August 2009 | ref: Circular letter 20/2009
Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal
1. This letter notifies higher education institutions (HEIs) of a change in HEFCE's data audit cycle.
2. We are presently in the second year of our cycle and the published plan is for all HEIs to be audited by the end of year five, March 2013. We now intend to accelerate our audit cycle so we complete the current cycle in 2010.
3. This means that HEIs which have not had a data audit in 2008 or 2009 can expect to be audited in 2010. As normal, institutions that have been audited in 2008 or 2009 may also be selected again, depending on the issues found in previous audits.
4. By accelerating our data audit cycle next year, we can provide a stronger view on data quality in the sector, and support audit committees in providing HEFCE with an opinion on data quality. When we write to individual institutions to announce and plan the audits, we will offer you the opportunity for your own auditors to work with us, where possible. This can help to ensure that any learning from the process is transferred to the institution.
5. The focus of the audits to be undertaken in 2010-11 will be on the Higher Education Students Early Statistics (HESES) return submitted in December 2009. The audit will also take into account the actual student data for 2008-09, submitted to the Higher Education Statistics Agency in the autumn.
6. In the coming months, please prepare for the audits by ensuring that: there is an effective audit trail to the student records system; the student records system is effective at capturing and recording student information; and the forecast components of the HESES return are grounded in past performance which is auditable. You may find it useful to read a summary of common issues we find in our data audit work at institutions. The detailed guidance document for HESES09 will be published in the autumn.
7. For those institutions to be audited in 2010-11, we will write before the end of October with further information on the audits.
8. If you would like to discuss this letter, please contact Nolan Smith, Deputy Head of Assurance (tel 0117 931 7376, e-mail email@example.com).
Sir Alan Langlands
|Enquiries should be directed to:||Nolan Smith, tel 0117 931 7376, firstname.lastname@example.org|
Page last updated 12 March 2012