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Student 2020/21: Support guides

This page provides an overview of the 2020/21 Student collection (C20051).

This should be used alongside the C20051 coding manual, which provides more detailed, technical information about the collection.

Need help? Contact us by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531 

Student overview

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

The Student stream collects data about students studying at higher education providers in the UK. 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 governments and fundng bodies 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

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.

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 and track the progress of the collection.

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:


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 388531 

Find out more about Liaison

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-Student JISCMail list

If you encounter any problems, contact Liaison

Data collection system: Release history and known issues

Issue Summary Status Date raised Date resolved
Due to a system issue, EntryProfile.CRDSCM.3 (Warning) Where exists, all EntryProfile.CRDSCM have been returned as the same code. Is that as expected? has had to be reinstated in the validation kit and domain. (The rule had been deleted on 07 October). Please ignore this warning if it triggers. HESA will not be flagging it up with providers. Open 08 Oct 2021 Will remain
121406. There is a known issue with Instance.INTERCALATE.3 (Warning), which does not appear to be triggering correctly. Investigation has shown that this is due to the HECoS code for veterinary medicine 100531 has been accidentally transposed as 100351 in the continuity register script. A fix will be scheduled (121971) and affected providers will be reprocessed whne released.   Open 28 Sep 2021  
121059. There is an issue with the Collaborative Franchise report not displaying the TINST for new collaborating providers. This is being fixed and will be re-issued on the 6th October. Closed 22 Sep 2021 01 Oct 2021
119787. Following an update by UCAS to the 2021 Tariff appendix, 12 new Scottish Foundation Apprenticeship qualification QualificationsOnEntry.QUALTYPE valid entries (TS, TT, TU, TV, W5, W8, XB, XC, XD, XE, XF, XG) were released on 20/08/2021. The accompanying validation kit update is outstanding and may not be able to be released until mid-September. Closed 20 Aug 2021 22 Sep 2021
119650. QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.30 (warning) is incorrectly triggering where TTCID = 'Q' has been returned. The Course.TTCID clause will be amended.  Closed 17 Aug 2021 09 Sep 2021
119651. QR.Instance.NETFEE.7 (warning) is incorrectly triggering where TTCID = 'Q' has been returned. The Course.TTCID clause will be amended. Closed Closed 17 Aug 2021 09 Sep 2021
119028. QR.C20051.Instance.ENDDATE.18 is currently incorrectly triggering for intercalated instances. The rule will be updated to excluded instances where Instance.INTERCALATE = 01. Closed 02 Aug 2021 12 Aug 2021
118162. It has come to our attention that the C19051 amendment of Course.COURSEAIM and QualificationsAwarded.QUAL valid entry I13 to J13 has not been applied to the C20051 schema. This will be corrected in an amended coding manual release. As there are no Tier4 providers in the Student collection neither I13 nor J13 should be submitted. However, if any provider has submitted I13 the consequence is that when the Coding manual schema is released, I13 will fail schema - as it will become an invalid code. The correction is scheduled to be released in the Coding manual by the 30th July. The corresponding Validation kit build is scheduled for the 12th August.   Closed 27 Jul 2021 12 Aug 2021
117792. Instance.INTERCALATE.4 is incorrectly triggering for Medical Subject codes. (Anticipated release 15 Jul) Closed 07 Jul 2021 15 Jul 2021
117744. DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation.PCODELOC.1. Algorithm being fixed to allow WC1N postcodes. (Anticipated release 15 Jul) Closed 07 Jul 2021 15 Jul 2021
117365/117459. EntryProfile.PARED.9 has been incorrectly created as an Error (It will become an Error in C21051), and is incorrectly triggering for students in coverage. (Anticipated release 15 Jul) Closed 01 Jul 2021 15 Jul 2021
116476/116741. Student.SRLEAVE.2 and 3 (providers in Scotland) appears to be triggering incorrectly and outputting COURSEAIM M72. (Anticipated release 15 Jul) Closed 22 Jun 2021 15 Jul 2021

115819. Instance.GROSSFEE.36 is triggering incorrectly. It appears the MCDATE clause needs correcting.

Closed 10 Jun 2021 01 Jul 2021


Release ID Release date Release summary
78 03 Nov 2021

The following quality rules have been amended:

  • Instance.INITIATIVES.50 and 51 - clarification of description text.
76a 08 Oct 2021

Due to a system issue, EntryProfile.CRDSCM.3 (Warning) Where exists, all EntryProfile.CRDSCM have been returned as the same code. Is that as expected? has had to be reinstated in the validation kit and domain. Please ignore this warning if it triggers. HESA will not be flagging it up with providers.

