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HE-BCI record 2019/20 - Data collection schedule

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HE-BCI record 2019/20 - Data collection schedule

Version 1.1 Produced 2020-10-30

The document below is designed to guide higher education providers (HEPs) through the stages of data submission for the HE-BCI record.

As previously communicated to providers, the approach to deadlines will be different this year.

Commit and final commit deadlines – these deadlines are not statutory deadlines for this year and no written confirmation is required if they are not met. We strongly recommend that providers follow the normal timeline to progress through this year’s data collection as achieving these milestones ensures that providers and HESA are well placed to achieve signed off data by the sign-off deadline. HESA and Statutory Customers will still use these as progress points and contact you to check on your progress.

Sign-off deadline – this remains a statutory deadline. Providers are required to have committed a final file, resolved all data quality queries in the Issue Management System, and returned a completed sign-off form to [email protected] by 5pm on the day of the deadline. Please be aware that it can take up to five working days for HESA to check your file once committed and raise any necessary data quality queries. You should therefore aim to commit your final file in good time ahead of the sign-off deadline to ensure your file is checked and any quality queries resolved in time for the sign-off deadline.

Providers in England should notify the OfS via [email protected] if you foresee any issues with meeting the sign-off deadline. If the sign-off deadline is not met, a HESA Late Sign Off form will be required by HESA, signed by your Accountable Officer'.

Providers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should notify HESA and/or your funder/regulator if you foresee any issues with meeting the sign-off deadline.

If you do foresee any issues, please get in touch as early as possible so that we can provide additional support and guidance as required.

At a glance

From August 2020 Local Data capture and collation
Late November 2020 C19032 Data Collection system opens
8 March 2021 Commit
8 March 2021 to 6 April 2021 Data quality checking period
6 April 2021 Final commit
12 April 2021 Sign-off

Missed deadlines

HESA is required to report any providers who miss any of the deadlines detailed in the schedule to the relevant statutory customer. These are the commit, final commit and sign-off deadlines.

Providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are required to complete an extension form if they anticipate that the commit deadline will be missed. Providers in England are required to complete a late form for all missed deadlines. Please note that the Accountable Officer is required to sign the late form for the final commit and sign off deadlines, however, they should be kept informed of any missed deadlines. For all administrations the reason for late submission or extension will be shared with your primary regulator or funder.

Providers are reminded to make use of the HESA Liaison team and to make them aware of any issues that could impact on your providers ability to meet these deadlines.

Detailed requirements

From August 2020: Local Data Capture and collation

Providers should read the C19032 HE-BCI coding manual and associated documentation for details of the requirements for the return.

Late November 2020: C19032 Data Collection system opens

The C19032 collection is available on the Data Collection system giving providers the opportunity to test files against quality rules ahead of the commit deadline.

HE-BCI Part B is required to be submitted in the form of an Excel workbook and HE-BCI Part A is a web survey; both are accessible from the Data Collection system when it opens in late November. Where relevant both Part A and Part B will be pre-populated with the data submitted by the provider in last year’s survey.

It is a provider’s responsibility to ensure that they are progressing reasonably towards the commit deadline; if any issues become apparent or you require assistance with the submission process then please contact Liaison. HESA does monitor provider interactions to feed into their own risk assessments and this information may be shared with the primary regulator or funder of a provider.

8 March 2021: Commit

Providers are required to send complete data that has no remaining errors and have committed the data on the Data Collection system by 23:59 on 8 March 2021. This schedule allows the maximum amount of available time for data quality checking.

Where errors are triggering for genuine data, a switch will need to be requested. This request should be sent to Liaison by email, detailing the rule and an explanation for why this data is genuine in good time prior to the commit deadline.

Where a provider requests that their file is decommitted before HESA data quality analysts have been able to check the file then this will count as a missed deadline.

To meet this deadline Providers are required to submit and commit both components: C19032 HE-BCI Part B and C19032 HE-BCI Part A.

8 March 2021 to 6 April 2021: Data quality checking period

This is an iterative process during which providers may need to submit, commit, review and decommit their data several times to ensure the final submission is credible. The suite of web reports available on the Data Collection system should be reviewed by the provider to ensure that the data submitted is a credible representation of your organisation.

During this period HESA data quality analysts will examine data committed by all providers. If any anomalies are found queries will be raised through the Issue Management system. Nevertheless providers are in a better position to recognise more detailed anomalies within their data, using local knowledge of the intricacies of their own organisation. As a consequence providers are required to either resubmit their data to amend these anomalies, or provide an explanation in the Issue Management system as to why these apparent anomalies are genuine.

HESA analysts aim to check files within 5 working days following a provider committing their file and responses to data quality queries raised by HESA will be reviewed within 2 working days. However, during busy periods i.e. around the commit deadline please be aware that this may take slightly longer.

Upon satisfactory completion of this process data will be set to credible.

6 April 2021: Final commit

Providers are required to commit their final files on the Data Collection system by 23:59 on 6 April 2021. Please note, that both Part A and Part B need to be committed by this deadline.

Once the files have been committed they will be checked by a data quality analyst and this can result in additional data quality queries that require a response. Providers should be aware that data quality checking can take up to 5 working days and should therefore ensure that they have sufficient time to make any required changes based on these queries and/or respond to these queries ahead of the sign off deadline. All data quality queries need to be resolved before the data can be set to credible.

12 April 2021: Sign-off

Providers are required to have their data marked as signed off on the Data Collection system by 12 April 2021. The sign off form needs to be emailed to Liaison before 5pm on 12 April to guarantee sign-off on the deadline.

Once a provider's data has been set to credible on the Data Collection system, the ‘sign off’ button can be selected which allows the sign-off form to be downloaded for completion. The sign-off form must be completed by the provider’s Accountable Officer (England) or the Head of Provider. Once completed, the form should be emailed to [email protected] Please note that the transaction number on the sign-off form must correspond to that of the data being signed-off.

Sign-off completes the data collection process. Timely sign-off ensures that your data is included in any data deliveries to statutory customers, as well as onward uses of the data for publications and analysis.


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.

Targets that were set during the collection will be sent to providers and should be reviewed. The record contact will be notified by email once targets have been assigned in the Issue Management system and providers should ensure that processes are put in place to implement any changes required to data collection.

If a provider is aware of any errors in their data, then they should inform their primary funder or regulator. Providers in England should notify OfS through the data amendments process. This may result in a request for the provider to go through fixed database. Providers should also notify HESA so a data intelligence note can be created.

Note: HEPs 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.

Need help?

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