Introduction

This posting walks through the process of creating a custom permission level for a survey that allows a group of users to view all responses but not make changes to them.  The survey will allow users to be able to create, edit and view only their own responses to the survey.

A test site collection was created, TEST02, and the root site created for the site collection was based upon the Team Site template. A test survey, Survey1, was created in the site; and one Yes/No survey question was created in the survey.

Method

Step 1: Enable users to only create, edit and view their own responses

The first step is to configure the survey so that users can only read and edit their own responses.  This helps ensure the privacy of user responses.  The minimum permission level needed to perform these steps is Designer.

Minimum Permission Level: Designer

  1. Navigate to the survey
  2. From the survey's Settings menu, select the Survey Settings menu option.
  3. Under the General Settings group, click Advanced settings.
  4. For Read access, select Read responses that were created by the user option.
  5. For Create and Edit access, select Create responses and edit responses that were created by the user option.
  6. Leave all other settings default, and then click OK.

Step 2: Disinherit the survey's permission scope from its parent site

The second step is to disinherit the survey's permission scope from its parent site.  This enables new SharePoint user groups to be used and for these groups to be granted custom permission levels without impacting site permission configuration.  It makes the survey's security scope independent of the parent site's security scope.  The minimum permission level needed to perform these steps is Full Control.

Minimum Permission Level: Full Control

  1. As site owner, navigate to the site home page, and then click the Site Contents quick link.
  2. Look for the survey, hover the cursor over it, and then click on the ellipse that appears.
  3. On the popup, click on Settings.
  4. In the second column of links, click Permissions for this survey.
  5. On the PERMISSIONS ribbon, click Stop Inheriting Permissions.

Step 3: Create Custom Permission Level

The third step is to create a custom permission level that enables members to view all responses but not be able to modify or delete them.  The minimum permission level needed to perform these steps is Full Control.  Remember: permission levels are composed of a selection of individual permissions.

Minimum Permission Level: Full Control

  1. As a site owner, navigate to the site.
  2. On Settings menu, select Site settings.
  3. In the Users and Permissions group, click Site permissions.
  4. On the PERMISSIONS ribbon, in the Manage group, click Permission Levels.
  5. On the Permissions - Permission Levels page, click on View Only permission level link.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and then click the Copy Permission Level button.
  7. Enter a name for the custom permission level, say, "View All Responses,"
  8. Now review the List Permissions list of permissions, look for the "Override List Behaviors," and then check this one.  You have created a clone of the View Only permission level, and added just one additional permission to it.
  9. Click OK.  This creates a new SharePoint permission level that enables users to view all responses regardless of the survey's Advanced Settings.
    NOTE: it can take a minute or more before the new permission level is fully provisioned within SharePoint.  If you make another tweak to the permission level, like adding another permission, and then quickly check a user account to see if the change does anything, you may not immediately notice anything different.  For example, I have alternately checked, then saved, unchecked, and then saved the Override List Behaviors permission to see what affect this had, and no immediate change was observed for nearly two minutes.

Step 4: Create a new SharePoint group

The next step is to create a new SharePoint user group that will be used solely for the survey.  The minimum permission level needed for performing these steps is Full Control.

Minimum Permission Level: Full Control

  1. From the Settings menu (the gear icon), select Site Settings.
  2. On the PERMISSIONS ribbon, in the Grant group, click Create Group.
  3. Enter a name for the new group, and don't check any of the permission levels (even though you'll see the custom one you created earlier) and then click Create.  This creates a new SharePoint group without immediately adding it to the site, which you don't want.

Step 5: Grant the new group the custom survey permission level

The next to last step is to adding the new group to the survey's security scope.  The minimum permission level needed for performing these steps is Full Control.

Minimum Permission Level: Full Control

  1. As site owner, navigate to the site home page, and then click the Site Contents quick link.
  2. Look for the survey, hover the cursor over it, and then click on the ellipse "..." that appears.
  3. On the popup, click on Settings.
  4. In the second column of links, click Permissions for this survey.
  5. On the PERMISSIONS ribbon, in the Grant group, click Grant Permissions
  6. Starting typing the name of the new SharePoint group created in the previous step, and then select it when it appears.
  7. Click the SHOW OPTIONS link.
  8. Uncheck the Send an email invitation option.
  9. Select the custom permission level created previously, in this case View All Responses, and then click Share.

Step 6: Add users to the new group

For this last step, add the users to this new group who should be able to view all responses but not be able to add, edit or delete any of them.  The minimum permission level needed for performing these steps is Full Control.

Minimum Permission Level: Full Control

  1. As site owner, navigate to the site home page, and then click the Site Contents quick link.
  2. Look for the survey, hover the cursor over it, and then click on the ellipse "..." that appears.
  3. On the popup, click on Settings.
  4. In the second column of links, click Permissions for this survey.
  5. Click on the new group that you added to the survey's security scope.
  6. On the list's New menu, select Add Users.
  7. Enter the username, and then click Share.

References

Notes

  • View Only: users with this survey permission level will be able to navigate to the survey, and they will be able to view their own responses (and those of everyone else, depending the survey's Advanced Settings).  The survey's Actions menu and Show all responses links will be visible, but there will be no responses to download or view (unless the user previously created a response).  The user will not be able to respond to the survey.
  • Contribute: users with this survey permission level will be able to navigate to the survey, and they will be able to view, create, edit and delete their own responses (and those of everyone else, depending on the survey's Advanced Settings).  The Survey's Actions menu will be visible, and the Respond to this Survey link will be visible.  The user will be able to respond to the survey.
  • Design: users with this survey permission level will be able to navigate to the survey, and they will be able to view, create, edit and delete their own responses and those of everyone else, regardless of of the survey's Advanced Settings. The Survey's Actions menu will be visible, and the Respond to this Survey link will be visible. The user will also see the survey's Settings menu, and the user will be able to modify most survey settings, except for survey Validation settings and survey permissions.
  • Full Control: users with this survey permission level will have all of the permissions of the survey Design level and will also be able to modify validation settings and permissions.  Only the Full Control permission level is able to modify survey permissions.