Higher Education Achievement Report FAQs

Find out all the answers to your questions about your HEAR

If you have a question which is not answered below, please get in touch with us via email at hear@plymouth.ac.uk.

What is the HEAR?

The HEAR is a national initiative which provides a new way of recording your achievement in Higher Education (HE). It is intended to provide more detailed information about your learning and achievement than just the traditional degree classification system. This is intended to be useful to you in applying for employment or future study.

You will be issued with your final HEAR from the moment that you receive an email from Gradintelligence. Your formative (developmental and incomplete) HEAR will continue to grow and further achievements will be added throughout your studies as you complete more and more activities.

After completion of your studies you will be issued with your summative HEAR (finalised and complete) and confirmation of your award. It will include and extend the existing record of academic achievement; the academic transcript, and the European Diploma Supplement. This information follows the same documentation you might expect for students graduating from any university in Europe.

The HEAR will contain academic achievement information and some additional information relating to any extra-curricular activities which are formally recognised by Plymouth University for example, The Plymouth Award, being a Student Ambassador, or joining up to the Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS).

View a description of what appears in each section of the HEAR.

View an example of a mock HEAR report.

What is the difference between a HEAR and a transcript or CV?

The HEAR differs from a transcript in that it provides a fuller picture of your achievements whilst at University, including more detailed information about your course and University-verified extra-curricular activities that you have completed. The HEAR is not a replacement for your CV but is a factual record of your academic achievements and any additional activities carried out during your course. CVs give you the opportunity to reflect on your achievements and also to add in other information that is not verified by the University, such as work experience and part-time jobs.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge to use or to access your HEAR.

When did the HEAR initiative start at University of Plymouth?

A summative (final and complete) HEAR was launched at University of Plymouth for final year undergraduates in July 2015. The following year it was extended to include taught postgraduates and also to enable access to an ‘in-progress’ (formative) version throughout the duration of each course.

Does everyone get a HEAR?

HEARs are available to students studying on most undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses at Plymouth. We have also launched the HEAR for students studying University of Plymouth courses at most partner colleges (with the exception of GSM London). Please note that postgraduate research students and some students on short courses are not eligible for a HEAR.

Are there any differences between an undergraduate and a postgraduate taught HEAR?

There is no difference between the format of an undergraduate HEAR and a postgraduate one. Each will contain the course details, the academic achievement obtained in all modules and any extra-curricular activities that are eligible. Consequently, there is no need to differentiate between a UGT and a PGT HEAR.

What is in my HEAR?

The HEAR is made up of eight sections:

1) Information identifying the holder of the qualification.

2) Information identifying the qualification.

3) Information on the level of the qualification.

4) Information on the contents and results gained. 

5) Information on the function of the qualification.

6) Additional information (including awards, prizes and achievements made in conjunction with the Students’ Union).

7) Certification of the HEAR - this section confirms that your HEAR has been certified by the University.

8) Information on the National Higher Education System.

View a description of each section of the HEAR (including a list of all the extra-curricular activities which are currently shown on the HEAR). 

How much detail will the HEAR include?

The HEAR has to follow to a national template and it will provide a broader range of information than the existing academic transcript and will incorporate the European Diploma Supplement. The document is owned by the University and all information included, is formally verified.

The HEAR is delivered in an electronic format to allow you to easily share it. To share your HEAR with a potential employer (or anyone else whom you want) follow the instructions in this simple guide (PDF). Please note that a HEAR is only considered to be a verified and trusted version when it is in an electronic format. Therefore, HEARs are not able to be printed.

How does the HEAR relate to my CV and the University reference?

The HEAR is produced by the University and is not a replacement for your award certificate, it is a supplement to the certificate.

The HEAR cannot replace a CV, an application form or a letter of application.

The HEAR, your CV and University reference are complementary documents that will provide potential employers with a fuller picture of your skills, knowledge and personal attributes. 

What achievements will be recorded on my HEAR?

