When do I need to be verified?
There is no mandatory need to be verified. The framework is open source, and is available to unions to use as best suits them to enhance the quality and the impact of their work. Verification is optional and the processes involved are outlined here.
If we want verification, who will verify us?
For Part A verification, NUS completes your verification on-demand. For Part B verification, once a year NUS recruits and trains volunteer verifiers to undertake verifications. We're aiming for a diverse mix of verifiers. Some of them will come from unions who have been verified in the past, others won't, but all will have a passion for SUs, strong experience of leadership, be trained in organisational development and be trained in the whole process. It will be done with lots of peer support too. You can find out more about the verification process here, and what we look for in our verifiers here.
Does the verification have to involve all themes or could a union request verification on a group of themes?
Verification is there to work for unions so unions can choose if they want to select just some themes to be verified against if they want to focus on perceived problem areas etc. but we'd encourage unions to take a full review every three years.
How many SUs are presently verified?
You can see the list of accredited Quality Students' Unions here.
How much will verification cost?
The charge for Part B verification is there purely to cover the costs of coordinating the verification. NUS does not generate a surplus through this charge. In times of Coronavirus, verifications will take place online, in which case costs will be minimal. If and when we're able to conduct face-to-face verifications costs will cover training, travel and accommodation etc. We'll be able to accurately communicate costs after the expression of interest deadline for Part B verification has passed and we know how many unions will be verified. We will keep costs as low as possible as we don't want this to be a barrier to participation.
What if we're not meeting 'Good' in one/some of the sections?
The framework is there to showcase what good, very good and excellent practice looks like for a students' union. You can use this to benchmark your own practice and use it to develop and improve your work. If you're not meeting Good in one of the sections, you can use the framework to develop, and use the help and support available to you where you need it. If you're seeking verification and your verifier doesn't think they've seen sufficient evidence to consider your practice Good, they'll say that you're "working towards Good" and give recommendations to help you improve.
How does the sustainability section of the QSU framework link to Green Impact?
The sustainability section of QSU is completely dovetailed with Green Impact so that unions aren't being asked to participate or undertake duplicate activities or reflections. If you have a Good Green Impact accreditation, you'll receive a Good in the QSU sustainability theme, if you have a Very Good Green Impact accreditation, you'll receive a Very Good in QSU etc. If you have not participated in Green Impact, you will not be able to receive a verified level against the sustainability section of QSU.
If we were to submit for verification in the 2021 period are we to actively consider the impact of COVID-19 on our operations and activities?
Absolutely. We encourage unions to outline the impact of Coronavirus in the 'Context' section of their Part B self-assessment which will help ensure your reflections are up-to-date, and also so that verifiers take into consideration how your union has been impacted in terms of it's operations, impact and quality.