All higher education institutions are required to submit annual accountability returns according to the deadlines set out in the Circular letter 'Annual accountability returns 2017: Request for information'.
We take assurance from a suite of accountability returns which must be submitted to HEFCE by specified dates. These include: audited financial statements, financial forecasts and independent audit reports.
They provide us with a view of each institution’s processes for risk management, control and governance, financial sustainability, promoting value for money, and managing and quality assuring data.
By using information and assurances, much of which is already available for internal management and assurance purposes by the institution, we are able to minimise our requirements and reduce burden.
We analyse the annual accountability returns, and then carry out a risk assessment of each institution.