These are our responses and clarifications to issues raised in our consultation about the governance of the survey.
The development of the survey will be overseen by the steering group. Full details of how this will work are available in the governance model.
The steering group will include representation from HESA, the funding councils, HE providers, and other sector bodies, along similar lines to the make-up of groups HESA periodically convenes to review its records. We will ensure that representation from a diverse range of providers is maintained.
We agree this is essential. Processes will be put in place by the steering group. The survey contractor will be required to produce a set of key performance indicators (KPIs).
Standards will be set to which they must adhere, such as response rates and coding data quality. The role of the steering group will be to ensure these standards are being met. The implications of not meeting these KPIs will be set out in the contract with the survey contractor. The contract will allow for audit by the steering group or others appointed by them.
Yes, the contract with the contractor will allow for audit by the steering group or others appointed by them.
Whether there is manipulation or not, there is a perception of this happening which damages the credibility of the data. This is particularly concerning when it is being held up against administrative data such as the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset. We did an evaluation against National Statistics criteria which proved that the methodology could not continue as was, and maintain National Statistics classification.