comes from a combination of education (28%), publications (25%), and research/technical content (15%). Local/chapter networking (16%), global networking (7%), and prestige/visibility (9%), comprise the remainder of membership value.

Members are engaging with the Society in a variety of ways, many reflecting the passion they tend to feel for the profession and the Society.

  • Encouraging peers to become members (40%)
  • Volunteering on committee/task groups (18%) or at a chapter leader/officer role (17%)
  • Serving as thought leaders, presenting at an SFPE conference/event (10%)
  • Giving to the SFPE Foundation (12%)
  • Read email/newsletter readership (60% read all or most of what they are sent)
  • Tapping SFPE learning opportunities such as attending the SFPE conferences (22%), courses/on-site training (14%) and webinars (53%)
  • Almost half of current member respondents are Chapter members

Despite a robust engagement pattern, about half are only somewhat (32%) or much less (19%) involved than they want to be. If you are one of our members looking to be more involved, check out your SFPE Forum, our newly launched online community where you can connect with colleagues, stay up-to-date on the latest fire protection engineering news, and share your thoughts on industry topics. From there you can also learn more about getting involved on committees, projects and in chapters.


There are, of course, areas for improvement and the SFPE Board and staff remain committed to addressing those areas in the next strategic plan. “The feedback we received is providing tremendous value to us as we prepare for 2018 and beyond,” explains Nicole Boston, SFPE CEO. “These results are informing us on where we need to invest more time and resources and likewise, areas where we might need to scale back. Times are changing and we realize SFPE needs to be responsive to these changes to remain relevant and positioned to be the leading voice for the fire protection engineering profession.”


Work has already been done in terms of strengthening and growing chapters, increasing the opportunities for professional development that are accessible and cost-effective such as new and updated courses, webinars and on-demand education, and creating a research roadmap to drive innovation and critical study to advance the profession.


For more information on the survey and its results, please contact Julie Gordon at

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