Appeals Procedure 2023/24
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 2023/24 marking and appeals phase. You can get in touch on email@example.com if you believe your university has not received their link (It is sent to the key contact for sustainability at the university).
For full information about these criteria, see our Methodology pages
What is the process?
Each university contact will receive an email containing an access link. These are intended for staff within your university only. The link will allow university staff to access a web portal containing our provisional assessments and the evidence on which these have been based.
Staff at the university can then make an appeal through the web portal by writing their query in the appropriate appeals box. Appeals should be evidenced by publicly available information 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 by People & Planet 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 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, please see our guide to EMR data appeals below.
How to lodge an appeal
First open your provisional assessment using the access link emailed to you by People & Planet.
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, write it in the appeals box under the relevant question. It is important to:
Clearly label your appeals. Please begin each appeal with “Appeal X, Question Y” e.g. Appeal 1. Question 2) so it clear what your query refers to.
Provide any additional evidence required i.e. paste in the URL web-link to publicly available evidence.
Not overload documents. No more than 2 URLs should be provided per appeal
Estates Mangement Record (EMR) - appeals
For the sections on Energy Sources, Waste and Recycling, Carbon Reduction and Water Reduction, data are 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 in recent years have welcomed the increased level of integrity to which the dataset is produced.
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.
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 2023/24 People & Planet University League:
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and state the data value from the HESA record you believe to be incorrect.
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;
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.
The university must provide People & Planet with an explanation as to why the data submitted in the latest EMR was incorrect.
If the evidence is approved, the university will be charged an administrative fee of £250 to cover the cost of each amendment.