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AP student 2016/17: Support guides

This page provides an overview of the 2016/17 AP student collection (C16054).

This should be used alongside the C16054 coding manual, which provides more detailed, technical information about the collection.

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

AP student overview

What is the AP student stream?

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

The AP student stream collects data about students studying at alternative higher education providers. The sector uses this term to describe specialist providers of HE. Details of which students 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 the government and the relevant funding council 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.

What is a coding manual?

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.

How do I submit data to HESA?

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, track the progress of your submission, view data quality issues and download reports. An overview of the submission and validation process is given below. Further details are provided in the Coding manual under the 'Submission process and quality assurance' section heading.

Submit data

Where can I find...?

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:

Where can I find further help with the AP Student record? Who are Liaison?

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 211144 

Find out more about Liaison

AP student record JISCMail list

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-AP student JISCmail list

If you encounter any problems, contact Liaison

Preparation guide

Collection news (C16054)

Highest Qualification on Entry

Providers are reminded that code P80 – Other qualification at level 3 should only be used for non-UK qualifications where no other code is appropriate. If a student holds non-tariff bearing UK qualifications, these should be coded P92. P92 should not be used in cases where the student holds non-tariff bearing grades for a tariff-bearing qualification.

Data protection

Principle 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998 requires that information be provided, or made readily available, to data subjects so that they are not deceived or misled as to the purposes for which their data is to be processed. In order to satisfy this principle, the statutory bodies and HESA supply text for use by alternative providers. This text can be found on our website. You must make these notices available to all relevant data subjects.

Changes to the record - updates to guidance

The Notification of Changes outlines the key changes to the record for 16/17.   Providers should also consult the Revision History page of the coding manual for a full technical list of changes to the C16054 record specifications.

A significant amount of change has occurred since C15054 including schema changes, changes to the coverage and clarification to existing guidance.

We issue regular communications during the life of a collection. For a summary of all communications associated with the 2016/17 AP Student collection please see the Notification Log.

Guidance from Statutory Customers (C16054)

Data Collection Deadlines

Providers are reminded about the importance of meeting data collection deadlines. Statutory customers will consider the meeting of these deadlines as part of their analysis of provider risk.

Information Reporting Interface Service (IRIS) output

HEFCE will generate four outputs to allow providers to verify, and where appropriate correct, their data before signing it off. Three of these outputs (HEAPES comparison, Student Loans Company comparison and Pearson qualification comparison) compare the data you submit to us with data from other sources. The fourth output will be final year outcome metrics that will provide early sight of an academic performance indicator which will be shared with the Department for Education once the data is signed-off. HEFCE will write to you in early August with more information about these outputs.

The first of these outputs (HEAPES comparison) will be made available to providers from mid-August as part of the Information Reporting Interface Service (IRIS) reporting available through our data collection system. The other outputs which will also form part of the IRIS output, will become available in the following months. You are required to review all of these outputs to ensure that the data returned to us is accurate.

The Department for Education (DfE) has asked HEFCE to develop new performance metrics. These analyse the outcomes of full-time students who reach their final year of study. The DfE has indicated that it will use these metrics, together with the UK Performance Indicators published by HESA, to assess providers’ academic performance. HEFCE will be producing these metrics as part of the IRIS outputs to give providers early sight of the methodology. Although HEFCE will not raise queries about these metrics, we strongly encourage providers to view them and to familiarise themselves with the methodology.

Reminders (C16054)

Validation kit

Our Validation kit grants you earlier access to the validation processes to test against schema and business stage quality rules. The 2016/17 AP student validation kit is available for download.

Minerva queries

During the data quality checking phase of data collection, 'committed' data will be reviewed by HESA and HEFCE.  Resulting data quality queries will be raised with providers through the Minerva system.

You are required to actively engage with data quality checking and the resolution of Minerva queries during the collection period.  Providers are expected to 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.

We expect you to respond to all queries, before your file can be set to credible and signed-off by your accountable officer.  As a guide we expect data queries to be answered within 5 working days.

Known issues

All reported issues on the AP Student record are communicated under Known issues. These include both open and fixed issues that we are aware of.

