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Staff 2015/16: Support guides

This page provides an overview of the 2015/16 Staff collection (C15025).

This should be used alongside the C15025 coding manual, which provides more detailed, technical information about the collection.

Need help? Contact us by email or on +44 (0)1242 211144

Staff overview

We collect data across a number of streams. These streams focus on different aspects of higher education.

The Staff stream collects data about staff employed in the UK at a higher education provider. Details of which staff need to be returned to us are included in the Coverage document found in the Coding manual.

The data we collect on behalf of the sector is provided to governments and funding bodies in order to support the regulation of higher education. We also make anonymised data available to the public to enhance understanding of UK higher education and to support its advancement.

Our coding manuals provide you with all the necessary documentation to support your data return. The coding manual contains technical documents giving detailed information on the record's coverage, data specification and submission formats. Familiarising yourself with these documents will help you make an accurate and timely return.

Each collection has its own coding manual which can be found in the Data collection section of our site. By default, you will land on the open collection for each record; you can then select previous or future years.

The coding manuals will be updated throughout the data collection cycle and Record Contacts informed by email when new versions are made live. Be sure to check the manual's Revision history for a summary of changes.

The below table provides an overview of the data collection schedule. A more detailed timetable can be found in the Coding manual.

Period Actions
August 2016 Data collection opens
30 September 2016 Return date
14 October 2016 Commit date
14 October to 11 November 2016 Data quality checking period
11 November 2016 Last submission
14 November 2016 Sign-off

You submit data via our Data Collection system. To access this, you will need to have an appropriate role in our Identity System (IDS). We publish an IDS user guide which includes information on creating and editing your account.

You will need to be given access to the Data Collection system by the relevant Record Contact at your provider.

Once you have access to the system you will be able to upload files and track the progress of the collection.

The coding manual homepage includes all the technical information you require, including:

  • The data specification
  • File format specifications
  • A detailed collection schedule
  • Our XML data entry tool (available for some streams)
  • Quality rules.

This Support guides page collects together the following resources:

  • User guide
  • Data collection system: Known issues and release history.

In the Support area of the HESA website, you can find:

Our Data innovation section includes information about:

  • Open and recently completed record reviews, including information about changes we are implementing
  • Our Data Futures programme which will transform the higher education information landscape.

In the About section, you can find:


Our expert analysts have a thorough understanding of our records and processes. We are here to support you throughout the data submission process.

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388531 

Find out more about Liaison

Our JISCMail groups allow you to discuss specific streams with colleagues from across the sector. We also use the lists to circulate news regarding data requirements and coding manual and validation kit releases.

Join the HESA-Staff JISCMail list

If you encounter any problems, contact Liaison

Preparation guide

Key changes for the C15025 2015/16 Staff record

A document summarising the changes that have been made to the Staff record for 2015/16 can be found in the C15025 coding manual. A full list of the changes can be found in the Revision History for the coding manual. Any changes made to the 2015/16 Staff record after the first release of the manual will also be documented here, so you should frequently reference this web page.

Atypical non-academic staff

Atypical non-academic staff will no longer be included in the coverage of the record. It is anticipated that the removal of atypical non-academic staff will eliminate the complexities that higher education providers face in collecting data from these members of staff.

New user interface and submission process

Our data collection system has been upgraded for this year. These upgrades include an improved user Interface, streamlined submission process bar and new style reports. This is now accessed through a different web page to previous collections:

You will be able to send a file to the system earlier than previous years. This year the file will be processed as far as possible, producing as many reports as available, subject to satisfying schema. There is no longer a test commit option; every time you send data the system effectively carries out a test commit. Once all quality rule errors have been resolved the option to Commit will appear in the process bar. 

Accessing the data collection system

Access to the data collection system for the forthcoming C15025 collection, as well as Minerva, will be governed through our Identity System (IDS).

The Staff record contact for each provider will have access to the data collection system and through IDS will be able to invite additional colleagues to also have access to the system to submit data and view reports. Further information can be found in the IDS User Guide.

