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Staff record 2019/20 - File structure

Back to C19025

Version 1.0 Produced 2019-11-21

Data must be returned to HESA as an XML file. XML is the eXtensible Markup Language and is a W3C recommendation. There are many XML training resources on the web, including the W3C Tutorial on XML and the resources of W3Schools.

Files must be encoded with UTF-8 and schema validation will be in place to ensure this. Higher education providers (HEPs) must specify the encoding used in their XML files in the first line of the file (i.e. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>) and to ensure that their files are actually saved with that encoding. If XML files are edited with some text editors and the encoding is not specified or does not match the actual file encoding, there may be problems when submitting these files.

The physical file structure to be returned to HESA is based on the Data model but with a repeating element defined within one of the entities. The repeating element is:

Entity Repeating element Description
Contract Activity A SOC code, HESA cost centre and a proportion indicator

The physical file structure is shown in the diagram below.


Submitting multiple files

HEPs can submit multiple XML files to the system, however it must be ensured that the data is complete and discrete. Note that a staff member can only be returned once within a HEP's dataset. Where a staff member is associated with multiple contracts, all contracts should be returned in the same XML file. It is not permissible for the same staff member to be returned within multiple XML files. This will be treated as a duplicate and will trigger an exception error.

Need help?

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.