5th February 2018

Ready...Steady...GO (Gradcore Outcomes)

2018 sees us say goodbye to the old and hello to the NewDLHE or otherwise now known as ‘Graduate Outcomes’.

After what was an exceptionally busy Autumn term for Careers Services across the UK, and us alike, due to the ever-present message that “this years’ DLHE will be the last data set until 2020”, Gradcore turned its attention to the new survey on the horizon and spent the day with the Department of Education (DfE) and HESA to get ahead of the game in all things Graduate Outcomes.

So what are the basic things we all need to know (and probably know already):

1) There are clear principles

The methodology has been reviewed to make it fit for purpose and to proof it for future data requirements, whilst maintaining efficiency.

2) The survey has a new name and subsequently new branding


3) Significant cognitive testing is underway by HESA

4) The timings of the survey have changed

The annual survey will now be carried out 15 months post-graduation, however, there will be 4 survey points during the year each with a week long survey period.

5) The surveys will continue to be conducted online and on the telephone

Postal surveys will only be used where necessary.

6) The data collected has new additions:

‘Linked data’ will be pulled into the data collection including - Salary (from LEO) and Further study information (from HESA Student record).

As well as the Graduate Level jobs data (SOC2020) there are the new ‘Graduate Voice’ measures.

7) And finally, that big target of 70% response rate is still there to enable data such as subject level TEF and KIS to be published.

We are all aware that HESA have moved to an open centralisation model, but how is this going to affect the working model of your Careers Service and the internal operations of your institution? As with anything new, there are some fundamental questions that need to be asked.

How will you repurpose your resource?

You can say goodbye to hours of phone calls (or non-answered phone calls), setting up online systems, coding the data and quality assuring the whole process, however, where does this leave you with your dedicated DLHE team?

How are their responsibilities going to change? How will you repurpose your resource if you historically outsourced this work? How will it affect your relationship with the new provider?

How are you going to use the data that you do have access to?

It has been confirmed that institutions will have access to a huge amount of data on the new near real-time dashboards that will be implemented.

Who is going to have access/own/be responsible for this? How is this going to be monitored/utilised throughout the survey period? How is it going to be reviewed for the next survey point? Is this the data that you want to have access to?

How best to utilise the autonomy you have?

You have a bank of ‘opt- in questions’ one example being ‘subjective well-being’ measures (interesting considering the emphasis the DfE is currently putting on mental health and well-being measures). You can also ask bespoke ‘provider questions’ which may include questions about specific initiatives or services which you provided.

However, what is this data that you want to collect? What big questions do you need to be asking to influence the decisions on the data you collect Who needs to be involved in these conversations?

How are you going to have your graduates’ correct contact details 15 months after graduation?

It is presumed that maintaining up to date contact details will impact not only Careers Services but those in Alumni, Planning and Student Records.

Who is the responsibility going to lie within your institution? Do all those who need to be involved realise they are going to be involved? Is it the same team who is responsible for both collating and submitting the data to the provider? Do they have an understanding of Graduate Outcomes? What implications is GDPR going to have in collecting/storing this data?

So what are Gradcore doing about it?

Due to the first survey taking place in December this year Gradcore has already adapted our hugely successful ‘Safety Net’ product, in which we engage and support Graduates into graduate level work whilst enhancing their employability, to coincide with the Graduate Outcomes Survey.

We are also on the road in the upcoming months spending half days with Careers Services (and other teams!) to share our knowledge and expertise on Graduate Outcomes, to discuss the challenges and opportunities that the survey will provide to their institution, to provide answers to these initial questions and to discuss the thought-provoking, challenging observations of what GO will bring.

To explore the fundamentals and the intricacies of the survey and how these are going to affect your institution then please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing amy.ward@gradcore.co.uk and we can help you to get ready… and steady to GO.

Amy Ward

Partnerships Consultant – Gradcore