75 07 Oct 2021

The Unistats report is now available from the Data Collection dashboard after a file submission or reprocess.

The Sign-off form is now available following a submission being made Credible. 

The quality rule QR.EntryProfile.CRDSCM.3 has been deleted.

75a 01 Oct 2021

This mid-sprint release includes: 

The National Student Survey (NSS) report is now available via the Data Collection dashboard.

A fix to the Collaborative Franchise report.

Additional quality rules have been released:


  • Instance.MODE.36 (Error) amendment to change the ENDDATE to 'last year' rather than any previous year (to follow the amended guidance).


  • Instance.ENDDATE.19 (Error) new rule requested by OfS following MODE.36 amendment.
74 22 Sept 2021

Additional quality rules have been released:


  • QR.QualificationsOnEntry.QUALYEAR.29


  • QR.Student.HUSID.6
  • QR.Instance.STULOAD.6, INITIATIVES.50, FUNDCODE.28, 30, 31, 34
  • QR.StudentOnModule.MODCOUNT.3
  • QR.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.6 

An update has been made to the XTPOINTS library, adding in the revised QUALTYPE and valid entries from Coding manual release 1.10.

74a 17 Sept 2021

Additional quality rules have been released:


  • QR.Student.SEXID.5
  • QR.Student.HUSID.8
  • QR.QualificationsOnEntry.QUALYEAR.29.


  • QR.Student.TTPCODE.15
  • QR.Student.ETHNIC.9
  • QR.Student.RELBLF.9
  • QR.Student.SSN.9
  • QR.StudentOnModule. MODCOUNT.3
  • QR.Course.AWARDBOD.2
  • QR.Course.AWARDBOD.3
  • QR.Course.AWARDBOD.6, 7, 8
  • QR.Course.COURSEAIM.1
  • QR.Course.COURSEAIM.3
  • QR.Course.TTCID.11
  • QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.31, 32
  • QR.EntryProfile.DOMICILE.7
  • QR.Instance.STULOAD.26, 27, 28
  • QR.Instance.FinancialSupport.2
  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.33
  • QR.Instance.STULOAD.6
  • QR.EntryProfile.DOMICILE.8
  • QR.Module.FRANIND.4
  • QR.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.5.
73 06 Sept 2021

Commit functionality now available for providers - providers at a status of 'committable' have been reprocessed to enable this to take effect.

Additional quality rules have been released:


  • QR.C20051.Instance.CAMPID.2


  • QR.C20051.Instance.REFData.5 & 6
  • QR.C20051.EntryProfile.PGCESBJ.5 
  • QR.C20051.Instance.FEEREGIME.18 
  • QR.C20051.Student.SEXORT.1
  • QR.C20051.Student.SSN.4 
  • QR.C20051.Instance.RSNEND.15 
  • QR.C20051.Student.GENDERID.1
  • QR.C20051.Instance.INITIATIVES.53
  • QR.C20051.EntryProfile.PARED.4 
  • QR.C20051.EntryProfile.QUALENT3.24 & 25
  • COSTCN quality rules updated to refer to latest data from other collections
72 26 Aug 2021

The following reports are now available from the Data Collection dashboard, and will be visible following a new submission:

  • The Cost Centre Analysis report (comparing cost centres returned across collections)
  • PGR Transfers IN and Out reports (for providers with collaborative provision). The PGR transfers In report will only be visible after Commit functionality is available and the collaborating provider has Committed their data.
  • Campus report
  • Collaborative franchise report
  • Institutional information report
  • IRIS reports are now available for providers in Scotland.

The Data Collection dashboard Progress Tracker has been updated to align with the Coding manual Data Collection Schedule dates.

The following quality rules have been added or amended:


  • QR.QualificationsAwarded.CLASS.14


  • QR.Instance.ENTRYRTE.4, 6
  • QR.Instance.FinancialSupport.9
  • QR.Instance.REFData.2, 3, 4
  • QR.Instance.ELQ.5
  • QR.Instance.FEEREGIME.19
  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.28, 29
  • QR.QualificationsAwarded.TQGSEC.2
  • QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.22, 23
71 12 Aug 2021

The following Credibility tables have been released: ETHNIC1, GO2, REF1, REGB1, SBJ1, SBJ2, SBJ3, SBJF1.

The following Quality rules have been added/amended:


  • QR.EntryProfile.PARED.13
  • QR.EntryProfile.PARED.14
  • QR.EntryProfile.PARED.15
  • QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.31
  • QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.32
  • QR.Instance.RCSTDNT.5
  • QR.Instance.ELQ.9
  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.45
  • QR.Instance.YEARPRG.9


  • QRCourseSubject.SBJCA.8
  • QR.Instance.INITIATIVES.45
  • QR.Instance.INITIATIVES.49

The Continuity (expected instances population) report is now available.

