The Graduate Outcomes questionnaire design utilises a substantial proportion of established questions from DLHE and LDLHE, with some revision, where appropriate. Several additional questions have also been included following feedback from the sector, gathered through consultations. This includes enhanced questions on self-employed graduates, graduate reflections on their activity, and subjective wellbeing questions (see part one of this methodology statement for details).
In order to reduce measurement error (specifically respondent and interviewer error), the survey underwent cognitive testing with a sample of graduates who conformed to the criteria required for the actual survey (graduates who completed their course 15 months ago, across a range of provider types). It was also subject to numerous rounds of user acceptance testing by internal and external colleagues. The questionnaire was finalised in consultation with funding and regulatory bodies. View the cognitive testing technical report and outcomes report.
The survey has been updated for each cohort since it was first launched in December 2018. These changes have focused on minor amendments to routing and changes to text that was deemed necessary to improve data quality and likely to improve response rates. Particular attention has been paid to making sure the changes do not have a material impact on the meaning of the questions and do not bias the survey results in any way or make the data incomparable.
The survey results coding manual is available to users, which contains necessary information and guidance on the data that is returned from the survey.