Audit of HE data

Data used by HEFCW to calculate funding allocations for higher education institutions and further education colleges with directly funded higher education provision in addition to data used to monitor fee and access plans are subject to audit.

The process and scope introduced from September 2018 is:

  • Each institution to be externally audited at least once every four years, either on a sample basis or when there is perceived to be a higher risk.
  • The annual request for the internal audit reports to continue.
  • The scope of the external audit will be dependent on the areas of interest at the time at the particular institutions being audited and will include a core set of data which would be any data used for funding calculations and in fee and access plan target setting.

Further information can be found in circular W18/33HE: Audit of Higher Education Data 2018/19 to 2021/22.

Guidance notes for internal and external auditors will be issued each year.

The current guidance notes for auditors to use in their annual internal audits can be found in circular W21/02HE: Guidance for Internal Auditors to use in their Annual Audit of HE Data Systems and Processes.

The current guidance notes issued to external auditors appointed by HEFCW can be found in Guidance notes for External Auditors 2021.

Any further information or guidance notes for previous years can be obtained from the statistics team on 029 2085 9721 or email