Our first Quality Students’ Unions Award goes to Kent Union

Tuesday 16-12-2014 - 16:43

Over the last year, nearly a hundred students’ unions have been taking part in Quality Students’ Unions– our new assessment scheme for ensuring that students’ unions are of the highest possible standard. Striving for excellence locally, we can create the strongest national movement possible.

Congratulations to Kent Union who are the 1st students’ union to have successfully achieved a Quality Students’ Unions Award. They attained a ’Very Good’ level of award overall and were recognized for many areas of excellence.  

“We are very proud to have achieved this award”, said Jim Gardner, CEO of Kent Union with Tammy Naidoo, president . “Going through the self-assessment process enabled us to recognize and celebrate the areas of work where we are achieving to a high standard and also to identify things we can do to improve. This will ultimately enable us to become a better union as a result”.

“I would recommend Quality Students’ Unions to colleagues across the sector.”

Quality Students’ Unions is the sector quality framework, built around 12 components in 3 core areas. The mark’s 12 components are the fundamental building blocks of a successful and effective union and are intrinsically linked to elements identified in Surfing the Wave.

Taking part in Quality Students’ union is a hugely impactful way of ensuring your students’ union is as strong as it can be. It’s is free for unions to participate as a benefit of NUS affiliation and is designed to be applicable to all unions.

Quality Students’ Unions is a manageable, staggered process made up of two sections, Part A and Part B. Congratulations to Leeds Beckett Students’ Union who were the first HE Union to achieve against Part A and Sussex Downs College Students’ Union were the first FE to so the same.

But of course, huge congratulations go to Kent Union for completing the scheme in full.

“It’s fantastic that Kent Union have led the way and are the first to gain an award”, says NUS vice president for union development Raechel Mattey. “This is an excellent achievement”.

“We hope that Kent’s achievement will inspire others to follow suit and gain an award and that the quality mark will prove to be an excellent tool to assist students’ union development”



The three areas

The three areas assessed in the scheme are interdependent, meaning that doing well in two areas means you are very likely to perform well in the third, and so on. This helps give a robust, accurate assessment of students' unions.

1. Governance, leadership and management

  • 1. Strategic planning
  • 2. Relationships and partnerships
  • 3. Governance
  • 4. Democracy
  • 5. People

2. Activities

  • 6. Communication
  • 7. Services
  • 8. Participation
  • 9. Representation and campaigning

3. Outcomes

  • 10. Review and evaluation
  • 11. Context
  • 12. Impact


An overview of Kent Unions’ results


Very Good

  • Strategic planning
  • Governance
  • People,
  • Communication
  • Participation
  • Representation and campaigning
  • Review and evaluation
  • Context
  • Relationships and partnerships
  • Democracy
  • Services
  • Impact


Overall award: Very Good

For further information and to participate in the scheme click here.


Quality Students Unions, Union Development

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