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Staff major review: evidence gathering survey

The Staff major review evidence gathering survey closed Friday, 13 October. 

Our summary of responses to the consultations can be found here: 

Summary of consultation responses to the evidence gathering exercise


The launch of this major review allows us to take stock of the changes which have occurred in the decade since the last major review of the Staff record, to assess their impact, and to determine the extent to which the Staff record as it now stands meets the needs of our users.

Since the last major review, the funding and regulatory environment in the UK nations has changed substantially. Notably, following the implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, the administration of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) passed from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to Research England, which continues to administer the REF on behalf of the four UK nations. Data used in the REF has been collected in the Staff record since 2018, and Jisc aims to work with Research England to ensure that the Staff record remains fit for use in subsequent rounds of the REF.

Areas of higher education (HE) policy interest relevant to the Staff record have also shifted over the past decade. An emerging policy focus on regional development – most noticeably as part of the ‘levelling up’ agenda – has highlighted the role of HE providers in their local areas. Related to this has been a growing interest in providers – and their staff – as participants in various knowledge exchange and innovation activities. Over the same time period, successive rounds of industrial action have drawn attention to employment conditions in the HE sector, particularly in terms of contracts and workloads, but also in terms of the sometimes divergent experiences of staff with different personal characteristics.

The changing policy context of recent years is likely to have affected user needs for data concerning HE staff. Through this evidence gathering exercise, we therefore aim to identify user needs related to some of the key concepts and themes underpinning the Staff record. At this stage, we will be collecting evidence regarding four main themes:

  1. Coverage of the Staff record
  2. Staff activities and employment functions
  3. Careers in higher education
  4. Staff demographics

For each of these four themes, we will supply some contextual information, laying out the issues that have emerged in our preliminary research. We will then pose a series of questions relating to each theme. Respondents will also be invited to include any additional comments about their needs for data regarding HE staff in the section titled ‘Closing feedback’.

At this stage, statutory customers have not yet specified their requirements for the Staff record, and we will not be making detailed proposals for changes to the Staff record at this time. Instead, we are seeking views from the sector concerning their aspirations for and uses of data on HE staff. We will use the evidence gathered in this exercise to inform the development of a proposed specification for a revised Staff record. We will then consult on this proposed specification at a later date, currently planned for spring 2024.

What is the overall plan for this review?

This first consultation will focus on gathering evidence from the sector about what changes we should be looking to make in the Staff record review, drawing on preliminary evidence already gathered by Jisc. These responses will then be looked at, in conjunction with requirements from our statutory customers, to produce a proposed data specification for consideration in a second consultation.

Responses from the second consultation will be considered by a review group (compromising Jisc, statutory customers and sector experts) to form the final recommendations for change to the Staff record for 2025/26. These recommendations will be considered by our statutory customers and any resulting changes will be announced to the sector in autumn 2024.

Who should respond to this consultation?

We welcome responses from all stakeholders with an interest in the collection, use and dissemination of information about staff in UK higher education. We particularly welcome responses from operational contacts who submit data to the current Staff record.

Data processing notice

Responses to this survey will be used to support the review of the Staff record, and will be used in analysis, documentation, and communications in connection with that activity.

We may share your survey responses with statutory customers, sector bodies or other organisations involved within the consultation. We will share your response together with the name of your organisation however we will not disclose your name or email address to organisations we share responses with.

Privacy Information 


The consultation is now closed: please contact [email protected] if you have feedback or further queries.

PDF of consultation text for reference: please note we would prefer online survey responses only


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