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Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education record 2015/16

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Data collection schedule

Version 1.1 Produced 2016-12-08

This document is designed to guide higher education providers (HEPs) through the stages of the DLHE exercise. These stages can also be viewed in the DLHE Schedule diagram.

Contents: Stage One: April Survey | Stage Two: January Survey | Stage Three: DLHE data submission | Onward use of DLHE record data

Stage One: April Survey

Arrangements for those who complete their courses between 1 August 2015 and 31 December 2015.

This stage details the schedule for the completion of the 14 April 2016 census survey. Full details of the requirements of this schedule are available in the Instructions for undertaking DLHE document.

Control panel opens for S15018A DLHE April online survey

HESA is working with BOS to develop the system which will be available as soon as possible for providers to set up and test.

HEPs must register to use the April census. This system enables graduates to complete the DLHE questionnaire survey online.

14 April 2016: Census date

Leavers surveyed in April are those that meet the DLHE population definition in the Coverage of the record.

Please ensure that you are in regular communication with the department that submits your HEP's Student or Alternative provider student record. Consider holding meetings to discuss and understand each other's needs, workflows and data collection schedules so you will all be prepared.

Compare the number of students in the April survey in the DLHE survey population with the number of HE leavers between August and December on your internal system. Where there is a significant difference investigate reporting practices.

To facilitate calculating an accurate April survey population, consider using historical data as a guide. Whilst the number of HE leavers between August and December is likely to vary each year, the number surveyed in the previous year is likely to provide an approximate of a norm.

14 April 2016 to 25 June 2016: Contact period

HEPs are required to make contact with all graduates in the April DLHE survey population between 14 April 2016 to 25 June 2016. The survey is undertaken by leavers answering a number of questions by way of a questionnaire, a telephone survey, a centrally-hosted online survey or a PDF version of the questionnaire. HEPs can use as many of these methods of contact as they wish to achieve the highest response possible. Further guidance is available in the Instructions for undertaking DLHE document.

Stage Two: January Survey

Arrangements for those who complete their courses between 1 January 2016 and 31 July 2016.

This stage details the schedule for the completion of the 12 January 2017 census survey. Full details of the requirements of this schedule are available in the Instructions for undertaking DLHE document.

DLHE survey population

The DLHE survey population is produced when the Student and Alternative provider student records pass Exception stage validation. The list includes those leavers who should have been surveyed in the April 2016 survey and those expected to be surveyed in the January 2017 survey. DLHE record contacts are advised to liaise with colleagues responsible for submitting student data to HESA, in order to confirm the final version of the list.

20 October 2016: Control panel opens for S15018J DLHE January online survey

HEPs must register to use the January census. This system enables graduates to complete the DLHE questionnaire survey online.

10 November 2016 to 7 March 2017: Contact period

HEPs are required to make contact with all graduates in the January DLHE population between 10 November 2016 to 7 March 2017. The survey is undertaken by leavers answering a number of questions by way of a questionnaire, a telephone survey, a centrally-hosted online survey or a PDF version of the questionnaire. HEPs can use as many of these methods of contact as they wish to achieve the highest response possible. Further guidance is available in the Instructions for undertaking DLHE document.

12 January 2017: Census date

Leavers surveyed in January are those that meet the DLHE population definition in the Coverage of the record.

Stage Three: DLHE data submission

November 2016 Validate data locally using the validation kit
March 2017 Data collection opens
31 March 2017 Return date
7 April 2017 Commit date
7 April 2017 to 5 May 2017 Data quality checking period
5 May 2017 Last submission
8 May 2017 Sign-off
November 2016: Validate data locally using the validation kit

The validation kit is made available to download from: Validation kit.

The validation kit enables HEPs to test their data locally against Business stage validation ahead of the main collection opening in the Spring. HEPs are strongly encouraged to use the validation kit as part of their data preparations.

Further details on the checks included in Business stage validation can be found within the Validation overview.

A guide to using the validation kit can be found in Help with validation kits. Alternatively please contact Institutional Liaison.

March 2017: Data collection opens

The HESA data collection system opens at the beginning of March.

