The OfS and Research England expect that the data we use will be the final version submitted and signed off as correct by the provider’s accountable officer. This approach also allows for consistency with published data.
However, we acknowledge that sometimes errors are identified in the data after it has been finally submitted or signed off by providers and after the OfS or Research England have used the data.
The OfS and Research England will only accept amendments to final submitted data in exceptional circumstances.
To be accepted for amendment, errors will have to be genuine, widespread, significant and make a material difference to the OfS or Research England uses of the data. This will be determined through an assessment process.
When assessing errors in data, we will consider their effects on multiple purposes.
The data amendment panel
A data amendment panel will assess errors using information in an error summary workbook submitted by the provider (available to download from the OfS portal – instructions below).
The panel will decide or recommend whether we require the errors to be corrected, by assessing whether they meet all of the following criteria:
- Errors are widespread and significant.
- Amendments relate to clear evidence of data error rather than re-interpretation of data (such as re-categorisation).
- Errors are likely to have a material impact on one or more of our uses of the data.
We will consider the impact of the amendments separately for the different purposes of the data.
We may require and process amendments for one purpose without implementing all the implications for other purposes.
For example, an error may require correction for regulatory purposes but we will not process the funding implications if they are not material.
We will only process implications for a specific purpose where the impact on that purpose is material.
Providers will be informed of the panel outcome and will have an opportunity to appeal against the decision.
The OfS scheme of delegation applies to the panel outcomes and therefore sometimes the panel will make recommendations which will need to be approved by a specified person at the OfS.
For further details, read the panel's terms of reference.
Panel schedule and process for submitting to the panel
Data amendment panel meetings will be scheduled to fit in with the timescales needed to process data for the purposes listed above.
Deadlines will be published in the guidance documents produced for these purposes, for example in TEF guidance.
The next data amendment panel meeting is on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 July 2020.
Providers with identified errors in previously submitted or signed-off data need to complete an error summary spreadsheet. This should be submitted by uploading to the OfS portal by noon on Wednesday 1 July 2020.
Please note: The OfS has issued revised regulatory requirements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which includes reporting requirements. Unless specifically directed by the OfS that amendments are required, providers are currently under no obligation to submit data amendments to the amendment panel. Should the situation change, and the OfS returns to a normal policy position regarding regulatory requirements, we will provide notice of any change in submission deadlines. We expect to be holding another panel meeting later this year.
Where providers are submitting errors in data that directly affect records of students taught by a different provider in a sub-contractual arrangement, they must obtain written agreement to the corrections from the affected providers beforehand.
The completed error summary will be considered by the data amendment panel and providers will be notified of the panel outcome by end of Friday 24 July 2020.
If errors are required to be corrected, providers will be given a deadline by which to submit the amended data. Some outcomes (such as funding changes and TEF amendments) will require approval by the OfS Chief Executive once the amended data has been processed.
Instructions for downloading and submitting an error summary
The error summary templates are available to download and are required to be uploaded via the OfS portal at https://extranet.officeforstudents.org.uk/data. This will be in the portal area titled Error Summary.
There are two Error Summary workbooks available to download from the Office for Students portal area titled Error Summary. These are: the individualised Error Summary and the aggregate Error Summary.
Once completed, these need to be submitted via the relevant survey in the Error Summary portal area.
Full instructions for downloading and submitting are below.
For general queries on the data amendments process please email [email protected]