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Jisc Banding model

Jisc Collections Banding was introduced well over a decade ago and has been a very successful tool in enabling Jisc Collections to negotiate differentiated pricing. It has enabled many institutions to subscribe to resources which would otherwise have been unaffordable. We believe strongly that Jisc Banding is beneficial to UK higher and further education, the Research Councils and several other sectors.

Around four years ago, we completed a major revision of the banding scheme as it applies to Higher Education Institutions, the first complete overhaul since it was first introduced. The move was prompted by changes in the way HEIs are funded, and the need to make sure that we had a scheme that would still work if there are further changes in HE finance. The new scheme also allows for the different approaches to funding in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For the time being, schemes for other sectors have remained unchanged. The scheme for FE colleges is under review, but is currently awaiting the outcome of the government-sponsored area review of overall FE sector provision in England. Research Council banding should also be revised shortly.

The current HEI scheme retains multiple bands (Bands 1-10, with Band 5 divided into 5A and 5B). It is based on Total Relevant Income: this is the total income each institution receives, as reported to, and by, HESA, according to recognised sector-wide accounting standards, less the relatively small income in a number of HESA-designated categories, namely:

  • Residences & Catering Income
  • Income from Intellectual Property Rights
  • Endowment & Investment Income
  • Release of Deferred Capital Grants (i.e spending of capital funds)

These categories have been excluded as having little or no impact on the use of electronic resources. In addition, capital funds spending can vary significantly from year to year, potentially distorting the relevant income figure. The excluded categories on average amount to about 8% of an HEI’s total income, though of course vary to some extent by institution. A much wider range of data is employed than for the previous scheme, which used only three types of public sector income. All data is obtained from HESA’s financial statistical reports.

The grouping of HEIs is very different from the previous scheme. There is no relationship between bands in the previous scheme and bands in the current scheme.

Click here to see the current (1-10) banding for all UK HEIs

Click here to see the previous (A-J) banding

Many publishers and suppliers have now realigned their pricing in the light of the new scheme. We are maintaining our focus on negotiating fair pricing for the community throughout the transition to the new scheme, and continuing to work with institutions and publishers to achieve the best deals, as the planned transition nears completion.


We started using the current Jisc Banding for new Licence Agreements on 1 August 2013, and implemented the revised banding for renewals of existing agreements from 1 August 2014. Most agreements have now (March 2016) moved to the current banding, although the previous bands are still in force in a number of instances.


We will be updating the banding scheme every three years or so. However, this will be a minor revision using the latest financial data from HESA rather than the major change of a few years ago. We will also be making sure that HEIs close to the edge of a band only change when there has been a significant and sustained change to their income, and not just every time there has been a minor change that happens to push them just over the edge of their band. In due course, we may transfer to making use of a moving average of Total Relevant Income over a period of say three years, further to iron out any annual fluctuations. The band boundaries will be adjusted to take account of changes in sector overall income, so that institutions do not gradually rise through the bands as a result of inflation and other sectoral income changes. Any updated band allocations will only apply to new and renewed agreements, not to existing agreements.

Background: what is Jisc Banding?

The Jisc Banding Model is the basis for subscription fees for most of the online resources in our Catalogue. All of our institutional members, that is Further and Higher Education institutions, Specialist Colleges and Research Councils in the UK, are ranked into one of ten Jisc Bands for their sector. As far as possible, we choose banding metrics that are appropriate to each sector.

For further details on which Jisc Bands each member organisation is assigned to, please see the Banding list pages in the left hand menu. 

We have also developed Banding Models for our affiliate members who are not Further and Higher Education institutions, Specialist Colleges or Research Councils. For information about the banding metrics developed for affiliate members, please contact Tony Kidd, Banding Manager (

How do I find the Jisc Banding for my institution?

What should I do if I cannot find my institution on the list or if I think the Banding for my institution has changed?

Please contact the Banding Manager at

Contact and feedback

We hope this has provided you with useful information, but we very much welcome your feedback or questions. If you have any questions about the banding, you can contact Tony Kidd, Banding Manager at Jisc:


Last updated March 2016