Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Staff Data

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education.

What is HESA?

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) was set up by agreement between the relevant government departments, the higher education funding councils and the universities and colleges in 1993, following the White Paper “Higher Education: a new framework”, which called for more coherence in HE statistics, and the 1992 Higher and Further Education Acts, which established an integrated higher education system throughout the United Kingdom.

HESA collects, and is responsible for, the database in which your HESA information is stored. HESA is a registered charity and operates on a not-for-profit basis. HESA uses your HESA information itself for its own purposes. HESA also shares information from your HESA information with third parties. It may charge other organisations to whom it provides services and data. All uses of the HESA Record must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents.

Staff Information

Every year, we send some of the information we hold about you to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). HESA is the official source of data about UK universities and higher education colleges. Your name and contact details will not be shown on your HESA account and information given forward is anonymous, but may contain your Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID.org) number if you have one. If you leave your current employment and move to another higher education provider your HESA Staff ID number maybe passed onto your new employer to enable research into employment in the higher education sector. Your HESA information will not be used to make decisions about you.

If you give us information on sensitive matters such as disability status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, parental leave or religion these maybe used within the HESA information to assist with monitoring equality of opportunity within the workplace and eliminating unlawful discrimination in accordance to the equality act. The information given to HESA will not be used to make decisions about you and all information regarding personal information is used for monitoring purposes in regards to equality. 

What Data we collect

The Staff record collects individualised data on the personal characteristics of Staff, the details of their contracts, and the activities undertaken as a result of those contracts.

Name and contact details will not be shown on your HESA account and you will remain anonymous, information about your identity is irrelevant to the HESA data collection.

Details collected by HESA may include anything in the list below, these may or may not be relevant to all participants:

Personal data

  • Ability to teach through the medium of Welsh 
  • Academic teaching qualification
  • Activity after leaving 
  • Clinical excellence award
  • Current academic discipline 
  • Date appointed at current higher education provider (HEP) 
  • Date left higher education provider (HEP)
  • Date of birth 
  • Disability 
  • Ethnicity 
  • Gender identity 
  • Higher education provider's own staff identifier 
  • Highest qualification held 
  • Legal sex
  • Location after leaving
  • National identity
  • Nationality
  • ORCID identifier
  • Parental leave 
  • Previous employment
  • Previous higher education institution
  • Regulatory body 
  • Religion or belief 
  • Sexual orientation 
  • Staff identifier


Contract data

  • Academic employment function (ACEMPFUN)
  • Basic salary at reference date (SALREF)
  • Campus identifier (CAMPID)
  • Clinical status (CLINICAL)
  • Clinical sub-specialty (CLINSUB)
  • Contract identifier (CONTID)
  • Contract levels (LEVELS)
  • End date of contract (ENDCON)
  • FTE during reporting period (CONFTE)
  • Healthcare professional specialty (HSPEC)
  • Higher education provider (HEP) joint contract (HEIJOINT)
  • Higher education provider's own contract identifier (OWNCONTID)
  • Mode of employment (MOEMP)
  • NHS contract grade (NHSCONGR)
  • NHS contracts (NHSCON)
  • Proportion of basic salary charged against general income (PSCAG)
  • Reason for end of contract (RESCON)
  • Research assistant (RESAST)
  • Salary point (SPOINT)
  • Source of basic salary (SOBS)
  • Start date of contract (STARTCON)
  • Teaching through the medium of Welsh (TCHWLH)
  • Terms of employment (TERMS)

Purposes for collecting the HESA Staff Record


There are four main purposes for collecting HESA staff records

Purpose 1

Your HESA information is used by some organisations to help carry out public functions connected with education in the UK. These organisations are data controllers in common of your HESA information under the terms of the Data Protection Act (this link explains what this means ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/key-definitions/). Such organisations may include:

  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Welsh Government
  • Scottish Government
  • Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland
  • Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
  • Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council
  • Research Councils
  • Department for Education
  • Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
  • National Health Service

Your HESA information may also be used by some organisations who are also data controllers in common to help carry out public functions that are not connected with education such as monitoring of public expenditure by the National Audit Office.

Purpose 2 - HESA publications

HESA uses your HESA information to produce and publish information and statistics. This includes some National Statistics publications (www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/national-statistician/types-of-official-statistics) and online business intelligence and research services. HESA will take precautions to ensure that individuals are not identified from any information which is processed for Purpose 3.

