Skip to main content

HE-BCI record 2021/22 - General guidance on Table 2: Business and community services

Back to C21032

Version 1.1 Produced 2022-03-04

Table 2 provides analysis of business and community services, with Head 1 to 3 focusing on the different areas of consultancy, facilities and equipment related services and courses for business and the community.

SMEs are classified as enterprises which:

  • employ fewer than 250 employees worldwide (including partners and executive directors), and
  • has either an annual turnover not exceeding 50m euros, or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43m euros, and  
  • conforms to the following independence criteria:

An enterprise is considered independent unless 25% or more of the capital or of the voting rights is owned by an enterprise falling outside the definition of an SME whichever may apply, or jointly by several such enterprises. (This ceiling may be exceeded if the enterprise is held by public investment corporations, venture capital companies or organisational investors, provided no control is exercised either individually or jointly, or if the capital is spread in such a way that it is not possible to determine by whom it is held).

SMEs include micro, small and medium enterprises, and sole traders. See the Coverage of the record for further details on definitions or visit the Europa site for more information.

Income for the use of the HEP's consultancy services, facilities and equipment, and courses should be returned in this table, rather than income received for capital purchases such as equipment and facilities.

Head 1: Consultancy

Consultancy is defined as the provision of expert advice and work, which while it may involve a high degree of analysis, measurement or testing, is crucially dependent on a high degree of intellectual input from the organisation to the client (commercial or non-commercial) without the creation of new knowledge. Consultancy may be carried out either by academic staff or by members of staff who are not on academic contracts, such as senior university managers or administrative/support staff. All consultancy activities where there is income to the HEP should be returned irrespective of staff contract type.

Example 1:
Client: UK funding councils
Project: A survey
Contribution: £50K
Return: In Sub-head 1f Total value with non-commercial organisations: A survey was developed by a University on behalf of the UK funding councils. The project was managed by a funding council so the funding council paid a University for the service.

Example 2:
Client: 'A private company' plc
Project: Various. Usually one or more academic staff employed at a fixed rate.
Contribution: Dr. Smith @ £1,000 per day for 10 days
Return: 10K - the full value of the contract may not be returned, as income should be returned only as attributable to activity from the current survey year. Private company (plc) income should be returned as SME or non-SME commercial.

Example 3:
Client: Various Regional SMEs
Project: ERDF-funded
Contribution: Various
Return: In this example HEPs are allowed to return the number of instances of SME assistance through such projects even if the income itself is returned as Regeneration (Table 3). No income should be returned twice although instances where SMEs (or other regeneration beneficiaries) ‘match' or ‘top-up' funding may be returned as income from those partners rather than under Table 3 which includes further guidance.

Example 4:
Client: 'A private company' plc
Project: Three year ongoing consultancy support from individual or various academics.
Contribution: Total £900K over 3 years.
Return: The income as attributable to the academic year when the work was carried out. If the partner organisation has paid for the full three years up-front then returning all the income will suggest higher than actual activity in the first year while the reverse effect would be noted in the following two years.

Head 2: Facilities and equipment related services - organisations involved and income

Head 2 should record use by an external party of the HEP's physical academic resources.

Examples of use which should be returned include:

  • aerospace company use of HEP's wind tunnel,
  • media company use of digital media suite,
  • community theatre use of stage and studio space.

Head 2 should not include:

  • use of facilities and/or equipment by another HEP,
  • simple trading activities, such as the commercial hire of conference facilities that could be obtained from another non-HE provider,
  • academic conferences.

This Head is designed to capture provision of specialist facilities and equipment which are owned and used by the HEP for the purpose of their core mission of teaching and research. The provision of these specialist facilities to an external party will have the purpose of supporting their business. For example, an arts specialist may use their theatre space or studios in their undergraduate teaching provision. An engineering specialist may use their wind tunnel for the aerospace research. Both are specialist facilities in this context and external use of these facilities should be recorded under this head.

In some cases it may not be clear whether the income should be returned in this Head or as consultancy. In deciding under which Head to return income, consider what the primary output is. For example, if a company has paid for equipment use but the equipment is operated by a HEP staff member and the output of the engagement is a report analysing the results using a high degree of intellectual input, this is more likely to be consultancy. If the company is simply paying to access the equipment, or the output is raw data with no added analysis, it should be returned under this Head.

Example 1:
Client: non-SME Aerospace company
Project: Use of wind tunnel
Contribution: £20K
Return as £20K under Sub-head 2d non-SME commercial businesses

Example 2:
Client: Community theatre
Project: Use of stage
Contribution: £5K
Return as £5K under Sub-head 2f non-commercial organisations

Example 3:
Client: Conference
Project: Academic-related
Contribution: N/A
Do not return. Academic conferences should not be included as their impact is not immediately with non-academic partners.

Example 4:
Client: Local charity
Project: Rental of conference facilities
Contribution: N/A
Do not return. If the income does not flow from the core activities and mission of the HEP then it should not be returned, i.e. facilities used by staff and students that are also used by external partners should be returned. This is simple use of facilities rather than of specialist space.

Head 3: Courses for business and the community - Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses and Continuing Education (CE) (excluding publicly funded pre-registration courses)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses are defined as:

'Training programmes for learners already in work who are undertaking the course for purposes of professional development/up-skilling/workforce development.'. For the purposes of reporting CPD for HE-BCI, this can include both credit and non-credit bearing courses.'

