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Provider Profile record 2022/23 - Introduction

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Version 1.0 Produced 2022-07-13


The Provider Profile record has been collected since 2012/13 from subscribing higher education providers (HEPs) throughout the devolved administrations of the United Kingdom. Prior to 2012/13, campus data was collected in the Campus Information collection, which was collected by HESA between 2005/06 and 2011/12.

Data collected

The Provider Profile record collects two strands of metadata:

  1. Location information on the campuses of the HEP
  2. Mapping details of academic departments to academic HESA cost centres

A full list of the different items collected can be found in the data items document on the coding manual page.

The return of campus data is mandatory for all subscribing HEPs in the UK, however the return of HESA cost centre data is currently optional for HEPs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Full details of the coverage of the record can be found in the coverage statement in the coding manual. The data collected in this record will be used to validate the Student, Staff, Finance & HE-BCI records, as well as providing benchmarking material for HEPs.

HESA cost centres

The HESA Student, Staff and Finance records all contain a HESA cost centre dimension which, in theory, allows meaningful comparisons between different types of data at a more granular level than the total HEP. Historically, the definition of a HESA cost centre was driven by the notion of grouping together of activities with a similar cost.

A revised scheme of HESA cost centres was developed following a sector-wide consultation exercise in early 2011 and was implemented across the HESA Student, Staff and Finance records in 2012/13.

Analysis of the responses to the consultation revealed that there was general support for the routine collection and publication of the academic department/HESA cost centres mapping. Colleagues recognised that this exercise would assist with analysis and benchmarking benefit, give greater transparency to HESA data, and assist with internal checking between various HESA returns. The message received was that the added value of the collection and publication of the department/HESA cost centres mapping would be greater than the cost of collecting the information.

As part of the outcome of the consultation, HESA committed to collect contextual data on each HEP's allocation of departments to the revised HESA cost centres. In order to establish a way forward to enable the collection of this data, HESA and JISC commissioned a report, 'Enabling Benchmarking Excellence', and this has informed the collection structure of the HESA cost centre information within the Provider Profile record.

Data collection

All HESA records are collected on the basis of the HESA reporting period, that determines the time period that the data being returned relates to. This ensures consistency across the data streams collected. The reporting period is from 01 August in year 1 to 31 July in year 2. For example, the 2015/16 Provider Profile record was collected in respect of the activity which has taken place between 01 August 2015 and 31 July 2016.

Data for the Provider Profile record is collected in-year, reporting in May on activity which has taken place already and will be taking place in the whole of the current academic year. This therefore requires some forecasting on behalf of the HEPs. The HESA data collection system will open at the beginning of May and HEPs are required to have sent a full and verified set of data to HESA by the deadline for last submission in June. There are several deadlines which HEPs must achieve as part of the submission process and these are detailed in the data collection schedule document on the coding manual, which will be made available in November 2022. It is important that HEPs work to the set deadlines in order to complete the return on time and ensure data quality.

Academic HESA cost centre data returned in the Provider Profile return will be incorporated into commit-stage quality rules for the Student, Staff and Finance returns. It is therefore recommended that colleagues responsible for the Provider Profile record liaise with those responsible for these other collections, to ensure all required HESA cost centres are returned.

Need help?

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