Student status letters confirm in writing that a student is registered at the University and are used, for example, when students need to open a bank account.
As part of a week-long blitz event with staff from the Old Union Reception and Registry, student status letters were identified as an area where real improvements could be made.
At the time of the event, there were around 2,250 requests for these letters made each year.
The wait time for these letters was 7 to 10 working days – not an unreasonable time. However, the group of staff on the blitz event felt that ideally these letters should be produced on demand, without the students having to wait at all, and aimed to design a process that would meet those requirements.
Very quickly within the event, the team identified changes that could be made to the process and the new way of working was trialled early on the second day. It was implemented before the end of the week.
The new process allows the letters to be produced on demand as required, in around 2 minutes.
In the old process at least 2 and up to 7 staff members would handle the letter at any given point; with the new process, only 1 staff member is required.
It’s not shown in the video clip, but this also negates the need for another lengthy process that handles the short term retention and ultimate disposal of unwanted letters and also avoids the complications that occurred when there was a problem with one of the process steps.
Implementing the new process will allow the equivalent of around 114 days of staff time to be released on an annual basis. This means that staff in an exceedingly busy office have a reduced need to work overtime and are able to focus on more value adding work.
Other processes the team addressed during the blitz included production of Visa letters for international students, Postgraduate Thesis production, Transcript requests, and confirmations for Tax purposes.
The staff involved have continued to work on improving this process and following negotiations with our local banks in St Andrews, students here are now able to get status confirmation letters for St Andrews’ banks, self service, on demand, through the University website.
“I really enjoyed it! I got so much out of the process. I think it is great that this gets done in the University.” – Registry staff member
“Enthusiasm and informality, great catalyst for being productive.” – Finance team member
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