System release

For the C15025 Staff record, we have adopted an agile approach to data collection. Functional components of the system are being released incrementally during the period leading up to full functionality being released by by early August. This approach gives you more flexibility in when data can be submitted. This in turn provides a longer window for data quality checks to be made. 

Details of the contents of each release can be found in the Release history section of this page.

Credibility reporting

We are updating the way in which management information is presented back to you. This information is moving away from an Excel workbook to a web-based credibility report. Credibility reporting will present data in a way that is easier for you to review and interpret. When a Checkdoc item is recreated in the credibility report, it may look very different and/or be broken down into more than one table. There is a Credibility reporting mapping document available via the coding manual which will give you the ability to map previous Checkdoc items to tables on to the new credibility report.

The credibility reports will also contain query notes. These are similar to the previous queries section of Checkdoc and will highlight to you the potential issues within your data that could be queried in Minerva once the data has been data quality checked. These queries will act as a guide and will not act as a substitute or provide a definitive list of the queries the provider will receive.

Quality rules

Validation rules previously known as Business and Exception have now been collectively re branded to be quality rules. There is a new quality rules webpage accesses via the coding manual. This single webpage presents all the data quality validation in one place, rather than the rules appearing on each page for individual data items. This ensures greater visibility of the portfolio of rules and also searching as well as a downloadable spreadsheet of rules. For further information on the new Quality Rules webpage, please view the FAQ document in the coding manual.

HESA Amal tool

For the C15025 collection you need to submit a single file containing full data. Each subsequent file you upload will replace the previous one. If you prepare your data in multiple *.xml files, our XML amalgamator tool will combine these records prior to submission.

C15042 Estates management record 2015/16

Staff record information is included in some of the data items contained in the Estates management data collection. Please ensure that you liaise with colleagues completing this return to provide them with the necessary information to complete the associated staff FTE data items. Details about the collection can be viewed at C15042.

Validation kit

Our new validation kit for the 2015/16 staff data is now available is now available to download. A user guide for the kit is available from the same link. The new kit has both increased functionality and a greatly improved processing speed. This allows users earlier access to validation processes and to test against a wider set of quality rules. Please note that if you have a previous version of the validation kit it will not be updated to include the C15025 quality rules. You will need to download the new validation kit.

Data supply files

The Data supply files are available to download following every commit transaction. These files are designed to provide the Person, Contract and Activity tables as downloadable .csv or XML files during the data collection process, allowing you to replicate the populations used in the credibility report. The files can also be exported to your local systems to act as a basic data management tool. 

Credibility report

You are reminded that responsibility for data quality rests with providers; we aim to you providers in ensuring your data is of the highest quality through the provision of the credibility report. You are therefore advised to ensure that sufficient time is spent examining the credibility report produced through a commit, to check that errors have not been introduced that would cause any degradation to data quality. As you are in a better position than us to recognise more detailed anomalies within your data, using local knowledge of the intricacies of your own organisations, you are strongly encouraged to closely scrutinise the credibility reports.

Minerva queries

You are required to actively engage with data quality checking and the resolution of Minerva queries during the collection period. Best practice suggests you interact with Minerva and our data collection system frequently throughout the checking period. This allows you to gradually resolve issues either through providing explanations of genuine data or submitting revised data that corrects issues. Through adopting this approach, you can iteratively improve the quality of your data and expose issues in a timely manner leading to better quality returns.

As a guide we expect that these queries should be answered within 5 working days.

We expect you to have responded to all queries raised prior to sign-off by the head of your provider. Failure to do so may result in the sign-off not being accepted.

System releases and known issues

We provide information about the releases of the system to date, planned system releases and known issues.

All reported issues are available on the Known issues section of this page. This includes both fixed and open issues we are aware of.

Derived field specifications

Full details of the derived fields we use in analysis of the C15025 Staff record data are available from the C15025 coding manual page.  

Record contact changes

The record contact is the first point of communication during data collection. Access to our data collection system is also managed by the nominated record contact. If these details change please ensure you notify Liaison to prevent any delay in the granting of this access.

