CEO Blog | We are a VERY GOOD Students’ Union

Here at York St John Students' Union we continually endeavor to enhance the lives of students at the University. In order to ensure that what we do is effective and of good quality we have recently undertaken a process of external inspection and scrutiny using the NUS Quality Students' Union framework. Quality Students’ Unions is the sector quality mark framework, built around 12 components in three core areas. The mark’s 12 components are:

  1. Strategic Planning
  2. Relationships & Partnerships
  3. Governance
  4. Democracy
  5. People
  6. Communications
  7. Services
  8. Participation
  9. Representation & Campaigning
  10. Review & Evaluation
  11. Context
  12. Impact

These components are deemed to be the fundamental building blocks of a successful and effective Students' Union.

Following a two day external auditing process conducted by Greenhouse Partners, here at York St John Students' Union we have been awarded the second highest level of accreditation - VERY GOOD. We are also one of only a handful of Students' Unions around the country to have achieved this level of accreditation. Following completing the audit process the external auditors provided this comment:

"The self-assessment is an good and accurate summary of the work of the Union, and there was an abundance of evidence available to support your assertions. As we discussed in the feedback meeting, York St John Students’ Union is clearly a Very Good Students’ Union.

Beyond the very good level, it was clear that the Union has numerous of areas of excellence. In particular, the processes around planning, the governance of the union and the quality of student participation are all excellent. In addition, initiatives such as the newly formed Zones are excellent, sector leading examples of student engagement and participation with the potential to grow and develop even further.  Overall, It is very clear that the Union makes a significant positive contribution to the quality of the student experience." (Steve Symonds, Greenhouse Partners)

Special thanks for this achievement go to Louise Aiken (Membership Engagement Manager) and Paul Murtough (Representation & Democracy Co-ordinator) as they have led the project from self assessment to external audit, and also the Sabbatical Officers and staff team at the Union for contribution to the written submission and taking part in interviews with the external audit team. Final thanks goes to Professor Karen Stanton (Vice Chancellor), Emma Wilkins (Exec Director of Student & Staff Services) and Alison Kennel (University Secretary), senior staff members from York St John University who volunteered their time to participate in interviews with the external audit team as part of the assessment process.

This is a truely great achievement for the Students' Union at York St John, and I am very pround to have the privilage of being the Chief Executive of a VERY GOOD Students' Union and to work work with such great Sabbatical Officers and a skilled staff team.

Chris Bateman

Chief Executive

11th May 2017