Instructions for using the Annual Reporting Tool


Step 1: Create additional users if required

Administrator users are able to add additional users for their organisation into the Reporting Tool. This allows multiple users to work on the same annual report/action plan. Manage users via Administration >> Manage users.

Step 2: Review and familiarise

Before using the Reporting Tool, please read through the Information tab. This tab provides instructions on how to use the Reporting Tool, information on the Framework structure, detail on each of the criteria, and definitions.

Step 3: Complete your annual report

Click on the Reporting >> Setup Annual Report tab to begin your APCO Annual Report. This will ask for confirmation of your organisation’s details, setup data, and consent to the terms and conditions of using the Reporting Tool. Please note, only an administrator user for your organisation can complete the setup process.

At this stage you will also be required to set your baseline metric; please select this baseline metric carefully. Should you need to amend this metric, you are able to do so via Administration >> Change Baseline Metric after your report has been setup.

Once you have set up your report, you will be able to work through the annual report questions. This can be accessed via Reporting >> Your Annual Report. You are able to work through the criteria in any order you wish.

Note: Clicking on BackNext or Save buttons will save your progress. The Back button will take you to the previous criteria, the Next button will take you to the next criteria, and the Save button will keep you on the same criteria.

Step 4: Finalise and submit your annual report

Once all sections of the annual report have been completed, an administrator user will be able to submit your organisation’s annual report.

Please review your responses thoroughly, as you will be unable to make any further changes to your responses following submission. Responses can be viewed within each criteria, or by downloading your responses via Reporting >> Your Responses (PDF).

You will be required to indicate the name and position details of an executive level delegate that has approved the content of your report to complete the submission.

Step 5: Review your results

Following your annual report submission, a Performance Summary will become available via Results >> Your Reports. The Performance Summary can be used by Members when completing an APCO Action Plan.

Step 6: Prepare and submit action plan

Your action plan can be completed via Action Plan>>Your Action Plan The action plan form allows Members to commit/recommit to a performance level for each of the reporting criteria, as well as indicating which elements of their 2020 APCO Annual Report they would like to share in their Annual Report and Action Plan document which will be made public on the APCO website, and which APCO Members are required to post on their own websites.

The process for completing the APCO Annual Report and Action Plan includes:

  1. Select your action plan period.
    You may choose to set a one, two or three year action plan.
  2. Select a commitment level for each criteria. 
    Results from your most recent annual report will be prefilled for your reference, including existing levels and next level recommendations.
    • For Conditional criteria: Please select either your existing level or higher. 
    • For Additive: Please recommit to your existing achievements and at least one additional commitment.

Core criteria have a minimum commitment threshold. 
If a level below your existing level is chosen, a pop-up window will be presented and your selection will default to your existing level. If you would like to change your existing level please contact the Member Services team.

  1. Select your annual report responses to include in the public facing document.
    You may choose which of the following elements of your  2020 APCO Annual Report to include in  your public facing Annual Report and Action Plan:
    – Targets
    – Free Form responses
    – Case studies
  2. Obtain internal approval and click submit.

For further support, watch the APCO Annual Reporting Support Tutorial.

Additional Hints

Green question mark icon:  Hover your cursor over this icon to read additional detail and hints on how to respond to a question before providing a response.

Accuracy levels: Any quantitative response questions will be followed by a question on the accuracy of your response. This includes either low, medium or high accuracy,

Saving your answers: There is no auto-save function. Be sure to press the Save, Next or Back buttons at the bottom of your screen before leaving each page.

Expanding evidence boxes: Evidence boxes can be expanded by clicking and dragging on the bottom right hand corner of the box. If this function appears to be unavailable, please try a different internet browser.

Word/Character limits: Please note that each text box has a character limit. If you are cutting and pasting text into those boxes, please be aware that if it is over the word limit, not all text may appear.

Multiple users accessing the annual report: Multiple users can access the reporting section of the Reporting Tool at the same time, however, APCO strongly encourages that no more than one user is within a single criteria at the same time, as this may result in loss of data input.

Webpage timing out: The Reporting Tool will automatically logout after 6 hours, and will not save your data automatically. Please ensure that you continually save any information put into the Reporting Tool to ensure that no information is lost.

Providing Evidence

Evidence boxes are intended for a brief reference to evidence only. Most questions require a statement about the type of evidence that you can provide to support your answer. This can be input as a description of the evidence you have or the name of your internal company document/file location.

Indicting evidence is not only good practice but can help you to be audit ready and provide records for future reporting, ensuring that you know what internal data sets are being referenced from year to year.

Please note that information provided in evidence boxes will not impact your annual report score.