Setting the Scene:

Student status letters confirm in writing that a student is registered at the University and are used, for example, when a student needs to open a bank account.

At the time, 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, staff 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.

 

Objectives: 

The overall objective was to improve the Student Status Confirmation Letter process so that it was significantly more efficient and effective for students and staff. This involved:

  • Reducing student waiting time
  • Removing unnecessary steps from the process
  • Freeing up staff resources

 

What we did:

As part of a week-long blitz event with University staff (addressing several processes*), student status letters were identified as an area where we could make real improvements. During the event, the team quickly identified changes that could be made to the process. This new way of working was trialed early on the second day, and was implemented before the end of the week.

 

Outcomes:

The new process allows the letters to be produced on demand as required, in around 2 minutes. Previously at least 2 and up to 7 staff members would handle any given letter. With the new process, only 1 staff member is required. This negates the need for another lengthy process that handled the short term retention of letters. This helped avoid the need for disposal of unwanted letters, and complications that occurred when there was a problem with one of the process steps.

Implementing the new process released the equivalent of around 114 days of staff time 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.

 

Update:

The staff involved have continued to improve this process and, following negotiations with local banks in St Andrews, students are now able to get Status Confirmation Letters for these banks self-service,on demand, through the University website.

 

Feedback:

“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

 

 

*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.

 

To watch the full video, click here