A number of Static data tables have been updated and released to enable and allow subsequent updates to exception rules that relate to Cost Centres and Tariff points.

71a 05 Aug 2021 The IRIS reports are now available for providers in England.
70 29 Jul 2021

Credibility reports have been rolled-on and updated for C20051. The following reports are commented out pending amendments in the following weeks: ETHNIC1, GO2, REF1, REGB1, SBJ1, SBJ2, SBJ3, SBJF1.

The following quality rules have been added:

  • QR.EntryProfile.PARED.16, 17, 18, APELCRD.2, CRDSCM.3, ESTRANGED.3​
  • QR.FinancialSupport.APPSPEDND.1​
  • QR.Instance.FUNDCODE.17, 40, GROSSFEE.40, 41, 42, 43, 44, SDEMPLY.5, SDLEAD.5, RSNEND.10, FinancialSupport.10, REDUCEDI.9​
  • QR.Student.SSN.10, BSLUSER.3, SERLEAVE.4, 5, 6​
  • QR.REFData.UOA2021.1, 2, 3, 4​
  • QR.StudentOnModule.MODSTAT.6​
  • QR.Course.DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation.3.
69 15 Jul 2021

The following quality rules have been added, amended or deleted:


  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.37, 38, 39
  • QR.Instance.ENDDATE.18
  • QR.Instance.RSNEND.14, 15 


  • QR.Instance.ENTRYRTE.7
  • QR.Instance.ITTPLACEMENT.1
  • The list of Schools URNs have been updated which are used in the quality rules QR.ITTPlacemnet.PLMNTSCH.2 and QR.Instance.SDLEAD.3 


  • QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.29
  • QR.Instance.RSNEND.13
68 01 Jul 2021

A number of Static data tables have been updated and released to enable and allow subsequent updates to exception rules:

  • OfS Fees data to update and allow subsequent implementation of Instance.GROSSFEE rules (with data and rules now split into full-time and part-time modes of study).
  • OfS Financial support data to update and allow subsequent implementation of Instance for FinancialSupport and FinancialSupport.APPSPEND rules.
  • Research Council student numbers for Instance.RCSTDNT.2 and 3.
  • Franchise partners static data for Module.TINST.12 and 13.
  • A range of INSTID, UKPRN and HUSID mapsets for rules, including EntryProfile.PREVINST.8, Module.TINST.9 and 10, Student.HUSID.2.

The following quality rules have been added or amended:


  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.16, 18, 20, 22, 28, 29, 31 (Amended to full-time modes of study)​.

Added (new):

  • QR.EntryProfile.PARED.9, 10, 11, 12  (reverse coverage rules for each administration).

  • QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.30 (Scotland only).​

67 17 Jun 2021

The Validation kit has been updated and released in line with the recent schema changes in Version 1.7 of the Coding Manual.

An update has been made to the XTPOINTS library, adding in the revised QUALTYPE and QUALGRADE valid entries added into Coding manual release 1.7. This is used in several validation rules.

Static data tables have been updated to enable/update existing exception rules:

  • REF2014 UKPRN keyset has been replaced by REF2021. This will enable the REFData.UOA rules that use this data to be updated in subsequent sprints.
  • Degree Awarding Powers list for Course.AWARDBOD.5/6/7/8.

The Data Supply report (identifying raw data and derived fields) is now available from the Data Collection Dashboard and will appear when a new file is submitted.

66 03 Jun 2021

The following quality rules have been added, deleted or amended:


  • QR.Instance.MODE.37
  • QR.EntryProfile.ESTRANGED.2, 7
  • QR.Course.TQSSEC.7


  • QR.RefDAta.UOA2014.1, 2, 3, 4,
  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.35


  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.6, 7, 12, 13, 25, 26, 27, 32, MODE. INITIATIVES.37, 46, 47, 54,FUNDCODE.6,
  • QR.Course.TQSSEC.2, TQSSUB.1, 4,
  • QR.QulaificationsAwarded.TQGSUB.1,
  • QR.Student.ULN.3,
  • QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.27, 28,
  • QR.EntryProfile.UCASAPPID.2
65 19 May 2020

The following quality rules have been deleted, added or amended:


  • QR.C20051.ModuleSubject.MODSBJP.2. 

Added (new):

  • QR.C20051.Student.BSLUSER.5, 6
  • QR.C20051.Course.TQSSEC.5, 6.


