Advance HE has modified its recommended monitoring question for gender reassignment. This change will be reflected in HESA data collection for the 2017/18 staff record.
Does your gender identity match your sex as registered at birth?
- Prefer not to say
Questions about gender reassignment should always be asked separately from questions about sexual orientation.
When a question on 'sex' is asked, questions should not simultaneously be asked on 'gender' as this may inadvertently out trans people.
Advance HE recommends asking either a question on sex and then gender reassignment, or asking a question on gender and then gender reassignment.
It is not appropriate to offer a choice between identifying as male, female, or trans.
Most trans people do not consider themselves to be a 'third sex', and may take offence at questions worded in this way.
Security of data
There are special legal provisions to ensure that data on gender identity is stored securely and this information is not passed onto third parties without express permission.
We recommend that when data concerning gender identity is collected, institutions ask for permission to store this information by including a follow-up question such as the one below:
Information about gender identity is considered sensitive personal data under the Data Protection Act. We want to make sure that we have permission to store this data for the purposes of monitoring and advancing equality and diversity in higher education. Please indicate if you give us permission to store this information and use it in this way.
Advance HE's publication Trans staff and students in higher education contains a section on monitoring trans staff and students, including additional questions to consider.