Skip to main content

Business Link

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how long it took on average for Business Link to carry out a health check from the original business enquiry in the latest period for which figures are available. (291257)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: The figures refer to the lead time (the time lapse between original inquiry and the health check) for businesses requesting a health check on 26 August. Typically, across all regions an initial telephone conversation will result in those identified as being urgent cases being offered an early meeting with an adviser.

These data indicate that urgent cases are likely to be visited within a week with less urgent cases taking anything up to 17 calendar days on average, albeit this is dependent on the level of demand and client availability. The average lead time is likely to be less than 10 days across the RDA network.


Average length of time it takes Business Link to carry out a health check from the original business inquiry (as at 26 August 2009)


The health checks are categorised at different levels of Intensive Assistance as follows;

Level 2—The average number of calendar days to deliver a level 2 Intensive Assist (which is the referral for a Business Account Manager) is 8.6 days since 1 April 2009.

Level 3—The average number of calendar days to deliver a Level 3 Intensive Assist (which is the referral for an Adviser) is 16.5 days.

Note: Some of the time lags are dependent upon client availability as much as adviser availability.


24 hours for call back.

Up to five working days for a visit but will respond sooner if urgent.


Adviser appointment lead times remain at an average of eight calendar days. Urgent cases are prioritised.


Adviser appointment lead time continues at 10 working days, with a triage process involving telephone diagnostics and local adviser surgeries for more urgent needs.


There is a significant variance in this depending on the availability of the customer to meet and the complexity of the Action Plan subsequently developed. We provide contact between same day and up to two working days on average. The Health Check activity meeting may then be scheduled from within 48 hours or up to two weeks ahead.


Lead times (mean average for stated time period): 7 August 2009 to 26 August 2009—7.6 calendar days


Across the region’s six Business Link Providers, the average adviser lead-time is seven working days, with urgent requests met in one-two working days whenever possible.


For urgent cases, a fast track route is available to speak to an adviser directly on the same day and have an appointment within one week maximum. Average lead-times vary from 7.5 calendar days in the north and east zones of the region to 17 calendar days in the southern zone.


Initial pre-filtering takes place at the time that the inquiry is taken. Urgent requests are dealt with within 24 hours and a health check can often be done within two-three working days of the initial inquiry being made. A typical enquiry will normally be responded to within 48 hours and an appointment made that will be at the customer’s earliest convenience. This would normally be within a week to 10 working days.