Information for Northern Irish Further Education Colleges
Welcome to Graduate Outcomes
We’ve created this page to outline the key information Northern Irish Further Education Colleges (NIFECs) need to know about the Graduate Outcomes survey and their roles and responsibilities. This page links to existing information about the survey on the HESA website.
Quick links: Provider portal | IDS roles | Deadlines | Provider roles and responsibilities | Data protection and fair processing | Contact details | The records | Promotion of Graduate Outcomes | How we communicate with you | Websites and resources | Training | Liaison | Final data delivery and statistical outputs
The Graduate Outcomes provider portal is a purpose-built system where providers will upload and quality assure their contact details data, add personalisation to the survey, find information on their response rates and download survey data.
Make sure you take the time to log in and get familiar with the main areas, especially where you'll need to take action. Depending on your role, you may have a number of vital actions which are all completed in the portal. The user guide provides step by step instructions, including screenshots, of the main actions completed in the portal.
- Visit the provider portal
- Visit the provider portal user guide
- Take the introduction to the Graduate Outcomes provider portal e-learning module
The HESA Identity System (IDS) enables users to access the Graduate Outcomes provider portal. Users are assigned IDS roles and each role has different access rights within the portal.
Please note - that users must accept their IDS roles before they will be able to access the provider portal.
The most important role is the Graduate Outcomes Record Contact. This role coordinates the interaction of a provider with the Graduate Outcomes provider portal including the assignment of other IDS roles to individuals at the provider. Every provider must have one Record Contact and this role will be issued by HESA.
An additional role, the Graduate Outcomes Admin, does not allow access to the provider portal, however it allows individuals to assign other HESA Identity System roles to themselves and others at their provider. It is best practice that someone at your provider holds this role.
There are a number of important dates within the collection schedule that you need to meet. If you miss these deadlines, it may mean that the surveying of your graduates will be delayed. This means we will not have the entire fieldwork period to obtain their responses.
The most important deadline you must meet is the ‘approval deadline’ for each cohort. Providers need to take action to check that the contact details are accurate and up-to-date. Contact detail records can only be approved once HESA has enabled the functionality (we will advise by email), they have no quality rule errors associated with them and they are at the ‘Awaiting Approval’ stage.
Meeting these deadlines is a statutory requirement and statutory customers may monitor them to ensure all providers carry out activities that are vital to the success of the survey. Contact Liaison if you need help with meeting the deadlines.
Make sure all of the dates are in your diary and that the colleagues involved in carrying out activities are also aware. We will send reminders to you via email in the lead up to these deadlines.
Our model of open centralisation places much of the responsibility for administering the Graduate Outcomes survey on HESA, with the support of a number of suppliers. It therefore aims to take the burden of collection away from providers.
However, providers will have certain actions they will need to complete to ensure we have accurate and comprehensive data.
NIFECs are required to include information on the Graduate Outcomes survey in your student fair processing notice. We have provided some initial guidance below on the data protection issues that will need to be covered.
- View guidance on data protection and fair processing issues
- View additional data protection guidance
NIFECs are responsible for collecting and submitting (to HESA) comprehensive, accurate and up to date contact details for their graduates.
- Find out more about maintaining / updating contact details and submission of contact details
- Read contact details guidance for providers
Contact details record
The Graduate Outcomes Contact Details Record Coding Manual (relevant year's version) contains information and guidance to help you complete the return including support guides, collection key dates, data items and the quality rules directory.
The main page of each coding manual provides the majority of the links and other useful information you’ll need. You can keep up to date on changes in the revision history page.
Survey results record
The Graduate Outcomes Survey Results Record Coding Manual (relevant year's version) provides the response data collected during the surveying of graduates across four cohorts. The coding manual includes the file structures for downloadable files including data supply and SIC and SOC data supply, data fields specifications, derived fields specifications, valid entries, and guidance to use the survey raw and final survey data (depending on the collection year).
Providers play a vital part in the success of Graduate Outcomes. It’s important that providers are engaging with the cohort population directly in the build up to the contact period commencing. Direct contact with graduates must not take place once HESA has started surveying the cohort.
We know from our work looking at response rates, that engagement with the online survey is dependent on recognition of the Graduate Outcomes brand. Providers play a key role in legitimising the online survey via their own direct and trusted engagement routes. We have provided lots of information and resources to support your promotional activity:
- Suggested graduate contact plan and other key promotional periods
- Communications resources (including logos, videos, roller banners, social media images and much more)
- Provider case studies
- Take the promotional strategy e-learning
As part of our communications strategy, HESA releases regular communications to providers by email to ensure important operational details about the survey are shared, as well as a range of best practice and additional support.
These communications are sent via email to the appropriate IDS role(s) as relevant - we will clearly outline on the communication who it has been sent to. Record contacts will receive all communications. The other roles will receive communications that are relevant to that role.
- Please look out for emails from [email protected] as these will contain important information and may require action.
In addition, the HESA weekly update (sent every Thursday) will be sent to you when it relates to collections updates that you are an operational contact for. We will use the weekly update as a summary of the previous week’s communications about Graduate Outcomes. You can also opt in to receiving the weekly update every week.
- Find out more and opt in to the HESA weekly update
To share insight with the sector as a whole, formal reviews are also created and shared at key survey milestones. At present, these are at the mid-point and the end of each cohort. They summarise key operational information from the cohort in review and set out the survey changes made for the following cohort. These reviews are sent to providers and added to the HESA website for anyone interested in Graduate Outcomes.
- Visit the progress updates page on the HESA website
The HESA website contains both operational design material and functional information about the Graduate Outcomes records. It’s important that you read and familiarise yourself with all of this information, including the coding manuals for each record.
- Operational design material for providers (This includes information about the survey engagement strategy, survey materials, email samples, communications resources, FAQs, data protection guidance and much more.)
Graduate Outcomes website www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk
This is a graduate facing information site designed to share more about the survey and answer any questions graduates may have about taking part. Graduates will have a link to this site in their email survey invitation.
- The website is also a resource for providers - it contains useful text to use in your own communications and you can direct graduates here. It also includes the important privacy information. This website is also available in Welsh.
Jiscmail for news and new events and provider dialogue
For news, events, general updates and discussion, join the Graduate Outcomes Jiscmail group. This is a useful group to collate approaches and ideas from other providers.
HESA offers a number of different ways to upskill on our collections. This ranges from face to face opportunities to free e-learning modules. We are currently developing our suite of e-learning on Graduate Outcome and have the following courses available to view at any time:
- Contact details e-learning
- Survey results e-learning
- Provider portal e-learning
- Promotional strategy e-learning
- Visit the full suite of free HESA e-learning courses
Make sure you’re signed up to the Graduate Outcomes Jiscmail group to stay up to date on the latest training events.
Liaison is our in-house team of expert analysts. They are here to support you throughout the data collection process. If you have any questions or issues, please email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 1242 388 531.
The final delivery of data for each collection is expected in Spring of each year. The delivery for 17/18 was completed on 31 March 2020, with a re-delivery issued on 22 May 2020. Visit the the open data - graduates page for Graduate Outcomes statistical releases.