Derived field specifications

Analysis and outputs provided by us use derived field groupings to produce populations. Full details of the derived fields that we use in analysis of the C16054 AP student data are available from the C16054 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, and they have the ability to grant system roles to colleagues. The Record Contact should inform Liaison of any changes to contact details, including if a new record contact is taking over.

Data collection system: Release history and known issues

Known issues (C16054)
Issues Summary Status Date raised Date resolved

Issue ID: Unistats report

The Unistats preview report does include apprenticeship students, however, these students are not required to be included in the populations used in Unistats. Therefore there could potentially be a mis-match to the populations in the Unistats report in AP Student, and the populations appearing in the Unistats record. 

Please note: we are not planning to change this for C16054 - it will be fixed for C17054. 

For info only 12 March 2018  

Issue ID: 52213 - Data Supply report

The Data Supply report seems to be duplicating certain data items incorrectly. 

Closed 19 January 2018 31 January 2018

Issue ID: 51563 - DLHE population report

The DOMICILE field in this report is not populating correctly.  It is only looking at Entry Profiles that are returned this year and not looking back at Entry Profiles that have been sent in previous years. 

Closed 12 January 2018 15 January 2018

Issue ID: 48357 - Derived Fields 

The XTARIFFGP01 derived field was not calculating correctly, in particular where it was looking back at the continuity register. 

Closed 9 November 2017 26 November 2017

Issue ID: 47317 - Quality Rules

The coding manual links on the quality rules report are broken (when you click on the coding manual link in the rule (right corner), or when you are in the validation kit and right click on a rule). 

Please note: we are not planning to change this for C16054 - it will be fixed for C17054.

Open 10 November 2017  

Issue ID: 47290 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.EntryProfile.POSTCODE.6 is triggering incorrectly. 

Closed 10 November 2017 13 November 2017

Issue ID: 45656 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.1 seems to be triggering incorrectly. 

Closed 19 October 2017 24 October 2017

Issue ID: 44957 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.14 isn't excluding non-active students. 

Closed 6 October 2017 12 October 2017

Issue ID: 44957 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.15 is triggering incorrectly. It is looking at no courses for a student instance, rather than across a course. 

Closed 6 October 2017 12 October 2017

Issue ID: 44732 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.StudentEquality.ETHNIC.3 is triggering incorrectly - it was triggering when the ETHNIC field was NULL, and it shouldn't be. 

Closed 2 October 2017 12 October 2017

Issue ID: 44761 - Quality Rules

The quality rules QR.C16054.EntryProfile.POSTCODE.4 and QR.C16054.EntryProfile.POSTCODE.6 are triggering incorrectly. [Note: this was fixed by updating the static data behind the rule, the rule itself hasn't been changed]

Closed 3 October 2017 16 October 2017

Issue ID: 44751 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.23 is triggering incorrectly. It should exclude postgraduate students, as these fall outside the coverage of the HEAPES population. 

Closed 3 October 2017 5 October 2017

Issue ID: 44740 - Quality Rules

The quality rules QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.DISALL.2 and QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.DISALL.7 are triggering incorrectly, when the Student Equality entity hasn't been returned. 

Closed 2 October 2017 3 October 2017

Issue ID: 44698 - Quality Rules

The quality rules QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.13, QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.14 and QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.15 are triggering incorrectly. They are triggering for postgraduate qualifications, but they should only be looking at undergraduates. 

Closed 29 September 2017 5 October 2017

Issue ID: 44131 - Quality Rules

The following quality rules are triggering incorrectly, due to designation locations: QR.C16054.StudentEquality.ETHNIC.1, QR.C16054.StudentEquality.GENDERID1, QR.C16054.StudentEquality.DISABLE1, and QR.C16054.StudentEquality.RELBLF1. 

Closed 19 September 2017 27 September 2017

Issue ID: 44048 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES.5 is triggering incorrectly. 

Closed 15 September 2017 27 September 2017

Issue ID: 44130 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.Instance.RSNEND.3 is triggering incorrectly. 

