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Collection Governance: burden assessment methodology

Please note, the Collection Governance pages are still available for your reference but the consultation has now been closed. Please refer to the Codes of practice in the Data Landscape Steering Group for the most up-to-date information on data governance.


The burden assessment process documents provide a transparent assessment of the impact of change to the way data is produced, processed and consumed within the HE sector.

The Burden Assessment Guide document has been written to ensure consistency of assessment regardless of who is carrying out that assessment. No specialist knowledge – other than an understanding of the impact of the change for your organisation – is required.


The assessment process is based on best practice research within and outside of the sector. Originally the NHS Burden Advice and Assessment Service (BAAS) provided the ‘lenses’ which scoped the assessment. Further research and dialogue with other organisations – including the Office for National Statistics – created the matrix as presented in the current version.

This assessment can be completed by any party involved in the production, processing and consumption of sector data. This will include both data collectors and data providers.

While the assessment process is well defined, it is not truly quantitative as each assessor will score differently depending on their role, experience and the context of the change. This does not devalue the assessment because it is looking to create a consensual engagement around change, based on a shared understanding of how it is being assessed.

The assessment process is grounded in the concept of ‘Net Burden’. Please see the Net Burden document for more information.

Download Burden Assessment Guide [PDF]

Download Net Burden [PDF]