Data collection system: Release history and known issues

Issue summary Status Date raised Date resolved

Issue ID: 9172 - Frequency count report

Not all data reported upon

Fixed 26 May 2016 23 June 2016 (release 6)

Issue ID: 18903 -  QR.C15025.Person.PREVEMP.5

If triggered only correct values are displayed, rather than incorrect

Fixed 21 June 2016 23 June 2016 (release 6)

Issue ID: 18904 -  QR.C15025.Contract.CONFTE.5

Only triggering if CONFTE is more than 80.0 for 5%

Fixed 21 June 2016 23 June 2016 (release 6)

Issue ID: 18932 -  QR.C15025.Person.BIRTHDTE.6

Triggering if Person.DATEFHEI criteria is met, regardless of meeting second part of rule

Fixed 21 June 2016 23 June 2016 (release 6)

Validation kit - Data collection system

Opening and closing StaffRecord tags must be included in the file, as follows:



Also by adding these tags, STAFFID can be displayed for relevant schema errors.

Open 23 June 2016  

Issue ID: 19732 - Collection system: Submission of file

System is taking a long time to process a file

Fixed 29 June 2016 30 June 2016 (release 7)

Issue ID: 22064 - Derived field process

The derived field process terminated when a cost centre appeared on more than one activity for a given contract.

Fixed 10 August 2016 18 August 2016 (release 11)

Issue ID: 21532 - QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.7

Triggering for records with multiple contracts rather than duplicate person information

Fixed 10 August 2016 18 August 2016 (release 11)

Issue ID: 23596 - QR.C15025.Person.LOCLEAVE.1

The rule is triggering where TERMS = 3 & ACTSOC begins with 2


9 August 2016 16 September 2016 (release 13)

Issue ID: 23101 - QR.C15025.Person.CLINARD.2

Triggering incorrectly on occasions where CONTRACT.CLINICAL = 1 30/08/16

Fixed 30 August 2016 16 September 2016 (release 13)

Issue ID: 23710 - QR.C15025.Person.ACTCHQUAL.1

Incorrect triggering

Fixed 7 September 2016 16 September 2016 (release 13)

Issue ID: 23089 - CCANALYSIS - download to Excel

download to Excel not working

Fixed 30 August 2016 16 September 2016 (release 13)

Issue ID: 22840 - QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.5

Multiple rows displaying for each cost centre

Fixed 22 August 2016 September 2016 (release 13)

Issue ID: 24152 - ATQ3 Credibility reporting table showing wrong count

ATQ3 & ATQ1 are showing different counts for the same population. ATQ3 distinct count needed.

Fixed 15 September 2016 13 October 2016 (release 15)

Issue ID: 24117 - SAL4 Credibility reporting table not displaying correct average

System is taking the average of MOEMP3 and adding it to the average of MOEMP4 rather than taking the average of the two combined.

Fixed 15 September 2016 13 October 2016 (release 15)

Issue ID: 24235 - QR.C15025.Person.LOCLEAVE.1

Rule is triggering when RESCON is returned as "8" (Not known)

Fixed 16 September 2016 13 October 2016 (release 15)

Experiencing an issue not listed here? Let us know.

Release ID Release date Release summary
16 17 October 2016 Fix for issue: 25391
15 13 October 2016

Fixes for following issues:

  • Issue ID: 24152 - ATQ3 Credibility reporting table showing wrong count
  • Issue ID: 24117 - SAL4 Credibility reporting table not displaying correct average
  • Issue ID: 24235 - QR.C15025.Person.LOCLEAVE.1
14 20 September 2016 Progress monitor added to dashboard page of the data collection system. This will advise whether you have met the key dates of the Return and the Commit dates.

16 September 2016

 QR Rules amended:

  • QR.C15025.Person.LOCLEAVE.1
  • QR.C15025.Person.CLINARD.2
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTCHQUAL.1
  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.5

Credibility Reporting:

  • Download to excel - individual volume, fixed
  • Download to excel - all volumes, added
12 2 September 2016

QR Rules amended:

  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.6
  • QR.C15025.Contract.CLINICAL.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.9
11 18 August 2016

QR Rules amended:

  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.1
  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.2
  • QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.7.

Amendment made to derived fields to cue the error "An item with the same key has already been added."