Closed 19 September 2017 27 September 2017

Issue ID: 43542 - Credibility Reports

SIN1 and SIN2 tables are not appearing in the Student Instance Profile chapter, in credibility reports. 

Closed 5 September 2017 14 September 2017

Issue ID: 43520 - Quality Rules

The quality rules QR.C16054.Instance.SPLENGTH.4 and QR.C16054.Instance.SPLENGTH.6 are triggering incorrectly. 

Closed 4 September 2017 14 September 2017

For info only: Credibility Reports

Shading rules on credibility reports do not appear until your submission has finished processing. The reports and tables will appear first and the shading rules later. So whilst you're transaction is processing, please wait until it has completely finished before checking if you have triggered any shading rules.  

For info only 31 August 2017  

Issue ID: 35987, 35821 - Schema

The schema changes for InstancePeriod.SSELIG becoming optional and InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES code K being added have not yet been reflected in the data collection system. This will happen once the coding manual schema has been updated. 

Closed 16 May 2017 24 August 2017

Issue ID: 42488 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.EntryProfile.PREVINST.3 is displaying incorrect column headings for the data being displayed. 

Closed 21 August 2017 24 August 2017

Issue ID: 42487 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.Instance.SPLENGTH.4 is displaying the output from the derived field for the 'Expected length of Study (SPLENGTH and UNITLENGTH)' field instead of the input data from the provider. 

Closed 21 August 2017 24 August 2017

Issue ID: 42391 - Quality Rules

The rule QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.23 may not be triggering correctly. [release note: this rule hasn't been amended, only downgraded to a warning] 

Closed 18 August 2017 30 August 2017

Issue ID: 41970 and 41971 - Quality Rules

The continuity warning rules QR.C16054.Instance.NUMHUS.4 and QR.C16054.Instance.NUMHUS.5 are not triggering correctly. The rules need to look at the incoming data first whilst fuzzy matching to the continuity register. 

Closed 11 August 2017 17 August 2017

Issue ID: 41800 - Quality Rules

The quality rule QR.C16054.Instance.SPLENGTH.6 is displaying the output from the derived field for the 'Expected length of Study (SPLENGTH and UNITLENGTH)' field instead of the input data from the provider. 

Closed 14 August 2017 24 August 2017

Issue ID: 41677 - Derived Fields process

A provider entered 29 February for the COMDATE of a student. Our derived fields process that works our the anniversary of a student was not able to cope with this, as it was trying to make every year a leap year! 

Closed 11 August 2017 17 August 2017

Issue ID: 41530 - Credibility Reports

To use the drill down functionality on the credibility reports please always go into the chapters by clicking on the 'view' button; you can then use the blue triangles to view the figures. If this method is not followed then you will experience issues with this information displaying. 

For info only 9 August 2017  

Issue ID: 40792 - Quality Rules

The continuity warning rule QR.C16054.Instance.NUMHUS.5 was not triggering correctly. 

Closed 31 July 2017 2 August 2017

Issue ID: 40790 - Quality Rules

The continuity warning rule QR.C16054.EntryProfile.POSTCODE.8 wasn't taking into account cases when the field was NULL last year, and was NULL this year. 

Closed 31 July 2017 2 August 2017

Issue ID: 33729 - HUSID Lookup Service

The complete list of Alternative Providers is not appearing in the HUSID Lookup Service (, in particular when a provider is trying to register to use service. 

Closed 7 April 2017 25 May 2017


Release history (C16054)
Release ID Release date Release Summary
60 31 January 2018

The Data Supply report was linking back to students on instance key and entry profile key, but there wasn't a link on NUMHUS key as well. This has now been fixed and the report reissued for providers. You can view your fixed report by going into the data collection system and downloading this report again. This was to fix bug 52213. 

59 15 January 2018

The DOMICILE field in the DLHE population report was not populating correctly, however this has now been fixed.  You can view your report by going into the data collection system and downloading this report. This was to fix bug 51563. 

