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Submission of contact details

You will need to submit all the relevant contact details to HESA by the return date for each contact period. We expect that you will return details for all the relevant graduates.

We will provide a population file that contains linked data (including the graduate’s name, identifier and study information), as well as blank contact detail fields which you will be required to complete. The exact information which makes up this population file can be found in the coding manual.

There are two main activities to support the return of contact details:

Quality assurance


With any HESA return, there are deadlines in place that you must adhere to when returning data. For Graduate Outcomes, there will be a return date and two sign-off periods (one prior to the contact period opening, and one shortly before the contact period ends). Full details can be found in the data collection schedule. 

You will need to return contact details that have passed validation by the return date.

Once the submission has passed validation then there will be a quality assurance (QA) period. During this period, you can assess the details uploaded through the HESA data collection system and amend/update (if necessary) based on reports generated. Once contact details have passed all QA rules, they can be signed off and sent to the contractor ready for undertaking the survey.

After the sign-off deadline, the collection system will be frozen to allow the contractor to assess and process the details from their side. You can still update/amend details in-house that are either still outstanding or require further correction. Once the contractor has had sufficient time to attempt to contact graduates (4/5 weeks) the collection system will re-open for a two-week window to allow you to update necessary contact details that the provider has failed to make contact with (detailed by contractor).

The last opportunity to collect and make final updates to the contact details will be one week prior to when the contact period ends. This will allow the contractor time to process these updates and attempt to make contact with non-responding graduates in time for the end of the survey window.  At this point, the contact details will need to be signed off again to represent updates you might have made during the survey period.

What is needed

You will be given supporting materials in order to assist you in returning details accurately and in a timely manner. These include:

  • Quality rules and validation through the system to ensure details are correct and robust. These rules will also highlight incorrect information (available summer 2018)
  • The coding manual provides information on the fields you are required to return (including basic validation, such as length and format)
  • The data collection schedule displays the deadlines for the collection and when the quality assurance period falls.



During the contact period, you will be able to monitor which graduates who have yet to respond to the survey through the dashboards. You will be asked to undertake activity to update contact details and/or to encourage the graduate to respond. The contractor will propose in their engagement strategy the most appropriate timing to do this.

This activity should take the form of email campaigns targeted at non-respondents, although you can use other channels if you wish.

Once this further contact has been made, you can then resubmit contact details to the contractor, who will then attempt to contact the graduate using these new details.

What is needed

Between us and the survey contractor, you will be provided with:

  • Promotional materials (including email templates and social media graphics)
  • A dashboard containing the non-respondent’s contact details and identifiers.

The information in this dashboard should support you in running any email campaign you want. The inclusion of course information will allow you to pass the information on to academic schools, as it may be an email campaign from a lecturer will secure the most engagement.

This activity must only be in a promotional context; you will not be able to take survey answers.

It is also currently the expectation that we will not be accepting third party responses from providers to the survey (which is a shift from DLHE). This is subject to some further analytical work we are undertaking on response rates which will be reviewed by the steering group. We will be able to confirm this in the new year.