Reminder regarding the embargo – please read

Dear Colleague

Tomorrow, Friday 12 August you will be receiving results data under embargo.

Following three recent embargo breaches in relation to SQA results data, we would like to remind you of your obligations while under embargo conditions. Please remember that you are strictly prohibited from releasing results information and any related information during the embargo period, and to contact me immediately if you have or suspect a breach, even if you are still investigating.

The embargo period not only covers the disclosure of results information, but also an indication of an applicant’s final decision. The most common embargo breaches are automated systems and notifications regarding registration, accommodation, provision of reading materials, or offering alternative options.

I appreciate that you will have your own protocols and contingency plans in place, but we would be grateful if you could review these to ensure you have done everything possible to prevent a breach in your organisation.

In accordance with the terms of service, UCAS has agreed to share results under the conditions that you:

  1. use the results for the sole purpose of facilitating the Confirmation processes
  2. do not share the results either intentionally or inadvertently, nor respond to any communications from any third party, including the applicant or their advisers, or any journalist prior to publication day
  3. implement and maintain operational, organisational, and technical measures to safeguard against unauthorised access, loss, destruction, theft, or inadvertent disclosure of the results prior to publication day
  4. ensure the security in your IT solutions, and operating procedures implemented by you, are sufficiently robust to safeguard against the serious damage that may be suffered by an applicant and UCAS as a result of a disclosure breach

Guidance

  • Please remind all colleagues that your university or college must uphold the results embargo and they are aware of their responsibilities if they suspect a breach.
  • If you have, or suspect you have, breached the embargo agreement, please contact Francesca Fairhurst on 01905 855010 immediately, even if you are still carrying out investigations.
  • If you suspect or identify a breach, please include the following information:

o   the date and time you discovered the breach

o   the type of breach, including the systems involved

o   the number of applicants involved or affected

  • Privileged access to early results data is critical to your admissions process, and it is important we work together to minimise the risk of any breaches during the embargo period. Our aim is to support you in the best way possible during this crucial time. However, we reserve the right to withdraw access to results from any provider that breaches and/or fails to notify us of potential or actual breaches, with immediate effect.

Further guidance is available on the Awarding Body Linkage page on ucas.com, and in Appendix H of the UCAS Undergraduate Admissions Guide.

Timings  

For A level results, the embargo period starts at 14:00 on 12 August and ends at 06:00 on 18 August.          

We hope we can count on you and your teams to adhere to the embargo agreement and notification protocols.

If you have any questions about the embargo, please contact awardingbodylinkage@ucas.ac.uk.

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