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The heart of the HEAT Service is a secure online system that can be used to record participant details and their involvement in widening participation (WP) activities. This data capture underpins the monitoring, tracking, evaluation and evidence of WP activities carried out by our member organisations.


The system is a shared, central, online repository and reporting tool that has been developed collaboratively with members to provide a web-based data-capture facilty that tracks student engagement in outreach activities delivered by each member organisation. The system helps users to plan and monitor WP events as well as capture individual information for the creation of student participation datasets. It also allows its members to target individuals and/or institutions, monitor outreach programmes, capture cohort information and produce evaluative questionnaires. By monitoring the complete student life-cycle (often referred to as longitudinal tracking) it provides participating organisations with an unsurpassed ability to evaluate and evidence their own WP activities as well as accessing aggregate data generated from over 100 Higher Education Institutions, Uni Connect consortia and charities.

In addition to the key functions of storing and linking a vast number of fields relating to Students, Institutions and Activities, the HEAT system also integrates many online productivity tools and various value-added functions.

At its core, the Database focuses on 3 types of records:

  • Institutions – Schools, Colleges, Community Groups, Virtual Schools and Universities
  • Activities – Taster DAys, Masterclasses, Mentoring, Assemblies and Residentials
  • Students – First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, Postcode and education history

For each member organisation, there is no cap imposed on the number of users that can be registered to access the database, nor how many users can be logged in simultaneously.

Application Programming Interface (API)

HEAT’s API allows members to synchronise and share data between the HEAT database and their own records systems, reducing duplication of effort and expanding the possible uses of their HEAT data.

Evaluation Tool

This tool enables members to create evaluation plans integrated into the system. Aims, targets and methodologies can be recorded and seamlessly evaluated against data held on the HEAT system.

File Store

This integrated repository within the system provides a safe and convenient way of sharing files amongst our members. Additional security allows distribution to be limited to specific member types, organisations and/or roles. This tool can be used to distribute files from the HEAT Service as well as allowing members share their own resources.

Event Programme

The Event Programme can be used to invite teachers and students to sign up for an activity, issue electronic invitations, receive online acceptances and capture detailed, high quality, data.

Postcode Profiler Tool

A feature that can be used by participating institutions or local authorities to profile students by their postcode. Output tables provide a range of indicators for each postcode, including: Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD); POLAR measure of young participation in higher education; Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI); and more.

Retention Tool

Helps members to identify Student records that require deletion from the system. This tool implements the criteria in the HEAT Retention Policy in order to assist members to remain GDPR compliant.

Student Ambassador Programme

The Student Ambassador Programme is an online system integrated within the HEAT system to facilitate the recruitment and management of Student Ambassadors. The system includes a portal through which ambassadors can view and apply to work opportunities. The feature also permits the use of Timesheets, Expenses and Contracts.

Student Duplicate Clean Tool

Helps members to identify duplicate Student records quickly and easily. By combining high levels of automation with manual final-verification control, this tool greatly eases the burden of the often difficult – yet essential – task of maintaining the integrity of member data.

Student Profiler Tool

This allows members to see whether a student has participated in outreach conducted by other HEAT members (data are restricted to minimal detail).

Survey Tool

An integrated questionnaire facility, allowing members to design and deliver electronic surveys that can be linked to participant and activity data for evaluation purposes.