SkillsForge

Postgraduate Researcher Student Journey

Postgraduate Researcher Student Journey is a software as a service provided to research based universities. The solution supports the entire post graduate reseacher student journey (for Graduate Schools/Doctoral Colleges/Academies) from Admissions to Examinations, using workflows, form templates, notifications, deadline tracking and chasing, dashboard reporting and data and authentication integration.

Features

  • Highly configurable to enable precise fit to the institution
  • Accessed via any modern browser
  • Automated form workflows
  • Custom form templates
  • Notifications engine
  • Role based access control
  • GDPR and Accessibility standards compliant
  • User dashboards
  • Business intelligence reporting
  • Integration with other university systems (data, authentication, etc)

Benefits

  • Automated workflows driving huge efficiency and effectiveness savings
  • Custom workflows and forms to optimise university processes
  • Integration with other systems driving single version of the truth
  • Users fully informed across the student journey tailored to role
  • Vastly improved oversight reporting generating new insights
  • Ensures compliance with internal and external regulations and policies
  • Significantly increased user engagement with university systems
  • Business continuity improvement through SaaS delivery model

Pricing

£84,000 a unit

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at gary.fawcett@skillsforge.co.uk. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.

Framework

G-Cloud 12

Service ID

7 8 1 8 5 0 6 8 0 1 8 7 0 5 2

Contact

SkillsForge SkillsForge Ltd
Telephone: 01904 390800
Email: gary.fawcett@skillsforge.co.uk

Service scope

Software add-on or extension
No
Cloud deployment model
Public cloud
Service constraints
None.
System requirements
A modern browser on any device that supports that browser

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
Within business hours (8.30amam to 5.30pm Monday to Friday but not including Bank Holidays) within 1 hour
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
No
Phone support
Yes
Phone support availability
9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support
No
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
The support levels are included in the overall pricing and not charged out as a separate item. A technical account manager is assigned to each account. We provide 2nd and 3rd line technical support only, with 1st line support being carried out by the customer. Support is split into 3 categories as follows:

Priority 1 incidents (defined as major loss of functionality impacting on business operation)
1) Service desk response within 15 minutes (as specified in service desk response)
2) Detailed response within 1hr of call being logged with details of outage and estimated resolution time, resolution within 4 hours.
3) Updates on progress at least every 30 minutes

Priority 2 incidents (service not fully available, major functionality restrictions or performance degradation affecting the buyer’s operations or key users)
1) Service desk response within 15 minutes (as specified in service desk response) 2) Detailed response within 4 hours, resolution by end of next working day

Priority 3 incidents (Non-minor functional restriction or performance degradation but with effective workarounds)
1) Service desk response within 15 minutes (as specified in service desk response) 2) Detailed response within 1 working day, resolution at the next scheduled upgrade
Support available to third parties
Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
The SkillsForge team will engage with the client university with a wraparound implementation service that includes:
- Project management
- Business analysis
- Configuration
- Data Integration
- Data Migration
- Training
- Account Management
Once implemented, SkillsForge offers the following training services to our clients:
- Train the Trainer for the trainer to deliver end user training
- Super User Admin in order that administrators with the appropriate RBAC can interact with the administration interface
- IT Support training
- Business Intelligence Reporting training for Report Creators and Report Consumers.
We offer face to face training either onsite or at our premises, online training and work with our clients to edit the standard user documentation to fit their particular configuration.
Service documentation
Yes
Documentation formats
  • HTML
  • PDF
End-of-contract data extraction
A full copy of client data on request will be provided. The standard format is in SQL statements for importing into a relational database, however, SkillsForge supports many other common machine readable options. Copies of all files uploaded into SkillsForge are also provided.
End-of-contract process
Offboarding support is provided as standard to our clients as follows: - We will provide all reasonable assistance to our client to facilitate orderly transfer to a successor - We will answer promptly and fully all reasonable questions from the client about the solution we provide for the purpose of adequately understanding how the solution has been provided - A full copy of client data on request will be provided. The standard format is in SQL statements for importing into a relational database, however, SkillsForge supports many other common machine readable options. - If an extension of our service provision is required past the contract termination date we will provide our service for up to two months on the same contract payment terms

Using the service

Web browser interface
Yes
Supported browsers
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari 9+
  • Opera
Application to install
No
Designed for use on mobile devices
Yes
Differences between the mobile and desktop service
None. Our solution is responsive for different devices.
Service interface
Yes
Description of service interface
The service interface is Zendesk, an industry standard solution, and each client university is provided their own dedicated web access to this.
Accessibility standards
WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549
Accessibility testing
N/A.
API
Yes
What users can and can't do using the API
The SkillsForge team works with the client university to ensure integration between the SkillsForge SaaS solution and the other university systems through a number of integration approaches including
• SkillsForge REST APIs
• Data push/pull driven by SkillsForge, usually to call external APIs on a customer’s server
• Secure Atom feeds for pulling incremental data updates off SkillsForge servers
API documentation
Yes
API documentation formats
  • HTML
  • PDF
API sandbox or test environment
Yes
Customisation available
Yes
Description of customisation
The automated form workflows, form templates, notifications, roles based access control, data integration with other university systems, navigation, menus, etc, are all configurable. The SkillsForge team will work directly with the client to agree their requirements, the respective priorities of the requirements, and then configure the system to meet those requirements.

Scaling

Independence of resources
Our solution is hosted at Amazon Web Services and is built to be technically infinitely scalable through strategies such as auto scaling.

