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ETC SoECAT Guidance




Completing the Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template (SoECAT)


Please read the following guidance before completing the SoECAT. More specific guidance is given on each tab within the template. You should seek support from your sponsor in completing the template and additionally, where appropriate and applicable (e.g. if your sponsor is non-NHS), from your lead NHS R&D Office. Where you intend to open NHS research sites in England, support is also available from your Lead Local Clinical Research Network (LCRN) and sign-off by a named AcoRD expert in your Lead LCRN is needed before submitting your funding application (your funder will advise on how and when to submit).

This SoECAT is designed to help appropriately attribute the costs associated with all SITE LEVEL activities at the time that application is made for research project grant/award funding. By site level we mean the costs that will be incurred by research sites, i.e. excluding costs incurred by the sponsor in managing the study, e.g. the cost of employing study managers, coordinators, monitors, etc.

The DH AcoRD guidance, which provides the basis for the transparent and consistent cost attribution on which this tool builds, should be consulted before completing this template.

It is also recommended that you complete the AcoRD cost attribution training before completing the template.

Completing this tool

1. Completing the Study Information Tab

Further guidance is given within this tab in the excel template. NOTE: Key functionality within the tool is disabled until question 3 is answered.

2. Completing the Standard of Care, General Activities and Per-Participant Arm tabs

Further guidance is given within each tab (guidance on the per-participant tabs is given on the Arm1 tab only but applies to all per-participant Arm tabs). Each tab is set out as a Schedule of Events. A standard list of procedures and investigations is provided, and may be selected from drop-down menus as follows:

2.1 How to select activities

1 - Check to see whether the activity appears on the 'List of Activities' tab. If it doesn't appear, follow guidance on adding activities. 

2 - Take a note of the 'Area of Activity'

3 - Go to the tab being completed, select the 'Area of Activity' from the drop-down list - do this before selecting the 'Specific Activity'

4 - Select the 'Specific Activity' from the drop-down list

It is also possible to add procedures and/or investigations that are not present in the drop-downs.

2.2 How to add new activities

1 - Go to 'Non Tariff Costs' tab and enter the new activities. Also select relevant activity type (investigation or procedure)


2 - If the new activity is an investigation enter the associated costs

3 - Return to the tab being completed and select 'Non Tariff Cost' from the 'Area of Activity' drop-down list. Do this before selecting the 'Specific Activity'

4 - Select the new 'Specific Activity' from the drop-down list


Once you have selected a procedure on any tab, you should provide in the 'duration' column an estimate for the time that activity will take, in minutes. For investigations the duration column will be greyed out and should not be completed, (procedure costs are calculated on the basis of staff time, whereas investigations have fixed costs). You should then choose a staff-type from the dropdown menu in the 'undertaken by' column. This should be completed both for procedures and investigations.

Next you should indicate when each activity will occur. For the standard of care tab, you may either manually enter an 'x' or select 'x' from the drop-down menus. In the General Activity and Per Participant tabs, you should indicate that an activity is to occur by ascribing to it a cost attribution from the drop-down menu in the appropriate cell/s. An activity might occur once, or more than once, and should appear in each column where it is planned to occur. Cells in columns where the activity will not occur should be left blank. Cost attributions should be as per the AcoRD guidance: 

3. Completing the Summary tab

Further guidance is given within the summary tab in the template.