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Human Resources

Fair Processing Notice (HESA)


Every year, we send some of the information we hold about you to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This forms your HESA Staff Record which does not contain your name or contact details.

It is not intended to use your HESA staff record to make decisions about you.

HESA collects, and is responsible for, the database in which your HESA Staff Record is stored. HESA uses this information in its own right, for example to publish statistics about staff in higher education. HESA also processes information held in the database for other organisations. All uses of the HESA Staff Record must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

HESA is a registered charity and operates on a not-for-profit basis. It may charge other organisations that it provides services and data to, in order to cover its costs.

 Sensitive personal data

If you give us information about your disability status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy/maternity or religion these will be included in the HESA Staff Record to assist with monitoring equality of opportunity and eliminating unlawful discrimination in accordance with the Equality Act. These fields will not be used by HESA in any way that could be used to identify you.

Purposes for collecting the HESA Staff Record

The HESA Staff Record is used for four broad purposes:

 Purpose 1 - Public functions

The HESA Staff Record 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 the HESA Staff Record under the terms of the Data Protection Act. Such organisations include:

  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Welsh Assembly 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
  • The Teaching Agency
  • Research Councils
  • Department for Children, Schools and Families

and any successor bodies. The HESA Staff Record may also be used by some organisations 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 the HESA Staff Record to produce statistical publications. These include some National Statistics publications and online management information services. HESA will take precautions to ensure that individuals are not identified from the data which they process for Purpose 2.

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

HESA and the other data controllers listed under Purpose 1 may also supply data 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 data 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

Data supplied by HESA to third parties is supplied under contracts which require that individuals shall not be identified from the supplied data. A copy of HESA's standard agreement for the supply of data is available at [134 KB]

 Purpose 4 -Clinical academic staff and health professionals only

If you work in a clinical or health-related role or department the following organisations may use your HESA staff record for additional purposes:

Universities UK through the activities of its Medical Schools Council and Dental Schools Council - Monitoring trends in clinical academic staffing as a basis for partnership between the NHS and universities. Promoting, maintaining and improving high quality education, research and clinical practice in the UK. Publishing results of research into clinical academic staffing at a detailed statistical level from which there may be a risk of identification of individuals through combinations of characteristics.


The HESA Staff Collection Notice is regularly reviewed. The most up to date version can be found at 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.


Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have rights of access to the data HESA holds about you. You will have to pay a small fee for this. For further information about the HESA Staff Record please see or email

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