National competency framework for students' unions

Through a series of workshops and discussions with students’ unions, we have identified the common behaviours that effective and high-performing staff should demonstrate in any role within a students’ union. These behaviours describe in practical terms what anyone working in a students’ union needs to do to carry out their work effectively and 'live the values' of the organisation.

These behaviours were grouped into themes to create a set of eight core competencies. They aim to bring to life the core values of the students’ movement and emphasise the importance of good leadership. The framework can be integrated into your students’ union via your recruitment, appraisal, and staff development processes.

Take a look at our resources to understand more and see how it could help.


The National Competency Framework - Full Guide for SUs
The National Competency Framework
Competency Framework - Editable Word Template

Who's adopting the famework?

Students' unions who are using or referencing the framework include:

  • Birmingham Guild of Students
  • Union of Kingston Students
  • De Montfort University Students' Union
  • Durham Students' Union
  • Edgehill Students' Union
  • Goldsmiths Students' Union
  • Kings College London Students' Union
  • Leeds University Union
  • London South Bank University Students' Union
  • Liverpool Students' Union
  • Manchester Metropolitan Students' Union
  • Middlesex University Students' Union
  • Nottingham Students' Union
  • University of Bath Students' Unions
  • University of Bristol Students' Union
  • University of Central Lancaster Students' Union
  • University of Huddersfield Students' Union
  • University of Manchester Students' Union
  • University of Salford Students' Union
  • University of Strathclyde Students' Association
  • Glasgow Caledonian University Students' Union
  • University of West London Students' Union
  • Greenwich University Students' Union