Guidance and useful information

Latest access agreement guidance

The deadline to submit access agreements for 2017-18 has now passed. If you do not have an access agreement for 2017-18 and think you may need one, please contact us as soon as possible.

Every year, we issue guidance to help those writing access agreements:

You may also wish to download a sample resource plan template as a PDF document, and consult the other guidance listed below.

Latest monitoring guidance

Our latest monitoring guidance – which was produced jointly with the Higher Education Funding Council for England – set out the information we needed from institutions for the monitoring of access agreements, student opportunity allocation and end-of-year monitoring of the National Scholarship Programme for 2014-15.

The guidance is available here: How to complete your 2014-15 monitoring return (OFFA publication 2015/07, HEFCE publication 2015/31). Also available is a sample template for 2014-15 monitoring (PDF).

The outcomes of this monitoring are available on our Publications page.

We will publish guidance for the process of monitoring 2015-16 access agreements in Autumn 2016.

Topic briefings

In order to better support universities and colleges to make further and faster progress, we have launched a series of ‘topic briefings’. Each briefing in the series focuses on a different topic, bringing together evidence, good practice and resources to help universities and colleges develop smarter, more evidence-led policy and practice. The briefings give an overview of what we’re seeing in access agreements, provide examples of innovative and effective practice, and pose questions for universities and colleges to consider how best to make progress in their own context and circumstances. We add new briefings at regular intervals.

Click here for all published topic briefings

Other guidance

For general guidance and information to help you keep your access agreement up to date and in line with best practice, and answers to questions we are commonly asked by university and college practitioners, please click on the relevant topic in the list below.

You can also look at the archive of previous annual guidance and the archive of guidance notes we have issued on specific topics. However, please be aware that the guidance in these archives may have been superseded by later guidance.

If your query is not answered anywhere on these pages please contact us.


If your query is not answered on these pages please contact us.