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 be expected to 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 contained within a wider framework. The competencies aim to bring to life the core values of the students’ union movement.

The competency framework can be integrated into your students’ union via your recruitment, appraisal, and staff development processes. NUS will be referring to these competencies more at events and training sessions, and we're supporting students' unions to adopt and adapt the framework through a series of free webinars and one-day workshops.

Take a look at our resources to understand more about the framework and book onto a free workshop to start thinking about how it could make a difference in your students' union.


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

Free workshops

If you are looking to understand more about the framework, or to make significant adaptations to make it work for your SU, then  please contact  for more information. We will be running at workshop in late 2017, so let us know if you're interested.

Who's adopting the famework?

Students' unions who have attended this workshop and who are using or reviewing 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