55B 16 November 2017 An interim release to fix the XTARIFFGP01 derived field - to fix bug 48357. 
55A 13 November 2017 A fix to the QR.C16054.EntryProfile.POSTCODE.6 rule (to fix bug 47290), which was over triggering. 
54 9 November 2017

Static data update:

  • The HEFCE designation file has been updated 
  • UKPRN update 
53B 24 October 2017 A fix to the QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.1 rule (to fix bug 45656), which was over triggering. 
53A 16 October 2017

Some urgent bugs have been fixed in this release:

  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.15 - this rule was triggering the invocation message described below, but has now been resolved

  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.1 - had the same problem as bug 44751

  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.13 - had the same problem as bug 44751

New business rule warning QR.C16054.Instance.RSNEND.6 has been added. This is one of the checks raised when HESA quality assures your data and we've decided to create this as a rule, to allow you to check this yourselves earlier in the process. 

52C 12 October 2017

A few more bugs fixed in this release: 

  • QR.C16054.StudentEquality.ETHNIC.3 - to fix bug 44956
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.14 - to fix bug 44957
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.15 - to fix bug 44957

If you see the following message, "Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. Inner exception: Object reference not set to an instance of an object", this means that a provider file has errored in the system impacting file processing. If this happens we will work to resolve the issue and your file should start to process shortly. If there is a significant delay please contact the Liaison team. 

52B 5 October 2017

A number of bugs with rules have been fixed in this interim release:

  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.23 - to fix bug 44751 
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.13 - to fix bug 44698 
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.14 - to fix bug 44698  
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.15 - to fix bug 44698 

One new business rule has been added: QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES.7 - to check where providers are using INITIATIVES code U that it is associated with a PG designated course. 

52A 3 October 2017

This is an interim release to fix a bug on the following rules:

  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.DISALL.2 and QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.DISALL.4 - to fix bug 44740 
51 27 September 2017

Quality Rules

Bugs have been fixed on the following rules, so they should now be triggering correctly: 

  • QR.C16054.Instance.RSNEND.3 - to fix bug 44130
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES.5 - to fix bug 44048
  • QR.C16054.StudentEquality.ETHNIC.1, QR.C16054.StudentEquality.GENDERID1, QR.C16054.StudentEquality.DISABLE1 and QR.C16054.StudentEquality.RELBLF1 - to fix bug 44131
  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.14, QR.C16054.EntryProfile.PREVINST.1, QR.C16054.EntryProfile.PREVINST.5 have been made server side only (will not appear in local VK) 

There is a new business rule QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.16. This restricts the use of MSTUFEE codes 30 and 96. 

There has also been an update to business rule QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.YEARSTU.8 and a new exception rule has been added: QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.YEARSTU.9. These rules non include non-designated students. 

There have been some minor updates to the XTARIFF and XTPOINTS derived fields.

UKRLP static data has been updated, so rules using this data will now be validating against the latest static data.


Tolerances will now appear on the Quality Rules report. If a provider exceeds their tolerance for a quality rule, it will appear back in the 'Errors' tab for you to resolve. 

There has been an update to the shading rules on SYR2 credibility table. 

The NSS report has been fully tested between HEFCE and HESA, and is now available again. 

Data Collection System

The Return date on the progress tracker has been updated to be 6 October 2017 (this was incorrectly showing 9 October previously). 

50 14 September 2017

A few updates have been made to Credibility reports:

  • FTE1, FTE2, FTE3: MODE 43 and 44 have been added into the table, as they fall under XPSES01. 
  • SIN1 and SIN2: these are now appearing - to fix bug 43542 
  • SBJ1: now includes shading rules

A few quality rule updates: 

  • C16054.EntryProfile.POSTCODE.10 - new business rule
  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEID.4 - new business rule
  • EntryProfileQUALENT3.17 - new business rule 
  • Instance.SPLENGTH.4 and Instance.SPLENGTH.6 - bug 43520 fixed  

The Unistats report is now available. These reports are a preview of what the data will look like in the Unistats collection. 

49B 30 August 2017

A number of things have been included in this release. 

Added 10 business rules:

  • QR.C16054.Student.BIRTHDTE.11
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.DISALL.7
  • QR.C16054.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.9
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.14 ** 
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.15 **
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.YEARSTU.7 **
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.YEARSTU.8 ** 
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.DOMICILE.1 **
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.DOMICILE.11 **
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.DOMICILE.12 **

** these were previously credibility report shading rules and are now quality rules, so providers will see these earlier in the process. 

