Guidance and useful information
Latest monitoring guidance
Our latest monitoring guidance – which is produced jointly with the Higher Education Funding Council for England – sets out the information we need 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). The deadline to submit your monitoring return is noon on Wednesday 20 January 2016.
You may also wish to download a sample template for 2014-15 monitoring as a PDF document.
Latest access agreement guidance
Each year, we publish detailed guidance on writing your access agreement. The latest guidance was published in February 2015 and is available here:
How to produce an access agreement for 2016-17 (OFFA publication 2015/01) – Guidance for universities and colleges that wish to charge above the basic tuition fee in 2016-17.
You may also wish to consult:
- answers to queries from institutions about drawing up 2016-17 access agreements
- presentation slides from the conference “Developing your 2016-17 access agreement” held on 24 February 2015
- the other guidance listed below.
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 However, please be aware that the guidance in these archives may have been superseded by later guidance.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.
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 will focus 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. Our first briefing, on mature learners, was published in June 2015. We will update our topic briefings page whenever new briefings are available.
- Accelerated provision (two-year degrees)
- Care leavers/looked after children
- Contextual information
- Continuing students
- Deferred entry
- Equality and diversity in access agreements
- Evaluating your access activities and expenditure
- Fee and bursary limits (including exceptions) and state support thresholds
- Financial predictions: how to make them
- Financial support
- Flexible provision
- Franchise/validation changes
- Freedom of Information requests: guidance for institutions
- Increasing financial support/fee discounts during the application cycle
- Information for students: providing it
- In-kind support
- Medical schools – information and guidance on improving access and support for medical students
- Minimum bursary
- Mistakes in your access agreement: how to correct them
- National Scholarship Programme
- NHS-funded courses
- Old-system students
- Outreach work
- Part-time students
- Paying financial support
- Private institutions
- Publishing your access agreement
- Revising or changing your access agreement
- Revising or changing fees/discounts/financial support during the application cycle
- Retention and student success
- Social work students
- Students domiciled outside England
- Students on social security benefits
- Students who defer entry
- Students who owe debt to the institution
- Targeting outreach work
- Teacher training
- Whole institution approach
- Writing your access agreement
If your query is not answered on these pages please contact us.