Louise Woods is HR Officer at St Helens College, Liverpool.  Louise has used the previous Staff Individualised Record (SIR) system for several years, so can comment first hand on the difference in this year’s SIR Data Insights service.  The new service has been developed from scratch by the Education and Training Foundation as a workforce analysis tool for the FE sector, to support workforce planning and reporting. 

Louise comments: “It’s been a lot easier doing our workforce data submission this time.  We didn’t need to use the Help Desk, the SIR Data Insights service was self-explanatory.”

The College uses the Northgate HR system and was able to run a number of reports to help with the SIR submission.  Initial submissions revealed errors in the HR data, as Louise explains:

“We made three submissions.  We had a number of errors, most of which we fixed in the HR system, but we did the final small amends in the SIR system itself.

Overall, the feel of the SIR service was much better, it was easier to upload data and see where the errors were.

It was great to see the data graphs come up.  The way the management dashboards appear straight away is really good.  We are planning to study the management dashboards with our HR Director in mid-November, once the benchmark data has been published.”

St Helens has always tried to benchmark data against other colleges, but in the past has had to try and find data from other providers to do comparisons.  Going forward, the College is committed to capturing accurate data for the new SIR service. Louise sees the key as forward planning:

“Keeping qualification data up-to-date rather than just capturing it once will be a challenge, but going forward we intend to put systems in place to capture and check data month by month.  Planning is the key, it’s the hardest thing to do.  I would advise anyone who is thinking of using the SIR Data Insights service that all they need to do is think it through carefully to make the job as easy as possible.  There are likely to be a lot of reports in your HR system that can help, as we found.” 

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