10 5 August 2016 Quality Rules comparison report is now accessed from within the Quality rules report.
9 22 July 2016 New Reports added:

  • Expected contract population
  • Data supply.

The Amal tool has been updated to deal with duplicate contracts under a single staff id. All contract information is now grouped under the single relevant staff id.

All C15025 (Staff) rules have been assessed for adding a plain English description and as such 62 rules now have this. All of the details can be seen on the Quality rules webpage for C15025 (Staff), which can be accessed here.

No further plain English descriptions are expected for the remaining rules; however if you feel a rule could benefit from this then please email Liaison.

The Commit button has been activated; however we will not start credibility checking submissions until August.

8 7 July 2016

New quality (exception stage) rules:

  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.12
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.11
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.10.

Quality (Exception stage) rules amended:

  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.1
  • QR.C15025.Contract.CAMPID.1
  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.2
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.7.

Credibility report tables added:

  • Number of academic teaching qualifications as at 1 December (ATQ3)
  • Clinical sub-speciality of academic staff with NHS contracts (CLIN1)
  • Staff FPE (excluding atypical) by mode of employment and salary group (SALG1)
  • Unknown values for national identity - Welsh only (NATD1)
  • Staff FTE basic salary for SOC2010 major groups 1-3 by contract level and mode of employment (SAL2)
  • FTE by contract levels and academic marker (LVL3)
  • Staff FPE for source of basic salary by mode of employment and academic marker (SOBS1)
  • Staff FTE by contract levels and SOC2010 major groups (LVL2)
  • Staff FTE (excluding atypical) basic salary by academic marker and mode of employment (SAL1)
  • FTE basic salary for SOC2010 major groups 4-9 by level and mode of employment (SAL3)
  • Information refused values for national identity - Welsh only (NATD2)
  • FPE by previous employment and activity after leaving for staff (PREV4)
  • Number of staff by clinical excellence award (AWRD1)
  • Staff FTE by SOC2010 major groups and mode of employment (SOC1)
  • Healthcare professional speciality of academic staff with NHS contracts (HSPC1)
  • Atypical staff FPE for ethnicity (ETH5)
  • Healthcare professional speciality of staff with Clinical status (HSPC2).
7 30 June 2016

Improvement in processing submitted file

6 23 June 2016

Frequency Counts report updated to include all data.

Following quality rules corrected:

  • QR.C15025.Person.BIRTHDTE.6
  • QR.C15025.Person.PREVEMP.5
  • QR.C15025.Contract.CONFTE.5.

Credibility report tables added:

  • Academic teaching qualification unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) as at 1 Dec (ATQ1)
  • Academic teaching qualification unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) new starters (ATQ2)
  • Activity after leaving unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) as at 1 December (ACTL1)
  • Activity after leaving unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) new starters (ACTL2)
  • Ethnicity unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) 1 December (ETH1)
  • Ethnicity unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) new starters (ETH2)
  • Ethnicity unknowns for staff with atypical contracts only (ETH3)
  • HESA cost centre by academic employment function (HCC2)
  • HESA cost centre by terms of contract and academic type (HCC1)
  • Highest qualification held unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) as at 1 December (HQHD1)
  • Highest qualification held unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) new starters (HQHD2)
  • Location after leaving unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) as at 1 December (LOCL1)
  • Location after leaving unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) new starters (LOCL2)
  • Nationality unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) as at 1 December (NAT2)
  • Nationality unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) new starters (NAT3)
  • Nationality unknowns for staff with atypical contracts only (NAT4)
  • Number of academic staff by NHS contract grade and NHS contracts (NHSC1)
  • Number of contracts by FTE and mode of employment (CFTE1)
  • Number of contracts by mode of employment and terms of employment (MOE1)
  • Previous employment unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) as at 1 December (PREV1)
  • Previous employment unknowns for staff (excluding atypical) new starters (PREV2)
  • Staff FPE (excluding atypical) by academic employment function and levels (LVL1)
  • Staff FPE (excluding atypical) by previous employment for staff as at 1 December and new starters (PREV3)
  • Staff FPE (excluding atypical) for activity after leaving (ACTL3)
  • Staff FPE as at 1 December by SOC2010 major groups (SOC2)
  • Staff FPE for atypical staff by SOC2010 major groups (SOC3)
  • Staff FPE for ethnicity by mode of employment and academic marker (ETH4)
  • Staff FTE by mode of employment, SOC2010 major groups and academic employment function (MOE2)Average salary (£) for staff (excluding atypical) by contract levels, mode of employment and legal sex (SAL4).
5 9 June 2016