Purpose 3 - Equal opportunity, research, journalism and other processing in which there is a legitimate interest

HESA and the other data controllers in common listed under Purpose 1 may also supply information to third parties where there is a legitimate interest in doing so. Examples of use for this purpose include:

 Equal opportunities monitoring

  • Research - This may be academic research, commercial research or other statistical research where this is in the public interest
  • Journalism - Where the relevant publication would be in the public interest e.g. league tables
  • Provision of information to students and prospective students

Users to whom information may be supplied for Purpose 3 include:

  • Higher education sector bodies
  • Higher education providers
  • Academic researchers and students
  • Commercial organisations
  • Unions
  • Non-governmental organisations and charities
  • Local, regional and national government bodies
  • Journalists

Information supplied by HESA to third parties within Purpose 4 is supplied under contracts which require that individuals shall not be identified from the supplied information. A copy of HESA’s current agreement for the supply of information is available at www.hesa.ac.uk/bds-details#e.

About the HESA Staff Collection Notice

HESA has produced collection notices which higher education institutions are advised to make available to students and staff. The notices explain why personal data has to be transferred to HESA and what HESA does with the data. Links to HESA's Student Collection Notice, Staff Collection Notice and collections notice for the DLHE survey are provided below. The notices and additional information on how HESA processes personal data are available on the Data Protection section of HESA's website. Please contact SOAS's Information Compliance Manager (email dataprotection@soas.ac.uk) if you have questions or concerns relating to SOAS's transfer of data to HESA.

The HESA Staff Collection Notice is regularly reviewed.  The most up to date version can be found atwww.hesa.ac.uk/fpn.  Minor updates to the Staff Collection Notice (including organisation name changes and clarification of previously specified purposes) may be made at any time. Major updates (such as a new purpose) will be made no more than once per year.

Your Rights

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have rights of access to the information HESA holds about you. You will have to pay a small fee for this. For further information about data protection and the HESA Staff Record please see www.hesa.ac.uk/dataprot or email data.protection@hesa.ac.uk

Collection process

Data for the Staff record is collected retrospectively, thereby reporting in August of one year on activity which has taken place between August of the previous year and July of the current year. The HESA data collection system opens at the beginning of August every year and the return date is the 30th September. HEPs are required to have sent full and verified data to HESA by the deadline for last submission. There are several deadlines which HEPs must achieve as part of the collection process. It is important that HEPs work to these deadlines in order to complete the return on time and to ensure that the quality of the data submitted is fit for purpose.

How to update your record

How to update your record

Login to https://abw.aber.ac.uk/agresso using your normal username & password.

Select the ‘Your employment’ menu and choose the ‘your personal information’ link’.

You will be taken to your resource page, which holds your resource ID and personal information. Your personal information can be changed by clicking the arrow at the end of each field.


This screen contains a number of different "tabs" and you can access your HESA information click on the “HESA” or "Diversity" tabs.

You will then be brought to a page containing information about yourself held by HESA, in order to update or change a field click the arrow button on the side of each field, this will bring down a drop down menu where you can change your personal information.

NB: Note all changes will need to be saved using the 'save' button 


The fields above require completion based on your role within AU,  for example a teaching role requires Teaching Qualifications, Academic Discipline.  To identify what fields that you need to complete please see the grid below.



Field list


Tab Name

Relevant field on self service

Non-academic staff

Academic staff










This field records whether or not staff are able to teach through the medium of Welsh






This field records whether or not academic staff hold a higher education teaching qualification, another relevant teaching qualification, or have been recognised in other ways for their teaching expertise.






This field records the activity of staff after leaving employment at the reporting higher education provider (HEP)






This field records the date of birth of staff



Data is automatically populated



Information not required


Information not required





This field records the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS 3.0) code for the academic discipline(s) currently being taught and/or researched by the member of staff






This field records the date on which staff started their current period of continuous service with the reporting higher education provider (HEP)



Data automatically populated




This field records the date on which staff left the higher education provider (HEP)



Data automatically populated




This field records the disability of a member of staff, on the basis of their own self-assessment






This field records the ethnicity of the member of staff, on the basis of their own self-assessment





This field identifies the highest qualification held by the member of staff






This field records the location of a staff member’s employment following the end of their employment at the reporting higher education provider (HEP)






This field records the national identity of staff. National identity is different from both ethnicity and nationality and could be based on many things including, for example, culture, language, ancestry or family history. National identity reflects how an individual chooses to classify himself or herself






This field records the country of legal nationality of staff






This field records the ORCID identifier of a member of staff.



Data is automatically populated



This field records the higher education provider's (HEP's) own internal identifier for staff



Data is automatically populated



This field identifies whether any parental leave was taken by staff during the reporting year






This field records the nature of employment of staff before entering employment with the reporting higher education provider (HEP)







This field records the identifier of the previous higher education institution (HEI) at which the member of staff worked





This field records the regulatory body for staff working in health and social care professions regulated by a statutory health or social care regulatory body







This field records the legal sex of the member of staff.







This field records a unique code allocated to staff when they are first entered onto the HESA Staff record. The code remains with the member of staff for the whole of their career within higher education



Data is automatically populated