The Expectations and Practices of the new UK Quality Code was published on 27th March 2018 after undergoing a significant redevelopment. The full code, including the Advice and Guidance that underpins the Expectations and Practices is scheduled for publication in November 2018.
The students, institutions and sector agencies in Scotland have actively supported the progress made with developments within the Quality Code. An initial draft of the code went to consultation in December 2017. Many Scottish responses highlighted the lack of student engagement in the original draft, as well as a lack of reference to enhancement – both key elements of the Scottish approach to Quality. sparqs’ response to the consultation can be read here.
Subsequently, student engagement was included in the core practices with enhancement input to the common practices. The terminology of ‘core’ and ‘common’ practices was also a positive development and improvement from previously used ‘core’ and ‘supplementary’.
sparqs will continue to work to ensure the next stage of development – the writing of the accompanying advice and guidance continues to reflect the strengths of the Scottish approach to student engagement. We attended two sessions run by QAA, an initial scoping workshop and one of the development workshops in Glasgow on 16th May 2018. Subsequently, we have volunteered to sit on a writing group for the student engagement theme and are keen to support students to effectively contribute across all the Advice and Guidance themes.
The timescales for this are tight. Draft guidance created by writing groups will be shared with reading groups in September before final sign off by the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment (UKSCQA) on the 17th October 2018. Given these tight timescales if you are interested in being involved in the drafting process, volunteering for one of the reading groups might be the most realistic option for officers. If you wish to do so, you need to be available to contribute from mid-September. We recognise the timescales are difficult, however student input into this guidance is vital to ensure it meets the needs of our students and sector.
To further aid student involvement, we are looking into ways to co-ordinate a Scottish response for the writing groups that students’ associations could feed in to.
If you are interested in being part of this process, or have any general queries, please contact Steph Kirkham, Development Consultant - firstname.lastname@example.org