Amended 3 quality rules:

  • QR.C16054.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.3 (business rule)
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES.6 (exception rule)
  • QR.C16054.Instance.RSNEND.5 (continuity rule)

Credibility reports - shading rules have been added to the following tables: FTE1, FTE2, FTE3, EXPL1, EXPL2, QUAL1, SYR1, SYR2, TAR1P and CLAS1P. These rules will highlight cells in the tables when there might be some issues for you to fix - a bit like quality rules only on the reports. 

Look up data for providers with degree awarding powers (e.g. as used in C16054.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.8) 

The final update has been made to the HEFCE designation file used in validation. 

IRIS reports - now available for providers in England. 

The HEAPES16 comparison output is now available. Providers may view the output by submitting a file to the data collection system. This will automatically generate the output file from HEFCE, which is available to download. This report is used by HEFCE to perform the HEAPES and SLC reconcilliation exercises. You can therefore use the Iris Report download to cross-check your data. The IRIS report queries could be raised in Minerva and these downloads will help you answer those queries. The associated technical documentation is available at If you require any further information or guidance on what's included in the reports, please contact HEFCE on 0117 931 7138 or email [email protected].

49A 24 August 2017

A number of bugs to rules have been fixed in the release:

  • QR.C16054.Instance.Period.HEAPESPOP.23 (rule made a warning) 
  • QR.C16054.Instance.SPLENGTH.4 (to fix bug 42487)
  • QR.C16054.Instance.SPLENGTH.6 (to fix bug 41800)
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.PREVINST.3 (to fix bug 42488) 
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.PREVINST.5 (had same problem as bug 42488)
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QualificationsOnEntry.12 (had same problem as bug 42488)
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QualificationsOnEntry.13 (had same problem as bug 42488)

The Raw data download link (in the Activity log) was not working as expected - this is now naming files correctly. 

We have also updated the schema in the data collection system and data entry tool - so that providers can now return INITIATIVES code K, and SSELIG is optional (to fix bugs 35987 and 35821). 

48 16 August 2017

The drill down functionality has been added into 5 Credibility Reports: SIN1, SIN2, FTE1, FTE2, FTE3. 

4 new business rules have been added - these used to be a manual check once providers have committed their data, and are now quality rules:

  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.13
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.14
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.15
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.16

Derived Fields process has been slightly amended to cope with COMDATEs around 29 February - to fix bug 41677. 

2 continuity rules have been amended:

  • QR.C16054.Instance.NUMHUS.4 - to fix bug 41970
  • QR.C16054.Instance.NUMHUS.5 - to fix bug 41971 

A few changes have been made to improve the dashboard: 

  • the progress tracker has been added (to show providers whether or not they have met the deadlines) 
  • counts have been added to the Activity log (to show the Quality Issues, and Issues Remaining)
  • an icon will appear if HESA reprocesses your submission (to make providers aware when this happens) 

Providers who have no quality errors outstanding on their file now have the option to commit their data to HESA. The COMMIT transaction will send a copy of the submission to the HESA Data Quality Assurance analysts, and where appropriate, HEFCE, to undertake analysis of the return in parallel with the provider conducting their own analysis.

Once HESA has undertaken their analysis of the committed return, data quality queries will be posted onto the Minerva DQ database. Users with 'Query' access to the collection in the Identity System, will be notified by email when these queries are available to view. The Minerva user guide provides help on using the database. It is expected of all the providers to respond to their Minerva queries within the collection window.

47 2 August 2017

This release focused on Credibility Reports. Minor changes have been made to most of the credibility tables, to account for things such as new or deleted valid entries. 