  • QR.C20051.EntryProfile.PGCESBJ.2
  • QR.C20051.Instance.REDUCEDI.7
  • The remaining Continuity rules have been amended and released: 
    • QR.C20051.EntryProfile.SOC2000.3, 4, SOC2010.3, 5, 6, SEC.3, 4, YRLLINST.4, 5, PGCESBJ.3, RELIGION.4​.

The HESA XML Data Entry tool has been updated to .net framework 4.8 (This is downloadable from the Coding manual home page - under the Submission process and quality assurance section).

64 05 May 2021

The following quality rules have been amended and released:

(Under the new Continuity process Continuity rules have in the main been changed to Warnings. The Commit passed / Continuity failed process has been removed. Rules will still be identified as 'Continuity' Stage in the Rules report, and if still triggering at Commit, will be raised through new Credibility reports)

  • QR.C20051.Course.COURSEAIM.14, COURSEID.2​
  • QR.C20051.EntryProfile.ACCESS.3, ARTICLN.3, 4, CARELEAVER.15, 16, DOMICILE.9, 10, 11, DOMICILE.10, 11, NIDEPEND.3, 4, PARED.3, PGCECLSS.3, 4, POSTCODE.13, 14, PREVINST.5, 6, QUALENT3.18, 19, QualificationsOnEntry.10, 11, RELIGION.3​
  • QR.C20051.Instance.COMDATE.9, 10, ENTRYPROFILE.3, 4, EXCHANGE.4, 5, FUNDCODE.33, FUNDLEV.16, INTERCALATE.3, 4, LOADYRB.4, MCDATE.11, 12, 13, NUMHUS.3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, PHDSUB.14, RCSTDNT.4​
  • QR.C20051.Student.BIRTHDTE.10, 11, ETHNIC.8, 9, 10, HUSID.7, SCN.8, SEXID.3, SURNAME.2, 3, 4​.

The following rules have been released, and are still Errors. These will be switched to Warnings in the next sprint:

  • QR.C20051.EntryProfile.RELIGION.4, SEC.3, 4, SOC2000.3,4, SOC2010.3, 5, 6, YRLLINST.4, 5, PGCESBJ.3.
63 22 Apr 2021

The Validation kit has been updated and released in line with the recent schema changes in Version 1.6 of the Coding Manual.

The following quality rules have been added or amended:


  • QR.C20051.QualificationsAwarded.CLASS.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13


  • QR.C20051.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.21
62 08 Apr 2021

The following quality rule has been amended:

  • QR.C20051.Instance.ITTPlacement.1 (amended to a warning at the request of the DfE due to COVID exceptional circumstances).

The latest versions of the Office for National Statistics postcode files have been added. These are used by quality rules that validate postcode submissions.

61 25 Mar 2021

The following quality rules have been deleted, added or amended:


  • QR.C20051.Instance.FEEREGIME.1, 9, 10, 11, 12
  • QR.C20051.QualificationsAwarded.CLASS.4, 6


  • QR.C20051.Instance.FEEREGIME.20, 21


  • QR.C20051.Instance.FEEREGIME.6, 8
  • QR.C20051.Instance.GROSSFEE.8, 30
  • QR.C20051.Instance.NETFEE.2, 7
  • QR.C20051.Instance.MSTUFEE.1
  • QR.C20051.EntryProfile.PARED.5
  • QR.C20051.QualificationsAwarded.CLASS.1, 3, 7
  • QR.C20051.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.8

Exception rules, using rolled-on static data from C19051, have been enabled. The static data that underpin these rules will be updated over the next few months, as this is received from external organisations. Notifications will be issued when each static data source has been updated using latest available data.

The *J data for UCAS fields has been loaded into the system for C20051. The various exception rules using this updated validation data have also been enabled.

The Entry Profile Report, enabling providers to review missing entry profile data, has been updated and is available via the data collection system.

60 11 Mar 2021

The Validation kit has been updated and released in line with the recent schema changes in Version 1.5 of the Coding Manual.

