The Code of Practice

Who is the Code of Practice designed for?

All higher education students’ unions, guilds and associations across the United Kingdom.

The Project was funded by the Higher Education Council for England and so some of the project research is England focused but the principles and compliance statements are applicable to all.

My students’ union is small and we don’t employ any staff, is the code relevant to me?

Yes, the principles within the Code of Practice are applicable to all HE students’ unions. There are some compliance statements that are only relevant to students’ unions that employ staff but these are clearly demarcated and within the self assessment you are given the opportunity to select not applicable (n/a)

Can I download the Code of Practice?

Yes you can download the code and all of the supporting documentation. You simply need to click on the Downloads tab on the left hand side of the screen.


Self Assessment

What are the benefits of completing the self assessment?

Undertaking the self assessment will give you the opportunity to identify good practice in your students’ union’s current governance arrangements and also to identify how your governance could be improved.

If you undertake the self assessment the site will generate a report for you which will highlight your students’ union’s performance against the code of practice. You can use the report to demonstrate your performance to stakeholders and/or to develop an action plan for undertaking improvements.

Who should complete the self assessment?

It is advisable for students’ unions to set up a working group to feed into the self assessment process, including Officers, Trustees and members of staff. Having input from a number of interested parties is likely to enrich the process. Members of the group will be able to contribute their ideas and provide assistance with any follow up work that is identified as a result of the assessment process.

It is important to identify a named person who is prepared to facilitate the working group and take the lead in completing the online self assessment.

What does the self assessment entail?

There are 7 principles and a number of compliance statements that demonstrate how each of the principles can be applied in practice.

The self assessment gives students’ unions the opportunity to rate their performance from 1-4 against each statement and to indicate the level of priority they for any follow up work.

Students’ unions can detail supporting information within the self assessment that demonstrates how the students’ union has achieved the rating that has been assigned. There is also space to record ideas for further developing the students’ union’s governance.

Why do I have to login to complete the self assessment?

You need to login so that you are able to save your data and return to it at a later point in time to update it or amend your input.



Is my data kept confidential?

Yes, your data will be kept confidential. You have the option to share your data with others but this is not compulsory.

Do I have to share my data with NUS?

No you can opt out, however, if you decide not to allow the site to harvest your data input then you will also disable the benchmarking feature on the site.



How can I use my results to benchmark against other students’ unions?

The site will automatically benchmark the rating that you have assigned to each compliance statement, during the self assessment process, to those that other students’ unions have assigned.

The option of benchmarking will be disabled if you choose to opt out of submitting your scores into the national data collection. To opt in and gain your benchmarked data change the settings on your login.



Will I get a report of my self assessment results?

Yes the site will automatically generate a report for you when you have completed a full section or the entire self assessment against all of the 7 Principles.

What’s included in the report?

The report will include all of the scores that you have assigned and will collate the results in order of the priority you have assigned for any follow up work. It will also detail the supporting information you have detailed and your ideas for development.


Sharing the report with stakeholders

How can I share my report with others?

You can download information from the site, including your self assessment report, and will then be able to email it to others.

You can also share your login details with others if you want them to be able to login to update or amend your self assessment. However, allowing more than one person to amend or complete the self assessment, could potentially lead to confusion. Therefore, sharing your login with others should be used with caution.

Can I save my data input?

Yes you can. That’s why you are asked to register and login so the site can save your data input.