Amended two continuity rules:

  • QR.C16054.Instance.NUMHUS.5 - to fix bug 40792
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.POSTCODE.8 - to fix bug 40790
46 20 July 2017

Added 3 business rules:

  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.26
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MODE.11
  • QR.C16054.Instance.GROSSFEE.16

Changed 8 Continuity Warnings into Errors:

  • QR.C16054.Student.BIRTHDTE.8
  • QR.C16054.Student.SSN.8    
  • QR.C16054.Student.SURNAME.5
  • QR.C16054.StudentEquality.ETHNIC.3
  • QR.C16054.Instance.COMDATE.5
  • QR.C16054.Instance.RSNEND.5
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.PREVINST.5
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.6

The HUSID Look-Up Service has now moved onto the data collection system and is now accessed with an IDS role. More information on the service is available here: 

45 6 July 2017

There is now a draft version of the NSS report available. Please be aware that this is an early draft version, using last year's specification, and therefore may not be correct. The final version will be released in September, once any changes for this year have been agreed with HEFCE. 

A number of changes have been made to quality rules. 
Amended 8 business rules:

  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.12
  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.13
  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.14
  • QR.C16054.Student.BIRTHDTE.3
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MODE.10
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.STULOAD.11
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.STULOAD.15
  • QR.C16054.QualificationsOnEntry.QUALGRADE.3

Amended 4 exception rules:

  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.5 
  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.6
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.STULOAD.12
  • QR.C16054.QualificationsOnEntry.QUALGRADE.4 

Amended 1 continuity rule:

  • QR.Cyy054.Course.COURSEAIM.4 (fields to display)

Added 15 continuity rules:

  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEID.3
  • QR.C16054.Student.HUSID.5
  • QR.C16054.Student.BIRTHDTE.9 
  • QR.C16054.Student.SSN.9 
  • QR.C16054.Student.SURNAME.3
  • QR.C16054.Instance.NUMHUS.4
  • QR.C16054.Instance.NUMHUS.5
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.DOMICILE.10
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.POSTCODE.8
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.PREVINST.3
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.7 
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QualificationsOnEntry.12
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.QualificationsOnEntry.13
  • QR.C16054.StudentEquality.ETHNIC.4
  • QR.C16054.StudentEquality.SEXID.4
44B 22 June 2017

A number of changes have been made to quality rules. 

Amended 7 business rules: 

  • QR.C16054.Instance.ENDDATE.6
  • QR.C15054.InstancePeriod.PERIODEND.1 - bug with rule that has now been fixed 
  • QR.C16054.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.2
  • QR.C16054.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.4
  • QR.C16054.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.5
  • QR.C16054.QualificationsOnEntry.QUALSBJ.2
  • QR.C16054.QualificationsOnEntry.QUALTYPE.2

Added 3 exception rules:

  • QR.C16054.Instance.SPLENGTH.4
  • QR.C16054.Instance.SPLENGTH.5
  • QR.C16054.Instance.SPLENGTH.6
44A 16 June 2017

More reports are now available on the data collection system, these are:

  • Data supply report

This report gives you a copy of your data back but also includes all the derivations that we apply to the data so that you can recreate the Credibility tables and produce your own management information reports. Data supply includes both Excel and XML files so that you can either import directly into your system or utilise the reports locally to create pivot tables and charts. 

43 7 June 2017

A number of changes have been made to quality rules. 

Deleted 5 business rules:

  • QR.C15054.InstancePeriod.SSELIG.1 
  • QR.C15054.InstancePeriod.SSELIG.2 
  • QR.C15054.InstancePeriod.SSELIG.5 
  • QR.C15054.InstancePeriod.SSELIG.6 
  • QR.C15054.InstancePeriod.SSELIG.8 

Amended 4 business rules: 

  • QR.C16054.Course.TTCID.1 
  • QR.C16054.Course.TTCID.2
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.DISALL.2
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.1

Added 15 business rules:

  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.14
  • QR.C16054.Instance.GROSSFEE.9
  • QR.C16054.Instance.GROSSFEE.10
  • QR.C16054.Instance.GROSSFEE.11
  • QR.C16054.Instance.GROSSFEE.12
  • QR.C16054.Instance.GROSSFEE.13
  • QR.C16054.Instance.GROSSFEE.14
  • QR.C16054.Instance.GROSSFEE.15
  • QR.C16054.Instance.NETFEE.3
  • QR.C16054.Instance.NETFEE.4
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.COURSEID.1
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.COURSEID.2
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.STULOAD.15
  • QR.C16054.Student.FNAMES.1
  • QR.C16054.Student.FNAMES.2