31 March 2017: Return date

HEPs are required to send complete data that has passed Business stage validation to HESA by 31 March 2017.

Business stage quality rules are listed within the details of the Data items.

A single Business stage validation failure will result in no data being imported into the system.

Data which fails Business stage validation will not be considered to have been returned to the Agency.

Further details on the checks included in Business stage validation can be found within the Validation overview.

7 April 2017: COMMIT date

HEPs are advised to send complete data that has passed Exception stage validation by 7 April 2017. This schedule allows the maximum amount of available time for data quality checking.

Data which fails Exception stage validation will not be considered to have been returned to the Agency.

Further details on the checks included in Exception stage validation can be found within the Validation overview.

7 April 2017 to 5 May 2017: Data quality checking period

A COMMIT will generate several reports containing management information that HEPs will need to review to assess data quality.

HEPs are required to review the reports and to resubmit data in order to resolve data quality issues. HEPs can contact Institutional Liaison throughout this period to request their data is decommitted in order to make adjustments to the submission. The data quality checking period is an iterative process during which HEPs may need to submit, commit, review and decommit their data several times to ensure the final submission is credible.

During this period Data Analysts at HESA will also examine data committed by all HEPs. If any anomalies are found queries will be raised through the Minerva DQ database. Nevertheless HEPs are in a better position to recognise more detailed anomalies within their data, using local knowledge of the intricacies of their own HEP. As a consequence HEPs are required to either resubmit their data to amend these anomalies, or provide an explanation through Minerva as to why these apparent anomalies are genuine.

Upon satisfactory completion of this process data will be set to credible.

5 May 2017: Last submission

In order to meet obligations for hand-over of data to its customers, HESA needs to receive all data files by 5 May 2017.

8 May 2017: Sign-off

As part of the data quality assurance procedures, HESA requires the return to be signed-off by the head or acting head of your HEP. This verification offers both the HEPs and HESA assurances regarding onward use of the data. Sign-off completes the data collection process.

Note: HEPs should download and keep copies of all relevant reports that they are likely to need during the year. This will be necessary as access to the site will be restricted after the collection has closed.

Onward use of DLHE record data

While a HEP should obtain good data about its own alumni from participating in DLHE, the full DLHE is used as the basis for Official and National Statistics outputs from The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and the full data set is therefore subject to Official Statistics restrictions. Most notably these restrictions relate to the publication by HESA of a ‘Statistical First Release (SFR)' in June/July each year. This is intended to provide the first public summary of data from each DLHE survey, and no DLHE data that might allow a third party to pre-empt the SFR contents may be made available. The time period between closure of the DLHE collection and publication of the SFR is required to enable HESA to work with statutory bodies to undertake all the processes required in preparing the release.

HESA recognises that HEPs have legitimate applications for the destinations data they collect from their own graduates and leavers which sometimes necessitate releases to third parties in advance of publication of the HESA Statistical First Release. HESA does not impose restrictions that would impede HEPs’ ability to use data for such purposes but HEPs should consider carefully whether early release is required for any given purpose. One-off releases in response to requests by official bodies are likely to be low-risk in terms of compliance with Official Statistics protocols whereas wholesale publication of DLHE data by large numbers of HEPs (such as in response to a mass-request from the Press) is likely to generate conflict with Official Statistics protocols and could lead to the imposition of tighter controls. In order to avoid the need for tighter controls HEPs should limit publication of DLHE data in advance of publication of the HESA Statistical First Release wherever possible.

If a HEP feels it is absolutely necessary to publish its own data prior to the SFR publication date, then it must take full responsibility for publication. This means not using any HESA-linked logos or implying that this is HESA data or part of an Official Statistics product, either directly or indirectly by using terms like ‘Statistical First Release' or by providing HESA’s contact details.

Following the close of the data collection all data submitted will be passed to HESA's Statutory Customers and also to the HESA Information Services team.

Data is also used by HESA in the following ways: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education publication Performance Indicators in Higher Education DLHE Longitudinal Survey Key Information Set General data enquiries heidi


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