New quality (exception stage) rules released:

  • QR.C15025.Person.ETHNIC.7
  • QR.C15025.Person.HQHELD.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.HQHELD.5
  • QR.C15025.Person.PREVEMP.6
  • QR.C15025.Person.PREVEMP.7
  • QR.C15025.Person.NATIOND.5
  • QR.C15025.Person.NATIOND.6
  • QR.C15025.Person.LOCLEAVE.5
  • QR.C15025.Person.LOCLEAVE.6
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTLEAVE.5
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTLEAVE.6.

Credibility report tables added:

  • Number of staff (excluding atypical) by age and legal sex (AGE1)
  • Number of staff with only atypical contracts by age and legal sex (AGE2)
  • Number of staff by nationality and legal sex (NAT1)
  • Summary of staff (excluding atypical) by disability as at 1 December (DISB2)
  • Staff FPE by mode of employment (excluding atypical) and academic marker (MOE3)
  • Number of staff (excluding atypical) by disability as at 1 December (DISB1).
4 26 May 2016 New quality rules released:

  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.4
  • QR.C15025.Contract.LEVELS.6
  • QR.C15025.Contract.STARTCON.7
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTCHQUAL.7
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTCHQUAL.8
  • QR.C15025.Person.ETHNIC.5
  • QR.C15025.Person.ETHNIC.6
  • QR.C15025.Person.NATION.2
  • QR.C15025.Person.NATION.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.NATION.4
  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.3
  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.5
  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.6
  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.7
  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCENTRE.8
  • QR.C15025.Contract.LEVELS.7
  • QR.C15025.Contract.LEVELS.8
  • QR.C15025.Person.DISABLE.2
  • QR.C15025.Person.DISABLE.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.DISABLE.4.

Amendments made to following quality rules:

  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCPROP.1
  • QR.C15025.Activity.CCPROP.2
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.5
  • QR.C15025.Contract.STARTCON.6
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTCHQUAL.5
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTCHQUAL.6
  • QR.C15025.Person.BIRTHDTE.6.

Following quality rules (exception stage) updated and released:

  • QR.C15025.Contract.CONFTE.5
  • QR.C15025.Contract.CONFTE.6
  • QR.C15025.Contract.CONFTE.7
  • QR.C15025.Contract.LEVELS.2
  • QR.C15025.Contract.RESCON.4
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.6
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.7
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.8
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.9
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SPOINT.1
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SPOINT.2
  • QR.C15025.Person.ABLWELSH.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTCHQUAL.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTLEAVE.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.ACTLEAVE.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.BIRTHDTE.5
  • QR.C15025.Person.CLINARD.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.DATEFHEI.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.HQHELD.2
  • QR.C15025.Person.HQHELD.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.PREVEMP.5.
3 12 May 2016 Following quality rules (exception stage) updated and released:

  • QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.DISABLE.1
  • QR.C15025.Person.ETHNIC.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.GENDERID.1
  • QR.C15025.Person.NATION.1
  • QR.C15025.Person.NATIOND.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.PREVHEI.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.PREVHEI.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.PREVHEI.5
  • QR.C15025.Person.REGBODY.8
  • QR.C15025.Person.SEX.1
  • QR.C15025.Person.SEXORT.1
  • QR.C15025.Person.SEXORT.2
  • QR.C15025.Person.SEXORT.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.10
  • QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.6
  • QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.7
  • QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.8
  • QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.9
  • QR.C15025.Person.PREVEMP.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.REGBODY.7
  • QR.C15025.Person.STAFFID.5
  • QR.C15025.Person.HQHELD.2
  • QR.C15025.Person.HQHELD.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.PREVEMP.5.

