Time Allocation Schedule (TAS)

Time Allocation Schedule (TAS)

Time Allocation Schedule (TAS)

Staff costs are the single largest element of costs incurred by the University. In order to calculate the cost of TRAC activities we must understand how staff spend time over the range of Teaching, Research and Other activities.

Information collected from individual staff members is used to calculate the proportion of time spent on different categories of work. The aggregated percentages of time recorded are used to allocate staff time (costs) to teaching, research and other activities for the completion of the TRAC return.

Recording Data

Data recorded should be as accurate as possible. If staff time allocations are materially inaccurate the following outcomes are likely:

  • The reported surplus or deficit for each category (Teaching, Research & Other) within the TRAC return will not be accurate. For example, incorrectly allocating high levels of time to teaching activities will reduce surpluses or increase losses for teaching (as a higher level of staff time will be charged to teaching).  
  • Charge out rates for research derived from TRAC will not accurately reflect the full economic cost of performing research, for example:  
  • The costs for funding each Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Teaching Subject Group in TRAC (T) will not be accurate.  
  • Incorrectly recording high levels of time to research will artificially reduce the rates as indirect/estates costs will be divided by a higher staff fte value. As a result of lower rates, costings for future research projects will be lower, which will in turn lead to future losses for research activities.  
  • In addition to reducing charge out rates for the next year, a higher level of staff time will have been allocated to research in the current year which, based on normal returns, will increase the loss attributed to our research activity. 
Academic Staff

Each permanent core funded member of academic staff will be asked to complete a 24 hour 7 day week timesheet for one randomly selected week in 15 minute intervals each year. The purpose of the survey is to gain robust estimates of the time spent on Teaching, Research, and Other. Therefore only activities relating to University business should be recorded in the diary.

To submit data for the Time Allocation Schedule, staff should log into Diary System using University login and password at the TRAC Login.

The TAS Diary uses worksheets to cover each day of the 7 day week collection period into 15 minutes intervals, and includes drop down menus to assist in allocating the time to the relevant TRAC category. Guidance notes for TAS, detailed definition of the Activity Categories and Activity Codes Tables can be found in following sections.

Technical Staff

The purpose of the Time Allocation Schedule Diary for Technical staff is to establish the proportion of time and thus cost attributed to Research under either the Directly Incurred, Directly Allocated or Indirect cost headings.

The technical staff diary can be found at the TASTech Login.

Further details including how to record activities are included within the TAS Guidance & FAQ document in the Resources of the TRAC webpage.

Data Protection

Information collected /held by the University must comply with the data protection principles which are set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. In order to ensure that this happens, the University has developed a Data Protection Policy.

In addition:

  • The purpose of collecting time allocation data is to satisfy the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) requirement for robust data collection and subsequently to determine an appropriate split of pay costs within the academic departments across 'Teaching', 'Research' and 'Other' activities.
  • Data is collected from individuals with the sole aim of obtaining satisfactory data at discipline, school and university level.
  • Data is NOT collected from individuals to determine individual effort.
  • Data entered by an individual will not be available to the others. However, in order to provide some data validation, Heads of School will be asked to confirm the data entered by an individual are reasonable, and a small number of DIT and finance staff will have access to the data. All Institutional and external use of the data will be aggregated and individuals will not be separately identifiable.
  • Time allocation schedules must be completed at least once a year. Data will be kept for two reporting periods of three years i.e. up to six years.
TAS School Co-ordinators

Each school has a nominated TAS co-ordinator. If you have any queries on how to complete the time allocation schedule or require an electronic/ paper copy of the form, please contact your School co-ordinator on the email address given below.

Biological Sciences Melanie McCann
Business School Philip Jenkins-Walsh
Divinity, History and Philosophy Kate Smith
Education Sharon Smith
Engineering Zaib McNeilly
Geosciences Ann Simpson
Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture Jon Cameron
Law Clare Fletcher
Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition Sarah Duncan
Natural and Computing Sciences Julie Timms
Psychology Rhona Moore
Social Sciences Pam Thomson


If your issue isn't resolved then feel free to email trachelpdesk@abdn.ac.uk.

Other TAS Resources

TAS Guidance & FAQ's

TAS Codes