Covid-19: measures taken by Hcéres

Published on

Find below the various measures taken by Hcéres to ensure the continuity of its missions in the context of the health crisis.

Published on 14 April

In the exceptional context of the current health crisis, Hcéres has decided, in liaison with the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and  Innovation (MESRI) and the Ministry for Culture and after consulting the research bodies and Conference of University Presidents (CPU), to reschedule the evaluation calendar for the 2020-2021 campaign (Group B) over a two-year period. The terms of this rescheduling will be defined in the very near future in consultation with the supervising ministries and bodies, as well as with the stakeholders in the evaluation process.

As the terms applying to the exit from the lockdown are still far from certain, Hcéres has sought to implement provisions that guarantee equal treatment and compliance with the evaluation procedures. The decision to reschedule the Group B evaluation calendar was made by the Executive Committee after taking opinions from all the different stakeholders, and appeared all the more desirable in that it eases the pressures on the institutions in question, as well as on the teams of the High Council.

In the very near future, Hcéres will be defining the new evaluation calendar and examining its consequences for the following campaigns, within the framework of a working group with the participation of stakeholders.

To allow this system to be implemented, the MESRI has accepted to extend the validity of the contracts of these institutions and accreditation of their study programmes by one year. 

This profound reorganisation of the Group B calendar follows on from the recent decision to allow the institutions in this group more time to prepare and submit their self-evaluation files.

In this exceptional situation, the intention of Hcéres is to offer the institutions in Group B the best possible conditions for their evaluations. The High Council will be attentive to particular situations any of them may be facing and will provide them with individual guidance.

Published on 30 mars

Hcéres hopes to anticipate the difficulties certain institutions in Group B may encounter in putting together their evaluation file and meeting the filing dates, as presented at the various site kick-off meetings, in the context of the current health crisis.

It has therefore been decided that those institutions that are able to comply with the dates may still do so. For the others, a new schedule has been drawn up. They are strongly encouraged, however, to file their self-evaluation report as it becomes ready.

The new filing deadlines are as follows:

  • Clusters of higher education and research institutions: from 15 June to 15 September (strict deadline);
  • Universities, schools, institutes and research bodies: from 11 September to 6 November (strict deadline);
  • Research entities: from 11 September to 6 November (strict deadline). The modification of the date for submitting the evaluation files obliges Hcéres to make organisational changes as it cannot postpone the date by which it must submit its reports to the evaluation bodies of the research operators (CSS Inserm, CoNRS, etc.), which is set for 30 April and is dependent on the spring session calendar of these bodies. So that all the evaluations can be carried out, the Department of Research Evaluation has decided to base itself on the calendar for the evaluation of research units (formerly host teams), which will be extended beyond the second half of April and through into June. This decision will not be without its consequences for the production of the site Research synthesis reports, which will be delayed.
  • Study programmes and doctoral schools: from 11 September to 6 November (strict deadline). It should be noted that for the evaluation of the projects for bachelor’s and master’s study programmes offers, the institutions were supposed to submit their file for an accreditation opinion in April 2021; however, given the postponement of the filing of the report to November, this date is no longer pertinent. A letter specifying the arrangements for that filing will be sent at a later date.

The Group B evaluations concern: 2 clusters of higher education and research institutions; 19 universities; 41 schools and institutes; 3 research bodies; 5 French schools abroad; 484 research entities; 1,379 study programmes; 41 doctoral schools.
 

Published on 18 March

As the public health crisis worsens and the authorities introduce new protection measures that are stricter than those previously in force, it would appear that the conditions are no longer fulfilled for the evaluation of those research entities, doctoral schools and institutions for which the visits were yet to take place to be carried out with confidence, while guaranteeing the quality of the procedures. Evaluations are therefore suspended as of today and until further notice. The terms on which they will resume will be determined at a later date, in compliance with the regulatory framework and in agreement with the supervising ministries and bodies.
Those Hcéres activities that can be carried out by teleworking are continuing with an organisation that takes account of the specific features and requirements of the different departments.
 

Published on 17 March

In the exceptional situation linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, Hcéres closed its premises on the evening of 16 March and has implemented an activity continuity plan to ensure that its key functions are maintained. 
Although the activities of Hcéres have been placed on standby, they are not stopping and will be conducted entirely remotely. For the evaluations more particularly, the measures applied are those announced on 12 March (see below). 
The Hcéres teams remain at your disposal and can be contacted via the usual channels (telephone, e-mail) or via the online contact form.
Hcéres is likely to make further adaptations and calls upon its partners to consult this page regularly, as it will be updated as changes arise.
 

Published on 12 March

The Covid 19 epidemic is forcing Hcéres to introduce precautionary measures in the interest of its experts, staff and the entities being visited. As several visits are already being disrupted by the withdrawal of a large number of experts, in particular university hospital professors and foreign scientists, Hcéres has decided:

  • to suspend site visits as of 16 March;
  • to replace these visits by exchanges by videoconferencing, whenever the conditions so allow.
  • when this is not possible, to conduct an evaluation of the file based on the preliminary work carried out by the experts and, for research entities, on the written answers to the questions sent to them by the panel.

These modifications to the procedure will be indicated in the evaluation report. 
Hcéres hopes that these measures aimed at ensuring the continuity of its work, while responding to the demands of the current public health situation, will be understand by all its partners.