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DLHE BOS online survey user guide (2016/17)

Please set up the online surveys as outlined in this document. You can also watch an online BOS training video to give step by step guidance on how to set up the online survey.


DLHE contacts must inform HESA that they will be using the BOS online survey system by completing the DLHE survey control panel accessed through the HESA Data Collection System.

If you completed the control panel to indicate you wished to use BOS for the April survey, you must ensure that you have also indicated that you will be using BOS for the January survey.

Once the control panel has been completed, users must then wait for an invitation email containing an activation link. The invitation will be sent to the HESA DLHE Record Contact.

If other colleagues require access to the system the 'Additional BOS User Account' survey, found within the control panel, can be completed. Invitations will then also be sent to the email addresses provided.

Users will receive confirmation emails once they have been invited to the DLHE account (see 'Registering your BOS account'.)

Users who already have a BOS account will receive an email advising them that they have joined the DLHE account. They will then be able to access it the next time they sign in.

New users have 30 days to click on the activation link and set a password. If the 30 days is exceeded a new invitation will need to be sent.

Once the account has been activated, the link in the invitation email will no longer work and users must sign in at:

Users who are having difficulty signing in to BOS may find the solution here:

To access the DLHE dashboard, existing users will have to change accounts when they sign in. They do this by signing into BOS and clicking on the account name (in ALL CAPS) at the top right of the screen. This will open a drop-down list from which they must choose the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education account.

New users will sign directly into the DLHE Dashboard.

HESA will create a template for each of the questionnaire types:

  • English teaching HE provider template
  • English non-teaching HE provider template
  • English telephone template
  • Welsh teaching HE provider template
  • Welsh non-teaching HE provider template
  • Welsh telephone template.

Access to these will be governed by the provision and location of each HE provider. HESA will make the relevant templates available to the DLHE record contact, who is then able to share the template with their colleagues as necessary. For providers situated in Wales the maximum number of templates visible will be four, for providers situated outside of Wales the maximum number of visible templates will be two.

You will need to create a copy of those templates you wish to use to create individualised versions for your provider.

How to copy a survey:

  • On the DLHE Dashboard, uncheck the JUST MY SURVEYS filter to see the DLHE templates
  • Click on the Copy survey icon to the far right of the survey name
  • Add your HESA 4-digit INSTID to the internal survey name. This will allow HESA to distinguish between the surveys and help us to support providers with any queries.
  • Click Copy Survey

The survey templates will be shared with the HESA DLHE Record Contacts who can then give access to other colleagues as necessary once they have taken a copy. Colleagues will need to have a BOS account to access a survey (see 'Signing up in the HESA Control Panel' above).

To allow a colleague access:

  • Click on the View Survey Permissions icon to the far right of the survey name on the dashboard
  • Enter your colleague's email address
  • Select add user
  • The new email address will then appear on the list of users and you can select the access you wish this colleague to have by ticking the boxes under the below options. <
  • Click save

For information on the access each permission gives, please see

Setting up

The Contact username and Contact message will need to be configured; these can be located at > Design tab > Survey settings > Contact, copyright and screening message pages

The contact username will as default be set as the survey author (i.e. the user that created the copy of the template). We recommend that you amend this email address to [email protected] as it will be visible to users. HESA will monitor this inbox and forward any emails that we receive onto the DLHE record contact.

Alternatively you can choose to use an email address from your provider; however, it has to be registered to a BOS account.

For the contact message we recommend that you change this message to read:

'For questions relating to this survey, please contact your University or College's Careers Service'

The Public survey name will need to be configured; this can be located at > Distribute tab > Distribution settings

Setting the DLHE survey name in BOS

The public survey name is visible to respondents so you will need to update the public facing version(s). If the public survey name was not changed when the survey was copied the name should be changed to the following as appropriate. Telephone survey versions do not need to be amended.

April English survey Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17 April 2017
April Welsh survey Cyrchfannau Myfyrwyr sy'n Gadeal Addysg Uwch 2016/17 Ebrill 2017
January English survey Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17 January 2018
January Welsh survey Cyrchfannau Myfyrwyr sy'n Gadeal Addysg Uwch 2016/17 Ionawr 2018

The Survey short name will need to be configured; this can be located at > Distribute tab > Distribution settings

Setting the DLHE survey name in BOS

For the version of the questionnaire that will be made accessible to leavers the short survey name should be set to the following, with your provider's UKPRN inserted. Please note this short name will be used to link to the DLHE map at The survey name must be in this exact format to link correctly to the DLHE map.

April English Survey April17-UKPRN
April Welsh Survey Ebrill17-UKPRN
January English Survey January18-UKPRN
January Welsh Survey Ionawr18-UKPRN

If you are setting up a test survey, please use a different survey short name as these cannot be the same due to creating duplicate URLs.

If you are setting up a second version of the same survey with Student Numbers/PINS defined you will need to set up a different survey short name by suffixing this version with an 'a', e.g. April2017-10007777a.

If you do not know your HE provider's UKPRN this can be found here:

There are a number of other settings within the distribution tab, none of which require any editing and relate to features that are not being used for the DLHE survey.

We recommend that you take a copy of the surveys for testing.

This can be done be selecting the 'copy survey'  icon on the dashboard.

You will then need to create a new survey name.

Please note that when setting up the survey short name in this test survey, you will need to use a different short name to that given in this user guide e.g. TESTApril16-UKPRN

In previous years, DLHE contacts would have set up access to the online survey system through the control panel. The move to the BOS system for the online survey system allows HE providers to control these access settings themselves. This can be done through 'Survey access control' which is found in the Distribute section of your survey.

