Frequently asked questions

Technical Questions

Do some browsers work better than others for accessing this tool?

Yes. Planning Tools does not work well with some versions of some browsers. Please avoid using Internet Explorer as reports will not load properly. If you are having difficulty printing, editing, uploading documents, or saving your report, try another browser.

Why do I need to log onto the VPN?

VPN is required when accessing your old EPT reports because the old system is no longer up-to-date. Accessing from a secure platform via VPN will keep this data safe.

How do I print or download a chart from my unit’s report?

Download the Excel chart data by clicking on Actions > Download. 

Can I print the entire report for my unit?

You can use your browser’s Print Page option. Often mapped to CONTROL + P. If you want to save the question sets as PDF, use CONTROL + P and Save as PDF.

I am not able to print/edit/upload/save my report. What should I do?

For user support, please contact Planning Tools Admin at planningtools@uvic.ca.

How do I paste an answer I created elsewhere into my report?

Your answer must be saved as a word document and be 400 words or less. Copy the answer, right-click in the text box where you want to paste the answer, select paste and the answer will appear in the box. If you try to paste more than 400 words you will receive an error message. Save your answer before going on to another question.

NOTE: in some browsers you may get a message that says you must paste into a provided box to accomplish this goal. Follow the instructions as posted on your screen to paste your answer into the Planning Tools software.

How do I designate someone in my unit to have access to the editable or reviewable reports in the Planning Tools software?

Send an email to requesting the access you need. It may take 24 hours for the new permissions to take effect. These requests must come from the manager of the unit.

What document types can I upload to the report?

PDF, Word (.doc and .docx) and Excel spreadsheets.

How do I paste an answer I created elsewhere into my report?

Your answer must be saved as a word document and be 400 words or less. Copy the answer, right click in the text box where you want to paste the answer, select paste and the answer will appear in the box. If you try to paste more than 400 words you will receive an error message. If you try to paste 400 or more words after you have entered other text in the box, the cursor will default to the beginning of your typed answer. Save your answer before going on to another question. 

NOTE: in some browsers you may get a message that says you must paste into a provided box to accomplish this goal. Follow the instructions as posted on your screen to paste your answer into the EPT software.

General Questions

What is the current year?

The current year is your report on the 2020/21 academic and fiscal year. It should include any updates based on data from the 2020/21 year and any adjustments in light of campus/unit priorities. Feel free to retain relevant comments from earlier reports.

What is the “Report for 2022”?

The “Report for 2022” is your report on the 2020/2021 academic and fiscal year. The first reporting deadline is in the fall of 2021 (Academic Areas, Administrative and Service Areas, and Data Packet Questions), and the second deadline is in spring 2022 (Core Questions).

When is my report due?

Different sections of the Planning Tools report have different due dates. The report is accessible throughout the year with the exception of a two week period for data collection. The different due dates are indicative of when this information is needed for institutional planning purposes.

The due dates for units completing leaf reports are as follows:

  • Core Questions: January 30, 2022
  • Academic Areas Questions: November 1, 2021 (updated)*
  • Administrative and Service Areas Questions: November 1, 2021 (updated)*
  • Data Packet Questions: November 1, 2021 (updated)*

*See the communication from Susan Lewis, Acting Vice-Provost, regarding the updated timeline and required questions.

Roll-up reports have up to two additional weeks after these due dates to submit their report so that they can consider their unit's leaf reports in their submission. (see: "I am a unit head filling out a roll-up report...")

I am a unit head filling out a roll-up report. Are my reports due at the same time as leaf unit reports?

No. As a unit head, we realize you need time to review the leaf reports within your unit in order to fill out your roll-up report. You have up to two additional weeks to complete your report. Therefore roll-up report deadlines are as follows:

Academic Areas Questions: November 15, 2021 (updated)*

Administrative and Service Areas Questions: November 15, 2021 (updated)*

Data Packet Questions: November 15, 2021 (updated)*

Core Questions: February 15, 2022

*See the communication from Susan Lewis, Acting Vice-Provost, regarding the updated timeline and required questions.

What is the difference between a unit report and a roll-up report?

