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Outcome Agreement Guidance 2022-23 FAQs

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These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) support colleges and universities in delivering their Outcome Agreements in Academic Year (AY) 2022-23.

Is SFC expecting further Ministerial guidance to be issued in the autumn and are you aware of any new or emerging Scottish Government priorities?

We are working closely with Scottish Government colleagues on the Spending Review. We hope to have more clarity on how this will flow into budgets in the lead up to Christmas and acknowledge your desire to receive information as early as possible. Until then we will continue with our processes, i.e. provide indicative funding, and keep you updated.

What do we expect the Outcome Agreement to look like going forward as we move beyond the emergency phase? This guidance is for what is being referred to as a transitional year. What can we expect the requirements for accountability and assurance of funding and funded places to look like next year?

The Assurance and Outcomes Team is currently working through what assurances SFC will require in the future. It will meet with each institution to find out about its processes and to establish what would work well to serve our purposes. The intention is to right-size the requirement and to avoid duplication and over-burdening institutions with multiple requests for the same information.

How flexible can you be with submission deadlines?

We would like to be pragmatic and flexible about deadlines for submission. We ask that institutions keep their Outcome Managers (OM) informed and provide them with early sight of drafts.

I noted that our Outcome Manager will issue a bespoke national measures table.  Is it possible to provide an indication of when we might receive this?

We will provide updated bespoke measures tables to institutions by the end of October 2022.

What additional/updated data should we expect to receive from you following the submission of our Outcome Agreements in December?

We expect to be able to refresh the measures tables with updated data we receive between
January–March 2023. Outcome Managers will provide institutions with updated tables late March/early April 2023.

Can SFC confirm if they are referring to University Court (highest governing body) or equivalent when noting the submissions must be signed-off by ‘Board/Senior Executive Group or similar’ by
5 December 2022

Yes, the University Court is being referred to. If there are issues with regards to not meeting submission deadlines, please liaise with your Outcome Manager in the first instance.

When does SFC expect to begin consultation with institutions on the new Outcome Agreement process?

We expect to consult on the new assurance and accountability framework in the summer of 2023. However, we will be working with institutions in the months prior to that in developing the framework (a) to understand what assurance they themselves have over the use of public funds and delivery of outcomes and (b) to ensure that we can place reliance on their internal processes where appropriate.

Is there an update on Young Person’s Guarantee (YPG) or Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) allocations for 2022-23?

As part of the Scottish Government’s emergency budget review, the Deputy First Minister announced on
7 September 2022 that SFC will be expected to make savings of £20m. Whilst we work through the implications of this request with the Scottish Government and our stakeholders we are not in a position to finalise allocations for YPG and FWDF at this time. We hope to have further information by the end of October 2022.

Can we explore the submission (and volume) of the research case studies a bit more? It was mentioned that the number of case studies we provide will be proportionate to our Research Excellence Grant (REG) allocations, so it would be helpful to understand SFC’s expectations early on.

The number of case studies required from your institution will be confirmed with you shortly by your Outcome Manager. Two will be required with the Outcome Agreement, in line with the published timetable; the rest (if applicable) will be required by the end of March 2023.

What is your expectation around the JISC Elevation tool? (Self-evaluation report guidance)

Reporting on this would provide the Learning and Quality team with information on the use of digital in institutions. We appreciate that institutions will work with key themes and not necessarily address all actions generated.

What is the expectation on Equalities reporting (given we are already providing statutory reporting?

Duplication of reporting should be avoided and cross reference to other publicly available documents is encouraged where this reduces duplication.

For Outcome Agreement reporting, we are interested in institutions’ analysis of any variance in their Protected Characteristic’s data and or in outcomes by groups.

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

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