Accurate Channels of Communication

Winner of national awards that recognise both the quality of teaching and its focus on student support and progression, South & City College Birmingham helps 22,000 students achieve their academic goals each year. For over 20 years the college has relied on AFD’s address validation, allowing staff to speed up the enrolment process and validate student address data.

Avoiding Costly Errors

We caught up with Paul Brownlow, Systems Development Manager, to understand the continued importance data validation plays at the college, and the new challenges that have arisen: “We have now moved our enrolment process online for students to complete by themselves. We needed to make this quick and easy to keep students engaged whilst also ensuring we accurately capture the required details.

By adding AFD’s address validation to the website, students can enter a postcode and house name/number to quickly find their address. This benefits both student and college by making the process faster, whilst also removing the need for staff to be manually checking and rectifying errors.

Funding for students is set at postcode level, so errors in addresses have a direct impact on the source of funding for that student. If we do not get this right and claim from the wrong source, we then have to rectify these mistakes, costing staff time having to report the mistake to the relevant funding bodies.”

Invaluable Proposition

Accurate Channels of Communication In addition to getting address data right, the college were concerned about the accuracy of studententered phone numbers and emails. Paul continues: “When contacting students for course interviews, open days and other key information, we found multiple instances where the email addresses and mobile phone numbers provided were wrong, either due to error or intentional misinformation.


Each student studying at the college between 16 and 18 years old effectively provides us with £5,000 per annum of vital funding, whilst students over 18 provide £2,000. Preventing one or two students from slipping through the net, because they would otherwise miss a key communication and fail to enrol, more than covers the cost of email and phone validation from AFD.”

In recommending AFD’s solutions Paul concludes: “From sales through to support, all the team at AFD Software are friendly and quick to respond to any queries we have. We had no problems in setting up the software when our requirements changed, and the length of time we have relied on The Postcode People at AFD is a testament to their skills and expertise.”

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