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Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education record 2016/17

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Data collection schedule

Version 1.0 Produced 2017-03-02

This document is designed to guide higher education providers 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 2016 and 31 December 2016.

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

30 March 2017: Control panel opens for S16018A 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.

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

12 April 2017: 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 HE provider'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.

12 April 2017 to 23 June 2017: Contact period

HE providers are required to make contact with all graduates in the April DLHE survey population between 12 April 2017 to 23 June 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. HE providers 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 2017 and 31 July 2017.

This stage details the schedule for the completion of the 10 January 2018 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 2017 survey and those expected to be surveyed in the January 2018 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 2017: Control panel opens for S16018J DLHE January online survey

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

08 November 2017 to 05 March 2018: Contact period

HE providers are required to make contact with all graduates in the January DLHE population between 08 November 2017 to 05 March 2018. 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. HE providers 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.

10 January 2018: 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 2017 Validate data locally using the validation kit
March 2018 Data collection opens
31 March 2018 Return date
9 April 2018 Commit date
9 April 2018 to 8 May 2018 Data quality checking period
8 May 2018 Last submission
9 May 2018 Sign-off
November 2017: Validate data locally using the validation kit

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

The validation kit enables HE providers to test their data locally against Business stage validation ahead of the main collection opening in the Spring. HE providers 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 2018: Data collection opens

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

31 March 2018: Return date

HE providers are required to send complete data that has passed Business stage validation to HESA by 31 March 2018.

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.

9 April 2018: COMMIT date

HE providers are advised to send complete data that has passed Exception stage validation by 9 April 2018. 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.

9 April 2018 to 8 May 2018: Data quality checking period

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

HE providers are required to review the reports and to resubmit data in order to resolve data quality issues. HE providers 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 HE providers 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 HE providers. If any anomalies are found queries will be raised through the Minerva DQ database. Nevertheless HE providers are in a better position to recognise more detailed anomalies within their data, using local knowledge of the intricacies of their own HE provider. As a consequence HE providers 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.

8 May 2018: Last submission

In order to meet obligations for hand-over of data to its customers, HESA needs to receive all data files by 8 May 2018.

9 May 2018: 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 HE provider. This verification offers both the HE providers and HESA assurances regarding onward use of the data. Sign-off completes the data collection process.

Note: HE providers 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 HE provider 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 HE providers 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 HE providers’ ability to use data for such purposes but HE providers 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 HE providers (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 HE providers should limit publication of DLHE data in advance of publication of the HESA Statistical First Release wherever possible.

If a HE provider 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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