Data: The Devil is in the Detail

Alongside re-developing the ENroute framework, we’ve had to think of new ways to store and cross check Fellowship data in line with the planned increase in the number of people who will gain Fellowship of the HEA. It’s not always the most exciting part of a project looking at figures and systems, but it’s important! And luckily we have key members of the project team whose expertise in systems makes this a much more manageable task.

First of all we thought about which system we would use to best capture the data. We already use HR Connect across the institution so it made sense that if this system could do the job for us then we would go ahead and use it. Jane Hutchison from HR worked on the brief given to create a simple but effective new data field within the “Memberships” section of HR Connect. The data inputted here would detail if there was any Fellowship held and what category. This Memberships field is currently not available to view on self-service so the access is restricted to those who have administrative access to HR Connect, but this could be changed in future if it was decided to open this information up wider.

The benefit of using HR Connect is that the system is linked to Business Objects reporting tool, which means we can run regular reports on Fellowship stats at the click of a button! We have different reports set up depending on what we want to find out. Our target of 100% of staff holding Fellowship by 2020 is currently based on salaried academic staff only – but we are still keen to know how many zero hours academics and professional services staff hold Fellowship too, so our reports lets us see the whole spectrum of Fellowship achievement.

As part of the recruitment process we now ask all applicants for details of professional memberships such as HEA Fellowship at the point of application, and this information is then uploaded to the staff record when a job offer is made. This means we have Fellowship data for all applicants whether or not they are successful, which can be used to look at patterns of Fellowship across the sector. For new staff, often the HEA still have individual’s records’ connected with their old institution – so if you are a new staff member at Edinburgh Napier who folds Fellowship gained at another institution, make sure you click here tell the HEA of your move.

We also supported staff who completed their PG Cert in Learning & Teaching at Edinburgh Napier in previous years to convert their qualification to Fellowship. Some of the staff we helped describe what it means to them

“Having missed the deadline for converting my PgCert into HEA fellowship I was worried that this would be a long complicated process. However thanks to the Academic Professional Development team this was effortless. Being a member of the HEA has given me access to quality resources which has helped develop my professional practice.”


David Pirie from the School of Life Sport and Social Sciences


“I just wanted to thank you for doing this. It’s been in my to-do list for several years. This is a good example of how the OVP (Editors note: Academic Professional Development) can help Academics in the Schools in a very real and practical way.”

Carles Ibanez from the School of management


A while back the University added a section on HR Connect for HESA details, and we use this to cross check the memberships section of HR Connect for data accuracy. If you’re reading this and you’re not sure if you’ve updated your HESA details, in particular the academic teaching qualification if you have one, then you can do that here. Similarly, if you gained Fellowship out-with the institution and think we might not know about it, make sure you tell us!

 Rachel Murray

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