The following quality rules have been added or amended:


  • QR.Student.BSLUSER.1, 2

  • QR.Student.SERLEAVE.1, 2, 3

  • QR.Student.SEXORT.4

  • QR.DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation.DELORG.1, 2, 3, 4

  • QR.DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation.DELORGPROP.1

  • QR.DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation.PCODELOC.2

  • QR.EntryProfile.CRDPTSTU.1, 2, 3, 4, 5


  • QR.C20051.Student.ETHNIC.3 

  • QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.24

59 25 Feb 2021

The following quality rules have been deleted, amended or added:


  • QR.Instance.FUNDCODE.1, QR.Instance.FUNDCODE.11


  • QR.Course.AWARDBOD.1, QR.EntryProfile.CARELEAVER.6, QR.EntryProfile.CARELEAVER.7, QR.EntryProfile.CARELEAVER.9, QR.EntryProfile.PARED.1, QR.EntryProfile.PARED.2, QR.Instance.FESTUMK.10, QR.Instance.MOBILITY.2, QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.24, QR.Instance.FinancialSupport.2


  • QR.Course.DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation.2, QR.Course.DeliveryOrgansationAndLocation.1, QR.DeliveryOrgansationAndLocation.PCODELOC.1, QR.DeliveryOrgansationAndLocationDELORGPROP.2, QR.EntryProfile.PARED.6, QR.EntryProfile.PARED.7

58 11 Feb 2021

Following changes to the C20051 schema, or coverage changes in the coding manual, the following quality rules have been amended or deleted:


  • QR.Module.CRDTPTS.2,5, QR.Instance.YEARPRG.1, QR.Course.TTCID.1, QR.Instance.YEARLGTH.1, QR.Instance.TYPEYR.1, QR.Instance.SPECFEE.1, QR.Student.TTPCODE.1, QR.Instance.EXCHANGE.1, QR.Instance.BRIDGE.1, QR.Instance.DISALL.1, QR.Course.CourseSubject.2.
  • QR.Instance.ITTPlacement.1 has been reinstated as an error, following its relaxation in C19051 to a warning. 


  • QR.Course.FEQAIMC.1,3,6,7,9, QR.Instance.GLHRS.1-4, QR.Instance.NUMUNITS.1-7, QR.Instance.NOUNTACH.1-4, QR.Instance.PROGRESS.1,2,4,5,6,7, QR.Instance.CSTAT.1,2,3,5, QR.Instance.INSTCAMP.1,2, QR.Instance.MODE.1,2,22,22, QR.Instance.MSTUFEE.6, QR.Instance.FRANPART.1,2, QR.Instance.QualificationsAwarded.2, QR.Course.COURSEAIM.6, QR.Instance.YEARSTU.1, QR.StudentOnModule.MODCOUNT.1.
57 28 Jan 2021

The Data Collection system for C20051 has been enabled with the 'Send data' functionality to validate against this year's schema and the rolled-on business rules, based on their final position of 2019/20 (C19051).

The validation kit is available with a roll-on of the 2019/20 business rules. Rules will be updated for C20051 throughout future releases. If you already have the validation kit installed there is no need to install a new version. If you do not currently have the validation kit installed, you can access it by going here.

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.

56 14 Jan 2021

The updated HUSID Lookup Service is now available, containing students from the 2019/20 collection. Please see the HUSID lookup support page for further information at

The data entry tool is live. This is the program which will produce XML data in the format required for submission to HESA. The link will be added to the next release of the coding manual, but can be downloaded here:


A high-level summary of the C20051 major external component releases is highlighted below.

This is a guide to the proposed sequence, and releases may occur before, or after, the month indicated dependent on internal and external factors.


  • Data entry tool
  • HUSID lookup service
  • Opening of the Data Collection System with rules and rule compare functionality
  • Validation kit based on current year schema, with business rules rolled-on from last year


  • Business rules release to match coding manual schema and coverage updates
  • Add/update constituent HE providers to Data Collection System drop-down


  • Business rules release to match coding manual schema and coverage updates
  • * J for UCAS loaded into the system for validation


  • Business rules release to match coding manual schema and coverage updates
  • XTPOINTs library updated to validate data against QualificationOnEntry.QUALTYPES
  • Roll-on of exception rules (that are not dependent upon derived fields)
  • Continuity Register update


  • Business rules release to match coding manual schema and coverage updates
  • Further release of exception rules following derived field development
  • Entry Profile report


  • Business rules release to match coding manual schema and coverage updates
  • Credibility and Exception rule updates using available external static data
  • Data Supply (moved from May to June)
  • Frequency Counts reports


  • Credibility reports roll-on (moved from June to July), Credibility reports updates
  • Further releases of business and exception rules
  • IRIS development for Statutory Customer feed


  • (Moved from July)
  • Expected instances report 
  • DfE webservice
  • IRIS reports
  • PGR transfers In/Out 
  • Cost Centre, Campus, Collaborative Franchise, Institutional information reports
  • Revision to XTPOINTs appendix (if required)


  • (Moved from August)
  • Commit functionality and Sign-off form availability
  • NSS (draft) report, Unistats report

Stages of data submission

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.

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 388531

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

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

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.