The student identifier and PIN data items can be used by providers to aid the matching of responses to the DLHE target population list. The student identifier can be up to 20 characters in length and the PIN up to ten characters in length.

If you want leavers to be able to either access the survey using their Student Number/Pin or through the landing page you will need to set up two copies of the survey. To one of these copies you will then need to set the 'Survey access controls'.

In this additional copy of the survey, you should navigate to 'Survey access control', which is found in the Distribute section, then click on 'Create a list of respondents'. You will then need to upload the Survey_access_control_template.csv

Providers should download this template, use it to complete their cohort details and then import this into the BOS system.

Using the template

The template will look as follows:

  • Username: The username field is required for use of the survey access control. Usernames must be unique, one per line. Student number or PIN could be used in this field.
  • Password: Passwords are optional. They can be left blank for BOS to generate automatically (recommended), or you can fill in your own.
  • Email: The email field can only contain valid email addresses, it cannot be used for any other type of data. If you are not entering email addresses, it must be left blank.
  • Token: The token will set the individualised URL for your respondents. Tokens are optional in preparing your survey. They can be left blank for BOS to generate automatically (recommended), or you can fill in your own. Tokens must be unique and can only contain alpha-numeric characters, underscores or hyphens (no spaces).
  • x1: If you wish to use a PIN to track your respondents, this should be entered here. This has been set up to only accept numbers. Otherwise this should be left blank. 
  • x2: If you wish to use a Student number to track your respondents, this should be entered here. Otherwise this should be left blank.
  • x3 - x10: Do not enter data into these fields. These should be left blank.

When your spreadsheet is complete, save or export it as a CSV file.

Importing your list into BOS

Once the template has been completed with your cohort details this should be imported into the BOS system. On the Distribute page of your survey, click on BOS ACCESS CONTROL ICON Survey access control in the left-hand menu. Click on Create a list of respondents. Underneath the heading 'Respondent export/import', click BOS IMPORT ICON Import respondents. Click Browse to find the CSV file on your computer, then click Open. Click Save.

The respondent list will be created. If you left the password and token columns blank, BOS will automatically generate random passwords and tokens for your respondents.

Circulating the unique URLs to your cohort

In order to access the unique URLs for your cohort, you will need to export your respondent list. On the Distribute page of your survey, click on BOS ACCESS CONTROL ICON Survey access control in the left-hand menu. Underneath the heading 'Respondent export/import', click BOS EXPORT ICON Export respondents. Save the file in an appropriate location.

When opened as a spreadsheet, the downloaded CSV file will include the passwords and tokens generated by BOS (or your own passwords and tokens, if you provided them yourself), as well as a new 'URL' column with the individual survey links for each respondent.

These URLs can then be circulated to your respondents for survey completion.

More information on survey access controls

If you have difficulties with the process for importing or exporting respondents, this help guide may be of use:

If this does not answer your question, please contact: [email protected], or call 0117 394 1783.

A telephone survey has been created for DLHE, for providers to use internally when telephoning graduates.

This will be called Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (ENGLISH TELEPHONE TEMPLATE) and/or Cyrchfannau Myfyrwyr sy’n Gadael Addysg Uwch (WELSH TELEPHONE TEMPLATE).

The public survey name does not need to be amended on the telephone survey, as this will not be visible to those outside of your provider.

The telephone version of the survey does not contain any validation or routing. If this is required then a copy of the online survey template can be taken and used internally for completing telephone surveys.

When launching the telephone survey, a number of issues will be displayed on the Distribute tab. These can be ignored and will not prevent you from launching your survey.

Once you have completed the set up steps above you are ready to launch the survey. Click the 'Launch survey' button on the Survey Launchpad to allow the survey to receive responses once the opening date has passed.

Opening/Closing dates - the dates will be set as the dates of the contact period. HE providers are reminded that these must not be altered unless explicitly advised by HESA. All responses contain a timestamp for audit purposes. HE providers are reminded of the code of practice for higher education data collections.

Telephone survey - when launching the telephone version of the survey the below warning message will be displayed. These are to be expected and will not impact the launch of the survey.


To download the survey responses:

  • Select 'Analyse' underneath the survey name on the dashboard.
  • On the summary tab select 'Export' and 'Export response data' in the top right.

  • Select the custom fields you want to be included from the list, we would recommend including date and time stamps to keep track of when respondents completed the survey.

  • Select one of the following file format, these have been designed specifically for the DLHE survey:    
    • Custom DLHE export - Comma Separated Values (.csv)
    • Custom DLHE export - Fixed-length file (.txt)

  • Select 'Export data', this will then offer an open or save box.

Partial responses are downloaded under the distribute tab.

  • Select 'Distribute' underneath the survey name on the dashboard
  • Select 'Download Partials' above the 'Completed responses' count.

The partial response download does not contain date and time stamps. Providers are therefore advised to use the date and time the responses are downloaded for audit purposes.

Respondent tracking information is found on the survey launchpad which is located under the Distribute tab.

If you have used survey access controls to set up a list of respondents (see 'Setting up Access Controls'), there will be information in the distribute tab on the proportion of students who have completed the survey.

To track the time and dates graduates completed the survey, the date and time stamp should be added to the survey responses export (see downloading survey responses).

The data can then be filtered by date in the .txt or .csv download to see when the graduates completed the survey.

Further support

If you need any help with BOS then please contact the Liaison team by email or on 01242 211144.

If you need technical support, please see the Help and support pages, or if you have email support with your account, contact our support team via [email protected] or you can call 0203 815 5640.

Support hours are 09:00 – 17:00, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and Jisc closure days.

Upcoming Bank Holidays and Jisc closure days are publicised on the BOS Website at the following link: