Academic Time Allocation Survey (TAS)
Exeter operates a web-based system (WebTAS) to capture academic staff time allocation survey (TAS) data; see information below and links referenced on the right.
However the university is currently implementing a process of using workload allocation data from the SWARM system in place of the WebTAS data in order to reduce the burden of administration on academic staff. This change has been successfully implemented for the majority of the university's colleges and the WebTAS completion requirements below no longer apply. However, academic staff time data, sourced from SWARM instead of WebTAS for TRAC as described in these webpages, remains relevant.
- The TAS process is an important, compulsory national requirement
- All academic staff complete it unless their role is teaching only or research only
- Data is confidential and is only used to produce aggregate data by discipline
- The aggregate data produced is used as a major input to the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) reporting to HEFCE and the UK Research Councils
- The aggregate data is used to allocate staff costs between Teaching, Research and Other activities in TRAC
- The allocated costs from TRAC are used by HEFCE and the UK and the UK Research Councils to inform funding decisions and to calculate the full economic cost (FEC) research charge-out rates used in the pricing of our research projects
- Therefore your TAS data directly affects income into your discipline and it is very important that you complete your TAS forms/sign-off in SWARM when requested.
The purpose of TRAC is to allocate all costs to Teaching, Research or Other activities. Within TRAC, the function of TAS is to allocate staff costs.
The system is fully electronic. For WebTAS, log in through the secure portal, fill in the boxes and click the 'Finish' button. For SWARM sign-off, log into SWARM, click on the TRAC tab and select 'Confirm' if you agree your data is reasonably representative of how your time has been allocated over the academic year, or 'Query' if you wish to make changes. If you need to fill in a TAS form, or sign-off in SWARM, you will automatically receive an email alert.
Staff with multiple positions
When you log into WebTAS, you will see a list of your different positions or jobs. You should fill in a TAS form for each one. Clicking on each position will link you to the relevant TAS form. If you have different types of position, then you may not be able to complete TAS forms for all of your jobs. The position will be greyed-out and not respond to being clicked on. If any of your positions are listed below you will not be expected to complete that position’s TAS form.
- Research Fellow (assumed to be 100% Research)
- Research Assistant (assumed to be 100% Research)
- Education & Scholarship (E & S) staff
Thus you are only required to complete TAS forms for Education and Research positions.
You should complete all of the positions that are “Self-complete”. These will let you click on them and take you to the TAS form. You will receive an email reminder if you do not complete all your “self-completion” positions.
Normally, the time allocation for each post will be different. However, sometimes staff work in positions that are very similar; if you are unable to make any meaningful split of your overall time, you may use the same allocations for each position.
Note that multiple positions do not present the same issues for SWARM, as the single-click sign-off covers all activities for which workload hours are allocated.