Analytics

Service usage metrics
Yes
Metrics types
As part of each installation each client is provided with world class business intelligence reporting solution licenses. A library of over 100 standard report templates which cover all aspects of usage, e.g. log ons, pages visits, take up per faculty, etc, is provided as well as the client being able to produce their own bespoke reports with the business intelligence tool.
SkillsForge also provides a range of metrics including system uptime %, response times against the service level agreement and system latency measures. Our standard service level agreement is detailed in our enclosed service definition document.
Reporting types
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Regular reports
  • Reports on request

Resellers

Supplier type
Not a reseller

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Other security clearance
Government security clearance
Up to Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)

Asset protection

Knowledge of data storage and processing locations
Yes
Data storage and processing locations
United Kingdom
User control over data storage and processing locations
No
Datacentre security standards
Complies with a recognised standard (for example CSA CCM version 3.0)
Penetration testing frequency
At least every 6 months
Penetration testing approach
‘IT Health Check’ performed by a Tigerscheme qualified provider or a CREST-approved service provider
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with CSA CCM v3.0
  • Physical access control, complying with SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
  • Physical access control, complying with another standard
  • Encryption of all physical media
  • Scale, obfuscating techniques, or data storage sharding
Data sanitisation process
Yes
Data sanitisation type
  • Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
  • Deleted data can’t be directly accessed
Equipment disposal approach
Complying with a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v.30, CAS (Sanitisation) or ISO/IEC 27001

Data importing and exporting

Data export approach
The data can be provided in multiple formats and mediums as agreed with the client and is not limited to the selections below.
Data export formats
  • CSV
  • ODF
Data import formats
  • CSV
  • ODF

Data-in-transit protection

Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
TLS (version 1.2 or above)
Data protection within supplier network
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
We will guarantee a 99.9% system availability.
Approach to resilience
The solution is hosted at Amazon Web Services London in highly available fully redundant ISO27001 accredited data centres.
Outage reporting
SkillsForge uses email alerts to report any outages although clients are welcome to install their own monitoring software if required.

Identity and authentication

User authentication needed
Yes
User authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Dedicated link (for example VPN)
  • Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
SkillsForge enforces the principal of least privilege with users only being given access based on their roles based access control setting or through Identify and Access Management in Amazon Web Services. All users begin with no privileges and are granted privileges at the lowest feasible level. Once the user doesn't require access to certain system resources the access is immediately revoked.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least every 6 months
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Username or password

Audit information for users

Access to user activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long user audit data is stored for
Between 6 months and 12 months
Access to supplier activity audit information
Users contact the support team to get audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for
Between 6 months and 12 months
How long system logs are stored for
Between 6 months and 12 months

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
Yes
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001
BSI
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
30/09/2020
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
N/A
ISO 28000:2007 certification
No
CSA STAR certification
No
PCI certification
No
Other security certifications
Yes
Any other security certifications
Cyber Essentials Plus

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Yes
Security governance certified
Yes
Security governance standards
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • Other
Other security governance standards
Security governance approach ISO/IEC 27001 certified, Cyberessentials certified and working towards ISO9001 certification by end 2020
Information security policies and processes ISO/IEC 27001 certified, Cyberessentials certified and working towards ISO9001 by end 2020
Information security policies and processes
Our Information Security Management System (ISMS) complies with ISO27001 and we are undertaking a process to become certified to ISO27001. All of our associated policies hang off our ISMS. Our Chief Technology Officer has ultimate responsibility to the Board for information security and our Senior Security Specialist is responsible for actioning against our information security requirements and policies.

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Supplier-defined controls
Configuration and change management approach
SkillsForge releases are versioned. Each upgrade is normally a full production release but change logs and preview installations are made available to clients prior to rollout and beta testing of new features is offered to all clients. Server patching is normally completed on a pre-agreed monthly schedule. However, important or security-sensitive patches are assessed daily and expedited if necessary, with discussion with our clients. The SkillsForge team is responsible for the execution of all upgrades in line with the plans agreed with our clients. We use a major.minor.patch version numbering scheme.
Vulnerability management type
Supplier-defined controls
Vulnerability management approach
SkillsForge practices an Information Security Management System which is certified to ISO27001. As part of this system, potential threats are identified (through a variety of strategies) and risk assessed. Threats are prioritised for treatment from the most to least critical. Mitigation actions are identified, based on these priorities, and implemented. Patches can be expedited as required based on urgency and potential severity. Clients are informed at all stages. We assess every day any new publicly known vulnerabilities which represents only one, of many, threat identification strategies that we employ, e.g. near misses, incidents, regular vulnerability assessments, audit, risk review, etc
Protective monitoring type
Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach
SkillsForge practices an Information Security Management System which is certified to ISO27001. As part of this system, potential threats are identified (through a variety of strategies) and risk assessed. Threats are prioritised for treatment from the most to least critical. Mitigation actions are identified, based on these priorities, and implemented. Our systems are monitored 24*7 with the client informed within 15 minutes of any incident occurring that affects functionality or resilience of service. All incidents are given a priority level and our response SLAs are contained within our Service Definition document.
Incident management type
Supplier-defined controls
Incident management approach
As part of our ISO27001 Information Security Management System all our processes are pre-defined including incident management processes and our systems are monitored 24x7. Users report can report incidents to the SkillsForge support desk by phone, email and through their dedicated Zendesk web interface. Alternatively, they can contact their dedicated Account Manager. If the incident happens outside of business hours then users can contact a duty phone if necessary. Following an incident a report detailing the root cause analysis, resolution and strategy employed to reduce any future similar failures is produced and shared with clients as appropriate.

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Independent review of processes (for example CESG CPA Build Standard, ISO/IEC 27034, ISO/IEC 27001 or CSA CCM v3.0)

Public sector networks

Connection to public sector networks
No

Pricing

Price
£84,000 a unit
Discount for educational organisations
No
Free trial available
No

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at gary.fawcett@skillsforge.co.uk. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.