CPD does not relate to undergraduate courses where, for example, the students go on placement.

This Head should include income from provision of CPD and CE courses relating to:

  • Students taking, for example, one credit-bearing module from a formal course (at whatever level of study) without the intention of completing the related qualification at whatever level of study. It makes no difference if the students take more courses the following year even if the purpose of their learning has changed. On the other hand, they should not be included if they are known to be following a traditional education path e.g. doing a part-time course with year after year of modules,
  • A short course developed for a specific client or group of clients,
  • An externally recognised short course, e.g. National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) certificate,
  • An academic programme based in or around work-place practice, designed for a specific employer/sector/external body (e.g. Postgraduate Certificate in Public Library Management or University Certificate in Urban Regeneration),
  • Post-qualification CPD activity (e.g. programmes aimed at up-skilling healthcare professionals, excluding Masters programmes),
  • Career development courses designed to allow employees to attain a new professional status (e.g. healthcare assistants qualifying as nurses, classroom assistants qualifying as teachers etc.),
  • Post-qualification training for nurses and teachers etc,
  • A post-Foundation degree 'top-up' programme conducted at Level 6,
  • A standalone CPD programme that is not 'IPD' (initial professional development).
  • Massive Open Online courses (MOOC’s) if the course content clearly meets the definition of CPD or CE and is clearly aimed at professionals. Only the learner hours for those who have completed the courses should be recorded. The mode of delivery should be online only.

The income from the following provision should not be included in the HE-BCI record:

  • Pre-qualification courses aimed at novices/school leavers (including initial teacher or nurse education courses),
  • Employability/placement activity aimed at full-time students gaining work experience,
  • Generic post-graduate training for HEP's own students (where this is simply academic practice i.e. skills required for an individual's post-graduate research),
  • CE activity delivered at below HE level and in more general subjects, because these activities are not supported by third stream income. However, where there is a level of public funding in the project, this could be returned under Table 3, assuming the other criteria of Table 3 are met,
  • CPD that is accredited and supported by an OfS teaching grant. Although CPD may include any level of provision, it is the contribution from the employer (or in some cases the individual) that is used as a proxy for the impact of CPD collected through the HE-BCI record,
  • Foundation degrees regardless of whether the programme of study constituted continuing professional development, i.e. enhancement beyond the level achieved by an initial programme of study,
  • Conference presentations made by members of staff to business, community and/or academic participants
  • Degree apprenticeships cannot currently be returned. This is under review.
  • When a provider has devised and created CPD content that has been provided to a third party for delivery. Depending on the arrangement with the delivery partner it may be possible to record the income under consultancy or IP income, but delivery should be owned by the provider to be reported to HE-BCI as CPD.

Income should be returned under sub-heads 3a-3d under the organisation which funded the student's place.

Sub-head 3d: CE and CPD for individuals (£000s)

Individuals approaching the HEP for continuing education (CE) needs should be included under this sub-head. The focus of this sub-head should be students undertaking CE courses to develop/enhance specific employability or professional skills. Learners returned under CE are not required to be employed (unlike CPD).

CE activity delivered below HE level and in more general subjects should not be included where these activities are not supported by third stream income. However, where there is a level of public funding in the project, this could be returned under Table 3, assuming the other criteria of Table 3 are met.

Individuals following a course at the wish of their employer, or as a sole trader, should not be included under Sub-head 3d but in sub-heads a-c in their employer's category (SME in the case of sole traders).

CE courses run by an academic department and/or staff which may feed learners into higher education (level 4 and above) may be included here.

Sub-head 3f: Total learner days of CPD/CE courses delivered

Contacts hours should be calculated using the assumption that one day is equivalent to one person receiving eight hours of teaching/training. For example 10 people attending a one-day course equals 10 person days.

The total number of contact hours should include lectures, tutorials, field study and supervised small group study periods.

Contact hours do not include individual study periods outside of the class or period of unsupervised practical work. For example a programme of study comprising of 20 one-hour meetings and 20 hours of unsupervised practical work would be returned on Sub-head 3f as 20 contact hours multiplied by the number of course participants.

Example 1:
Client: Staff at another HEP
Project: Knowledge Exchange skills
Contribution: £x
Return under Table 2 Sub-head 3c CPD for other non-commercial organisations.

Example 2:
Client: An individual from the design sector
Project: CAD refresher
Contribution: £x
Return in Table 2 Sub-head 3d CE and CPD for individuals as this is likely to be CPD.

Example 3:
Client: NHS
Project: Pre-registration Nursing course
Contribution: £x
Do not return as pre-registration training is education not CPD.

Example 4:
Client: NHS
Project: Post-registraton Nursing CPD
Contribution: £x
Return in Table 2 Sub-head 3c CPD for other non-commercial organisations.

Example 5:
Client: Mr A. N. Other
Project: Time management module of accredited MBA course. The student is undertaking the module at the request of their employer whose organisation is an SME.
Contribution: £x
Return in Table 2 Sub-head 3a (CPD for SMEs). Individuals following a course at the wish of their employer, or as a sole trader, should be not be included under 3d but in sub-heads a-c in their employers category (SME in the case of sole traders).

Example 6:
Client: A member of the public
Project: Archaeology taster course
Contribution: £x
Return in Table 2 Sub-head 3d CE and CPD for individuals. For example, a course run by an academic department and/or staff that may feed learners into higher (level 4 and above) education may be included as CE.

Need help?

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