Section 6.1 of the HEAR is where your extra-curricular achievements are recorded (see the HEAR overview page for a summary of the different sections). For an activity to appear in section 6.1 of the HEAR it needs to adhere to the following policy: Protocol for Recognising PU HEAR Section 6 Achievements.

The list of achievements which appear in this section is continually being added to as more become validated by the University. However, please ensure any other relevant achievements are still recorded on your CV.

Also, visit the Plymouth Extra page to search a catalogue of extra-curricular activities which can enhance your graduate attributes. Many (although not all) extra-curricular activities are eligible for recording on the HEAR. For example, there needs to be a minimum of eight hours ‘activity’ and it needs to be formally monitored/recorded. The list of activities that are eligible is growing and at the moment we have approximately 200. Students can search for extra-curricular activities via the Plymouth Extra which also indicates if the activity is eligible to be recorded on their HEAR.

Can I have my achievements from other institutions included on my HEAR?

A Plymouth HEAR is only issued for studies and activities undertaken at University of Plymouth. Consequently, if a you have started/completed a course at another institution and then transferred to University of Plymouth, you will only have the results and activities achieved whilst at University of Plymouth appear on your HEAR.

Please ensure any other relevant achievements are still recorded on your CV.

What information from the Students’ Union appears on the HEAR?

Data is loaded periodically from the Students’ Union systems, so please be aware that recent activities may not appear on your HEAR straight away.

The current activities that the Students’ Union provides the data for are:

  • clubs and societies committee members
  • clubs and societies awards
  • student voice roles and awards (including course reps)
  • volunteering roles and awards.

Please note that data uploaded from the Students’ Union only began in May 2016. Therefore, we’re sorry that we’re not able to show any activities or awards from the Students’ Union from before this time on your HEAR but you can still include them on your CV.

How do I access my HEAR?

Your HEAR is delivered via a secure web portal called Gradintelligence. The Gradintelligence service allows you to share your HEAR with others such as potential employers or other universities or friends and family. You will receive full instructions about how to activate your account via Gradintelligence so that you can access confirmed achievements released at any time during your studies at University and after graduating.

Please note: your HEAR logins are separate to your normal University logins. When you first activate your HEAR account you will be asked to set your username and password. It is these login details that you then use to access your HEAR thereafter.

Gradintelligence activation account guidelines

  • If you no longer have access to your University of Plymouth email account and you have not yet activated your Gradintelligence account to access your HEAR please contact hear@plymouth.ac.uk.
  • If you still have access to your University of Plymouth email account you should have received an email from Gradintelligence to activate your Gradintelligence account, please use the link within the email to activate your account. However, if you have deleted the email or the activation link has expired then please email hear@plymouth.ac.uk from your University of Plymouth email account for a new activation link to be sent. 
  • If you have previously activated your Gradintelligence account and forgotten your user-id or password please contact customerservices@gradintel.com. Make sure you also include your full name, university email address and student number.
  • If you have previously activated your Gradintelligence account but no longer have access to your University of Plymouth email, then log into the Gradintelligence website using your existing logins and update your email address in the ‘User Settings’ section. If you have any problems in doing this then please contact customerservices@gradintel.com. Make sure you also include your full name, university email address and student number.

If you know your Gradintelligence username and password you can access your HEAR at www.gradintel.com.

Who do I contact if I am having problems accessing my HEAR?

If you have any problems accessing your HEAR you can email Gradintelligence at customerservices@gradintel.com or complete their 'get in touch' form and they will respond to your query within eight business hours. 

Make sure you provide as much detail as you can about your query so they can deliver the appropriate assistance; in particular your full name, university email address and student number.

When will I receive my HEAR? 

You can access your HEAR as soon as you receive an email link from Gradintelligence asking you to activate it. When you first access your HEAR you can see it is in progress, with further information being continually added to it as and when they are achieved. After completion of your studies and confirmation of your award, you will then be able to access your finalised HEAR via the same link, The HEAR is a formal record of your academic achievement and any other extra-curricular activities that are recognised by University of Plymouth.

Do I have control over who can see my HEAR?

