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About SPIRE for Staff

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Am I a SPIRE for Staff user?

You are a ‘SPIRE for Staff’ user if you attended SPIRE training for and your current ‘for staff’ profile includes access to at least one of the following:

  • SPIRE Lite or Super Lite (Limited Academic Records)
  • SPIRE A (Academic Records)
  • SPIRE B (Enrollment Overrides)
  • SPIRE for Advisor Assignment (a.k.a. Dept Rep Data Entry)
  • Academic Dean’s Add-on (Credit Limit Overrides)
  • Undergraduate or Graduate Query

I am a faculty member. Am I required to complete FERPA Certification?

You need to complete FERPA Certification if you are:

  • A faculty member with ‘SPIRE for Staff’ access, including any of the roles listed in the section above. Graduate and Undergraduate Program Directors/Advisors typically fall into this category.


  • A faculty member who needs to review application materials in SPIRE for prospective graduate program students.


  • An applicant for Advisor access to SPIRE.

Note: If you have only Instructor access in SPIRE, we encourage you to learn about FERPA by reviewing our FERPA tutorial (PDF, 151k) and taking the online FERPA quiz. The FERPA law applies to much more than the electronic data stored in SPIRE, and confidentiality of academic records remains an important issue. As a bonus, you will earn access to view students' photos in your class rosters after you complete FERPA. Read more about Photo Rosters.

I work in a core administrative office. Do I need to take the FERPA Certification Quiz?

FERPA Certification is required for all staff working in ‘core’ administrative offices who required training before logging on to SPIRE. This rule applies also to student employees and part-time staff.

If you work in a ‘core’ administrative office, but do not use SPIRE (or you did not attend SPIRE training), earning your FERPA Certification is recommended, but not required.

For the purpose of FERPA Certification, a ‘core’ administrative office is an office providing campus-wide organizational support at UMass Amherst (e.g., Office of the Registrar, Financial Aid Services, UMass Amherst Information Technology, Housing Services, etc.). It does not refer to individual academic departments.