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Appendix 1

DH 2006 definition of attrition terminology

Retention
In the context of enrolment, retention is the rate at which students continue on a programme.

Defining Attrition
The Department of Health commissioned a joint review between the Higher Education and Health Sectors to define attrition from NHS funded courses.

The recommended definition of attrition to be applied to ‘completed’ cohorts was:

Starters(a) + Transfers In(b) – Transfers Out(c) – Numbers Completing(d) Starters(a)

(a) ‘Starters’ includes ‘New Entrants’ (i) and ‘Advanced Standing Entrants’. (ii)

(i) ‘New Entrants’ are those students who have not studied on a particular cohort previously and who start at the commencement of the cohort. The category includes students who commence after the first day of the programme, ie due to annual leave, sickness, late decision to join etc. It excludes students who attend only on the first day of a course and leave immediately.

(ii) ‘Advanced Standing Entrants’ are those students who have not studied on a particular cohort previously and who are eligible to join at a point past the commencement of the cohort, i.e. joining from a cadet scheme, FE College or AP(EL) and whose claim for advanced standing has been agreed by the HEI and the appropriate Workforce Development Confederation or SHA Workforce Directorate.

(b) ‘Transfers In’ includes ‘Transfers In (Internal)’ (iii), ‘Transfers In (External)’ (iv) and ‘Resumptions’. (v)

(iii) ‘Transfers In (Internal)’ are those students who have transferred into a particular cohort from another cohort within the same HEI, normally due to an interrupt, or from another branch of training, e.g. from Adult to Mental Health.

(c) ‘Transfers Out’ includes ‘Transfers Out (Internal)’ (vi) and ‘Transfers Out (External)’ (vii).

(vi) ‘Transfers Out (Internal)’ are those students who have transferred onto another cohort within the same HEI, normally due to an interrupt or due to a transfer to another branch of training, e.g. Mental Health to Adult.

(vii) ‘Transfers Out (External)’ are those students who have transferred onto the same programme at another HEI.

(d) ‘Numbers Completing’ or ‘Qualifiers’ are those students who have successfully completed their programmes and who are eligible to enter the professional register, where applicable. The same Department of Health report also gives definitions relating to intermediate attrition rates for cohorts who have not yet reached the end of their programmes. However, this particular document is only concerned with attrition rates relating to completed cohorts.

 

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