We also turned on all the Exception rules, and made the following changes this release: 

Deleted 4 exception rules:

  • QR.C15054.InstancePeriod.SSELIG.9 
  • QR.C15054.Student.SSN.5 
  • QR.C15054.Student.SSN.6 
  • QR.C15054.HEAPESPOP.9 

Amended 1 exception rule:

  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.6

Added 10 exception rules:

  • QR.C16054.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.8
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.15
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.16
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.17
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.18
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.19
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.24
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.25
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES.4
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES.5

Providers can now compare quality rule reports with a previous transactions quality rule report directly from the quality rule report page, by clicking on the "quality rule compare" button. 

42 25 May 2017

A number of changes have been made to quality rules:

7 amended rules:

  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.6
  • QR.C16054.Course.COURSEAIM.7
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.3
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.7
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.12
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MODE.3
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MODE.9

9 new rules:

  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.20
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.21
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.22
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.HEAPESPOP.23
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES.1
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES.2
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.INITIATIVES.3
  • QR.C160504.InstancePeriod.MODE.10 
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.SSELIG.13
41 11 May 2017

A number of changes have been made to the quality rules, these are:

1 deleted rule:

  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.SSELIG.7 (will be replaced in future with another rule on HEAPESPOP field)

8 amended rules:

  • QR.C16054.CourseSubject.SBJCA.4
  • QR.C16054.EntryProfile.DOMICILE.4
  • QR.C16054.InstancePeriod.MSTUFEE.3
  • QR.C16054.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.7
  • QR.C16054.Instance.ENDDATE.3 (ENDDATE added to rule display)
  • QR.C15054.RELBLF.2 (the rule now displays the count of records that have triggered the rule) 
  • QR.C15054.GENDERID.2 (the rule now displays the count of records that have triggered the rule) 
  • QR.C15054.SEXORT.2 (the rule now displasy the count of records that have triggered the rule) 

6 new rules:

  • QR.C16054.Course.REGBODY.1
  • QR.C16054.Course.REGBODY.3
  • QR.C16054.Course.REGBODY.4
  • QR.C160504.Course.TTCID.4
  • QR.C16054.StudentEquality.ETHNIC.8
  • QR.C16054.StudentEquality.SEXID.3
40 27 April 2017

A number of reports are now available on the data collection system, these are:

  • the DLHE population report
  • the Frequency Counts report
  • the Expected Instance population report
  • all of the Credibility reports have been rolled forward from last year (this is a direct copy from last year, so there are still changes to be made in the coming months). 

All of the derived fields are also now developed and working. These will be used in various reports, such as data supply, in the coming months. 

What are the reports and the derived fields for? 

DLHE population report – this report confirms which students should be included in a provider’s C16018 DLHE file for both the April 2017 and January 2018 census.  

Frequency Counts report – this report shows the number of students returned against selected fields and their valid entries in the AP Student record.    

Continuity population report – this report provides a list of students for whom a record is expected in the C17054 return.  This is based on students returned in the C16054 record.

Credibility reports – these reports contain information from the AP Student record, which are broken down into categories of information.  These categories or “chapters” present relevant information in tables, which can then be analysed by HESA and providers, to check the accuracy of the data returned.

Derived fields - Derived fields are used by HESA to create populations and groupings for analysis.

36 14 March 2017

This release includes:

  • the first release of the data collection system - including a new progress tracker to help providers monitor their data return against collection deadlines. 
  • the downloadable validation kit, including a roll on of business rules, exceptions and continuity validation.
  • the XML data entry tool

Please note that access to the data collection system is governed by the Identity system. Users will need to ensure that they have the relevant permissions attached to their Identity system account in order to access the data collection system. 

Stages of data submission

Stage 1: Submitting and validating data

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.

Stage 2: Committing and decommitting data

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 211144

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

Stage 3: Credibility checks

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

Stage 4: Sign off

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.