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Staff record 2012/13

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HESA Staff record 2012/13

Changes made to the Staff record for 2012/13

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Version 1.3 Produced 2012-06-28

This document summarises the changes that have been made to the Staff record for 2012/13 following the review.

File format

HESA has, over time, moved all of its individualised returns to an XML format. The Staff record will be required to be returned in XML format from 2012/13 onwards.

Coding of activities

In the current Staff record activities are coded to a set of 13 groups derived from SOC2000. The review concluded that this did not provide sufficient detail for analysis. From 2012/13 activities will be coded to SOC2010 at the 3-digit level, providing about 90 groups. HESA is commissioning an index to assist institutions in coding activities to SOC2010, based on that provided for the SOC2000-based groups. Colleagues are invited to supply details of activities/occupations that are not covered in the earlier index so that these can be added to the updated version.

Unfortunately SOC2010 does not provide a neat way to identify academic staff, and so this will be done by the use of an amended academic employment function field that supplements the SOC coding.

Grades/levels including senior staff identification

Following the demise of national grade structures, HESA has struggled to capture comparable data across the sector in this area. Data captured about the grade structures of individual institutions has not proved easy to analyse or compare. From 2012/13 the Staff record will instead capture information about the level of employment based on the definitions used by UCEA and XpertHR to undertake salary surveys. Definitions of the levels are provided.

HESA has formally gained permission to use these level descriptors, copyright for which lies with UCEA and its commercial partner XpertHR.

The current Grade table information will no longer be collected.


Although consideration was given to removing non-academic atypical staff from the coverage of the Staff Record for 2012/13, the decision has been taken that the ability to return such staff should be possible on an optional basis. This decision was taken in order to assist institutions in complying with their duty to monitor the equality characteristics of such staff under equalities legislation.

Equality-related issues

HESA has worked with the Equality Challenge Unit to specify a range of changes to the Staff record in the area of equality monitoring relating to new legislative requirements and to the recent Census.

A range of new fields is being introduced to capture data relating to various new protected characteristics, under the recent equality legislation, of institutional staff members. This includes religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender identity, and parental leave. Completion of these fields will not be compulsory because of potential sensitivity around asking for such information and the willingness of individuals to provide the data. Information relating to parental leave should be obtained from the institutions' records.

The coding frames for ethnicity and disability have been changed. For the former this is intended to allow collection of data that matches that from the 2011 Census and for the latter is designed to ensure that the data is consistent with that collected for students.

Institutions have a duty to monitor these characteristics and also choose to report the data to HESA. The use of the standard coding frames will allow comparison between institutions where appropriate.

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) has a number of resources relating to gathering information across the protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010. These resources can be found at Equality Challenge Unit. If you have any further queries regarding equality monitoring, please email ECU at [email protected].

Leaving information

The information currently collected about ends of contracts/leaving destination has become messy. New fields have been added to both the contract and person entities to collect respectively the reason for the ending of a contract and the destination after leaving the institution.

Academic subject area

Currently the record captures the academic subject of the highest qualification held by staff. For the future the subject in which a member of staff is currently working will be collected and the coverage limited to academic staff.

Academic teaching qualifications

Reference is made in the HE White Paper to a requirement for data on the teaching qualifications of academics (from the Executive summary: "We encourage higher education institutions to publish anonymised information for prospective and existing students about the teaching qualifications, fellowships and expertise of their teaching staff at all levels"). The Staff record now includes a field to capture academic teaching qualifications with the intention that this information be published centrally, allowing comparison and onwards analysis to identify national issues. The completion of this field will be compulsory for institutions in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and optional for those in Scotland. HESA has worked with the Higher Education Academy to specify a coding frame for this field.

Clinical academics

HESA has been in discussions with the Medical Schools Council regarding changes that would need to be made to the Staff record to allow MSC to discontinue their own separate collection of data about clinical academics. These discussions have been successful and the necessary changes will be made to the HESA record. This will involve the addition of fields to collect data on clinical sub-specialties and clinical excellence awards and some changes to the coding of other fields relevant to clinical academic staff only. The list of clinical specialties has been updated.

Data to support the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The HEFCE, HEFCW, SFC and DEL wish to minimise the burdens imposed by the REF. Therefore, where data are not needed during the assessment process it is proposed that these instead be collected via the HESA staff record. In particular, universal equalities data are not required for the assessment process although they are required to ensure that a full equalities impact assessment of the REF can be conducted. Therefore, it is proposed that fields are added to the staff record to collect the following items:

  • Early Career Researcher (ECR) status - this will need to be reported only in relation to the REF year and preceding year (2012/13 and 2013/14), there will be no requirement to return this field in later years.
  • Research Assistant - this will be required in every year as the data is also used for non-REF purposes relating to funding and career tracking.

The full definitions of both of these categories are included in the REF guidance on submissions.

Additionally all academic staff whose contract(s) include research will need to be mapped to REF Units of Assessment on an annual basis.

The institution's own staff identification number

A field is being added to the Staff record to allow institutions to return the institution's own staff identification number with the HESA data. Use of this field is optional for institutions which may use it if it assists them in preparing and quality checking the data.

Staff with zero full-time equivalence (FTE)

In order to allow staff with zero FTE to be included in the record (atypical staff who have not done any work in the year, those on whole-year secondments, sabbaticals etc.), an additional code has been added to the mode of employment field to record staff as 'dormant'.


Statutory Customers are keen to capture more data about staff salaries, particularly in order to inform equality analysis. The consultation included the proposal to capture total pay as recorded on an individual P60. This proposal was rejected by the sector as being both difficult to capture and, more fundamentally, not providing comparable data between individuals as it takes account of many personal factors unrelated to a person's job (sick pay, maternity leave, pensions etc). This requirement will not be included in the Staff record for 2012/13 but it is likely that the pressure will remain to find a way of capturing more than basic pay and this issue will return.

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.