Unit reports contain central information specific to that unit, and only to that unit. Roll-up reports contain aggregated central information from each of the units within a reporting area such as a Faculty, a management unit, or a VP portfolio, and all the unit answers to the qualitative questions within that reporting area. A Dean's Office or a VP Office will fill out a unit report, but have access to a roll-up report for their area.

What is the difference between editable reports and reviewable reports?

The editable report is the questionnaire for your unit and will be populated with central data for your specific unit. Reviewable reports are those reports you are allowed to view after they are complete. Only Deans, managers and VPs will see a list of reviewable reports on their My Reports page.

How do staff/faculty/librarians/leaders get access to Planning Tools?

Permissions to Planning Tools access is based on position numbers. Positions that have access/permission to Planning Tools are verified with faculties on a yearly basis every summer to ensure they are up-to-date. If a new staff member is in an existing position/role that has access to Planning Tools, the permission will automatically flow to the new staff member. Any new staff members in new positions or positions that do not historically have Planning Tool’s access will need to be requested. Please email the name(s) and associated position number to so that their permissions can be added.

Who can fill out questions in the editable reports?

Read/write access is provided to employees who have an oversight role of programs, services and finances within a unit. This may include various levels of directors, managers, administrative officers and finance personnel, or chairs/directors, Deans and VPs. Permissions are based on information provided by a unit’s administrative department head. If you need to access Planning Tools, have your department or unit head email planningtools@uvic.ca.

How do I know what questions to answer?

The software will populate your questionnaire with the proper questions. Answer all the questions that appear in your questionnaire.

Do I have to answer the questions in order?

No. You can move from one question to another within one of the Criterion or skip around between Criteria. Be sure to save your work each time. Questions that have not been answered will show a message that the question still needs to be answered.

My unit’s activities have been affected by COVID-19. How should I address this in our report?

Reporting should reflect the current conditions. You may consider indicating what initiatives were underway, their purpose/aim, how they have been stalled or otherwise affected, and how activities will resume. You may also wish to include, as part of your accomplishments in the Core Questions, an example of your response to COVID-19 and your efforts to support continuity of learning, operations and/or services.

Can I still view the data in my old EPT reports?

Yes. The old EPT information is available via the Planning Tools Archive Connect Site, also available within the Planning Tools application.

How do I get additional training or support?

The VPAC office will be offering training sessions in advance of the Core Questions reporting deadline (January 30, 2021). The sessions will be held in December 2020 and early January 2021. Deans and Chairs will receive invitations and be asked to share the invitation with relevant members of their units who help to fill out the reports. Many training materials and answers are available through the Planning Tools Training page and the FAQ page. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact to request additional support.

Data Packet questions

How do I see the data that makes up a chart?

Click on the button “See Data” at the bottom of the chart. Many of the “see data” buttons will also provide you with information about how the data is collected, define terms, and provide other information about the source of the data.

What if I disagree with the centrally provided data (non-financial)?

The Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis has provided the non-financial measures and data for Planning Tools. If there are concerns with the accuracy of any figure represented, we invite you contact any of our staff at https://www.uvic.ca/institutionalplanning/home/contact/index.php. Data are drawn from the Banner Student and Human Resources information systems—there have been occasions where program, student, faculty and staff information has been incorrectly assigned to a unit. We will work with units to ensure their data and information is correctly represented in Banner and Planning Tools.

My unit/program name or reporting structure has changed, can the new data be altered to reflect the changes?

Units have until March 30th to advise us of any changes to the unit name or reporting structure in order to see those changes reflected in Planning Tools for the current year. Units can email this information to . Changes are not retroactive.

How do I access the Planning Tools FAST Finance Dashboard?

For users who have access to FAST Finance Reporting, further details on the Financial Review graphs in the Planning Tools Data Packet can be found on the FAST Finance Dashboard.  Users can view each of the Planning Tools financial graphs and retrieve data at the department level, transaction level and position level. Please contact budgdept@uvic.ca with any access issues or questions on the Planning Tools Dashboard.

To access Planning Tools Dashboard in FAST, please log-in to FAST and select Finance Reporting:

FAST Finance home page

Then select the Dashboard:

FAST Finance dashboard

This will take you to the Planning Tools Dashboard:

Planning Tools Dashboard