Your HEAR is a digitally signed document which you can share with employers, employment agencies or other universities by logging into Gradintelligence. Only you will be able to see your HEAR initially. When logged into Gradintelligence you will be able to share your HEAR with whoever you choose by sending them an electronic token which enables them to view your HEAR. When creating this token you can choose how long it is valid for and/or how many times it can be used.

How do I share my HEAR with potential employers?

One of the main benefits of the HEAR is that you can send links to it via email to anyone that you want. You can dictate how long and for how many views you want the link to be active for, so you are always in control of your information.

To share your HEAR with a potential employer (or anyone else whom you want) follow the instructions in this simple guide (PDF).

What is ‘opportunity matching’?

Gradintelligence offer a service in which they connect you with the opportunities that are best suited and interesting to you. You can control what graduate opportunities you are targeted for by selecting what type of opportunities you're looking for, the location, duration, salary and more. If there are suitable matches then rather than your details being passed to employers, these opportunities will be presented to you within the HEAR system giving you the chance to apply for them.

How do I exclude information from my HEAR?

Most of the information on the HEAR is nationally defined and cannot be changed.

However, extra-curricular achievements (section 6.1) which have been provided by the Students’ Union system can be blocked from appearing on your HEAR. To do this please log into the UPSU website (www.upsu.com/hear) and choose to decline your UPSU-related activities appearing on your HEAR if you wish. Please note that if your UPSU-related activity is already showing on your HEAR then you will need to also call the service desk for them to remove it.

What if I don't have anything additional to put on my HEAR?

We recognise that some students will not have anything additional to put in section 6.1 of their HEAR for a range of reasons. However, it is in your interests to make sure that your HEAR is a good showcase for your ability and experience. The HEAR will be University verified and as such, it is potentially more powerful than a CV.

Your HEAR is an open record of your achievements, giving you the opportunity to update your HEAR as and when you achieve something, right up until you graduate.

To find out about potential skills gaps and how to fill them, you can talk to a range of people in the University, such as your personal academic tutor, other people in your school, as well as our Employability Service. Also, visit the Plymouth Extra page to search a catalogue of extra-curricular activities which can enhance your graduate attributes. Many of the activities listed will, once completed and verified, be included in section 6 of your HEAR.

Can I print my HEAR?

No. The Gradintelligence portal allows you to access your HEAR and create digital tokens to be shared with potential employers so they can view it. However, a HEAR is only considered to be a verified and trusted version when it is in an electronic format. Therefore, HEARs are not able to be printed.

What happens to my HEAR when I leave University of Plymouth?

Once you have registered with Gradintelligence, you can continue to access the final version of your HEAR through their website after you have finished your studies with University of Plymouth. You can update your email in the ‘User Settings’ section of the Gradintelligence system if you no longer have access to your University of Plymouth email account.

Who should I contact if the information on my HEAR is not correct?

If you believe that the information on your HEAR is not correct please email hear@plymouth.ac.uk.

What if I have a complaint about the HEAR?

If you have any questions, comments or complaints about the HEAR then please contact us in the first instance at hear@plymouth.ac.uk. We will do everything we can to deal with your concerns.

However, if you still have a complaint after giving the HEAR team sufficient opportunity to deal with it then please follow the University’s complaints procedure.

Where can I find out more about the HEAR?

There is a website: www.hear.ac.uk created by the cross-sector HEAR project Steering Group and a video introduction to the HEAR.

Information for staff

The HEAR service is currently run by members of various faculties and departments. However, all general queries can be sent to hear@plymouth.ac.uk.

To suggest an activity for appearing on the HEAR, firstly ensure that it adheres to the following policy: Protocol for Recognising PU HEAR Section 6 Achievements. If it meets the criteria, then email information about the activity (including an identified key lead) to plymouth-extra@plymouth.ac.uk. Proposals will be appraised for their suitability in terms of adding to the HEAR and the Plymouth Extra On-line Catalogue.

The full process to follow can be found in the following document: Process and Guidance for Expanding HEAR section 6.