Appeals Procedure 2019

Since 2011, the People & Planet University League has included an appeals process. This allows institutions to see how they have been marked and appeal any perceived inaccuracies before the final results are published in the national press and on our website.

It provides both People & Planet and UK universities with an opportunity to improve the rigor and transparency of the rankings.

People & Planet will provide every university with a unique link to their provisional scorecard - these links will remain the same over the course of the 2018/19 marking and appeals phase. You can get in touch on universityleague[at]peopleandplanet.org if you believe your university has not received their link (It is sent to the key contact for sustainability at the university).

 

The 2019 Appeals Phase timetable

 

February 2019

  • Section 9 – Education for Sustainable Development
  • Section 3 - Environmental management and audits
  • Section 1 – Environmental Policy and Strategy
  • Section 7 – Sustainable Food
  • Section 2 – Human Resources for sustainability
  • Section 8 – Student and staff engagement

March - April 2019

  • Section 6 – Workers Rights
  • Section 4 – Ethical Investment and Banking
  • Section 5 - Carbon Management
 

For full information about these criteria, see our Methodology pages

What is the process?

Each university will receive an email (sent to key contacts 1 & 2) containing a unique web-link. This web-link is intended for staff within your university only. The link will allow university staff to access a web portal containing a Provisional Scorecard and show how your university has been scored.

55% or more of the scoring comes from the HESA EMR data and other external verification agencies. The remaining scores are assessed on evidence found by researchers who review the university website and other publicly available and accessible information.

Staff at the university can then lodge an appeal through the web portal by writing their query in the appeals box at the end of each section of the criteria. Appeals should be evidenced by publicly available info only, i.e. URL web-links may be provided but there is no facility for uploading documents and evidence sent by email to People & Planet staff cannot be accepted.

All appeal decisions made will be final.

What can be appealed?

Appeals will only be accepted in cases:

  • where institutions note a human or technical error in the marking e.g. miscalculation or typo
  • where institutions believe People & Planet incorrectly assessed the original research
  • there are extenuating circumstances which prevented People & Planet from accurately assessing any publicly available evidence e.g. technical problem with HESA EMR submission or technical issue with the university website.

The provisional scorecard will not reveal an institution’s total score or their ranking in the final People & Planet University League.

For appeals relating to the EMR data used to calculate the performance sections of the methodology no’s. 10-13- please see our guide to EMR data appeals below.

Can’t wait to find out where your university is ranked in the 2019 table? People & Planet provide advanced notice of final scores and rankings as part of our packages

How to lodge an appeal..

First open your provisional scorecard using the link emailed to you by People & Planet, and log in. (you may need to log in each time you access the provisional scorecard by entering your name etc to log in).

To see the scores awarded for each question, click ‘view’ for each section. The questions, the scores, any additional evidence (e.g. links to web-pages or stats from external agencies) and any comments we have made will be available to read.

If you wish to make an appeal, click ‘back’ and select ‘edit answers’. Follow these instructions and remember to press save;

  • select from the drop-down box whether you wish to make an appeal for this section or not
  • provide details of the appeals you wish to make. Please begin each appeal with “Appeal X, Question Y” e.g. Appeal 1. Question 2) so it clear what your query refers to.
  • add any additional evidence required i.e. paste in the URL web-link to publicly available evidence.

 

 

Estates Mangement Record (EMR) - appeals

For sections 10-13 of the criteria, data is drawn from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) published subset of the Estates Management Record (EMR)

We rely on the external collection, verification and validated procedures that HESA operate to produce these figures and of recent years have welcomed the increased level of integrity to which the dataset is produced.

Where does the EMR data come from?

Data contained in the EMR is provided by the university. For universities in England, the EMR data collection process is required, although some data fields are not mandatory. In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the requirement to provide data does not apply, and universities in those countries provide data on a voluntary basis. It is the responsibility of the university to ensure that the data entered is present and correct. The final data return will be authorised by the Vice Chancellor or Principal of the university.

Better analysis of data

After consultation with representatives from some universities, it was agreed that providing an opportunity for universities to review the EMR data that was to be used in the performance metrics would be an invaluable addition to the People & Planet University League process.

For full details on what EMR data has been used and how, please see the methodology, sections 10-13.

Please note: Scores will not have been allocated as they rely on the full return from the sector. However, you can see the data on which scores will be based through your provisional scorecard.

This is a chance for the university to tell us:

  • anything that might be helpful in understanding extreme or error data. e.g. We may be able to include an explanatory note on the final public scorecard on our website as to why the figures are the way they are

  • or you might spot an error in our calculations that can be fixed pre-publication

  • or you might draw our attention to an incorrect interpretation of the data (assumptions have had to be made in several cases where collection guidance is not explicit.

How to lodge an EMR appeal

HESA use a formal procedure through which universities are able to make changes to data held on their records. Fees of £1000 can be charged for making these amendments. Once a dataset has been published formal changes can no longer be made through HESA and the EMR is not currently set up with an amendment system.

People & Planet have therefore adopted the following procedure to provide an opportunity for universities to appeal and amend EMR data used in the 2016 People & Planet University League;

Step 1

The university should make an appeal through their provisional scorecard.

Step 2

  • The university must provide People & Planet with a publicly available and university authorised document which evidences the accurate information on which the amendment should be made;

OR

  • The university must provide People & Planet with a statement containing the accurate information on which the amendment should be made, signed off by a member of the senior management team.

AND

  • The university must provide People & Planet with an explanation as to why the data submitted in the latest EMR was incorrect.

Step 3

If the evidence is approved, the university will be charged an administrative fee of £250 to cover the cost of each amendment.

Universities should send appeals to universityleague@peopleandplanet.org and request an invoice.