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Finance record 2020/21 - Data collection schedule

Back to C20031

Version 1.0 Produced 2021-09-17

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 Liaison by 17:00 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.

At a glance

From September 2021 Local Data capture and collation
Late December 2021 C20031 Data collection system opens
28 February 2022 Send HESA copy of published accounts
28 February 2022 Commit
28 February 2022 to 24 March 2022 Data quality checking period
24 March 2022 Final Commit
30 March 2022 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. 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 September 2021: Local Data capture and collation

Providers should read the C20031 Finance coding manual and associated documentation for details of the requirements for the return.

Late December 2021: C20031 Data collection system opens

The collection database opens on the HESA data collection system a few weeks ahead of the return date providing HEPs with opportunity to test files ahead of the return date deadline.

The Finance record is required to be submitted in the format of an Excel workbook. The templates for these records should be downloaded from the HESA data collection system. Please note that data must be returned to HESA on the templates provided.

HESA monitors all transactions on the system to ensure HEPs are progressing reasonably and not encountering difficulties. If you require assistance with the submission process, please contact Liaison.

28 February 2022: Send HESA copy of published accounts

Providers are requested to send a copy of their published accounts to Liaison at HESA as soon as they become available, and no later than 28 February 2022.

Please note that although published accounts must be submitted to HESA by 28 February, providers in Scotland must submit their published accounts to SFC by 28 February in accordance with SFC’s published deadlines. Similarly, providers in Wales must submit their published accounts to HEFCW by the end of February in line with HEFCW’s published deadlines.

28 February 2022: 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 28 February 2022. 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, this will count as a missed deadline.

28 February 2022 to 24 March 2022: 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 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. It is recognised that 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, e.g. 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.

24 March 2022: Final Commit

Providers are required to commit their final file on the Data Collection system by 23:59 on 24 March 2022.

Once the file has been committed it will be checked by a HESA 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.

30 March 2022: Sign-off

Providers are required to have their data marked as signed off on the Data Collection system by 30 March 2022. The sign off form needs to be emailed to Liaison before 17:00 on 30 March 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. The sign-off form must be completed by the provider's Accountable Officer (Wales) or the Head of Provider (Scotland and Northern Ireland). Once completed, the form should be emailed to Liaison. 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.

Post Collection Information

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 to data collection required.

If a provider is aware of any errors in their data, then they should inform their primary funder or regulator. 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.

Need help?

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