See coding manual / quality rules webpage for more details.

2 14 April 2016 Data Entry tool released

New quality rules released:

  • QR.C15025.Contract.TERMS.2
  • QR.C15025.Contract.LEVELS.4
  • QR.C15025.Contract.LEVELS.5
  • QR.C15025.Contract.ACEMPFUN.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.PARLEAVE.3.

Amendments made to following quality rules:

  • QR.C15025.Contract.STARTCON.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.BIRTHDTE.3
  • QR.C15025.Person.BIRTHDTE.4
  • QR.C15025.Person.PARLEAVE.1
  • QR.C15025.Person.PARLEAVE.2
  • QR.C15025.Contract.SALREF.2.

See coding manual / quality rules webpage for more details.

1 18 February 2016 Validation kit released

Stages of data submission

A. Sending data

Send data by clicking on the 'send data' button in the data collection system. Note that actions not currently available will be greyed out.

Data collection system - Process flow

Browse your computer to locate the file you wish to submit, and upload the file to the data collection system. 


  • Files can have any name
  • Files must be in XML and conform to the relevant XML Schema Definition (XSD) file
  • Files can be compressed using PKZip/WinZip which will significantly reduce the upload time
  • Only a single file can be held on the system.

B. Validation

Automated validation checks (quality rules) will now run.

Further details on the quality rules which apply to this collection can be found in the coding manual.

The Quality rules report will contain the details of any rules triggered by the submission. Make any necessary amendments to the data and resubmit the file to the system. To pass validation, the file must not trigger any validation errors.

You can run some of these validation checks through our validation kit before submitting data to the data collection system. The kit enables you to test your data locally against schema and business stage validation rules prior to submission. You are strongly encouraged to use the validation kit as part of your data preparations.

Remember that you need to process and pass the business-stage validation in order to meet the requirements of the return deadline.

How to obtain a switch

When errors are triggered in the Data Collection system but the data has been checked and is genuine, you need to request a switch. This is because your file will not pass the validation requirements of the collection deadlines if there are any remaining errors.

Please email your switch request to Liaison, stating which rule is causing the error to be triggered and for how many records, together with an explanation as to why the data is genuine.

This will then be forwarded to your funding council/regulator for them to review. They may agree the switch, ask for more information or state how they wish the data to be returned so that an error is no longer triggered.

This request should be sent well in advance of any deadline, to allow sufficient time for a decision to be made.

When a switch has been agreed, it will be applied to your data for the count specified and the data will be reprocessed. This will resolve the error.

If the count increases, the rule will be triggered again, and you will need to request that the count on the switch be increased. This will be forwarded to your funding council/regulator for approval.

To proceed to the next stage in the submission process, a valid file needs to have been submitted. The data will then be classed as 'committable' and the option to process a COMMIT transaction will be made available through the data collection system.  

Prior to committing data, you should review all of the reports produced on the data collection system and make any necessary corrections to the data.

The COMMIT transaction sends a copy of your submission to our data quality assurance team and, where appropriate, to the relevant funding council. We analyse your return in parallel with your own analysis.


A passed commit transaction will lock the system to prevent the data from being amended. This is to allow our data quality assurance team to analyse the submission. To unlock the system you will need to request a DECOMMIT transaction.

Request a decommit by email or on +44 (0)1242 388531

Remember that you need to process and pass a COMMIT transaction in order to meet the requirements of the commit deadline.

Once we have analysed your committed return, data quality queries will be posted onto the Issue Management System data quality database. Relevant users will be notified by email when these queries are available to view. The Issue Management System user guide provides help on using the Issue Management System.

Access the Issue Management System data quality database

Once your data has passed all the stages of validation, and any issues highlighted during credibility checking have been addressed, we will set the return to CREDIBLE. This produces the sign-off form.

When data is set to credible, a link to the sign-off form is automatically emailed to the head of the submitting organisation as well as the appropriate record contact. The form should be completed and signed by the head of the reporting organisation and returned to us by email or post. This verification offers both you and us assurances regarding onward use of the data.

Sign-off completes the data collection process.