Student Rep System FAQs

Below are answers to a list of common questions asked by staff involved in the Student Rep System (SRS) and Staff Student Forums (SSFs). If you have any further questions please contact


What are the main elements of the Code of Practice for SSFs?

For your SSF (or equivalent) to be conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice on Student Representation System, please ensure the following is in place:

  1. Unless otherwise agreed with SRSAB, a student co-chair should be appointed to the SSF. This position will be the student rep/postgraduate lead who conducts the meetings and agenda items alongside the Staff Laision Contact.
  2. Required agenda items are to be discussed at the SSFs, and resulting actions/feedback shared with all students (directly or via the reps) - external examiner reports, Outcomes of Annual review (taught or PGR), student survey results, SSF reports, and Library Engagement to be invited. 
  3. Education and learning priorities and concerns to be captured.
  4. SSF minutes and actions logs written and shared with students
  5. Complete the mid-year evaluation and end of year SSF report.

Do we have to hold physical formal SSFs?

No. There are many ways to conduct an SSF and engage with students/postgraduates virtually. This is particularly important during restricted campus. These can include online discussion boards, virtual meetings, surveys, and other online means available for meaningful discussion and sharing. What is most important is that student/postgraduate reps and staff have an opportunity to co-create and discuss items to ensure a level of engagement, and for feedback and actions arising to be shared with the wider student/postgraduate community. Engagement, transparency, accountability and action are the key principles to remember.

Is it a requirement to hold 3 formal SSFs, and how is this effected by semesterised academic sessions?

The Code of Practice does not state a requirement of 3 formal SSF meetings in an academic session. However, the benchmarking minimum for good practice is recommended to be at least 3. This ensures a level of cooperation and discussion believed to be necessary for meaningful engagement between student/postgraduate reps and staff. You and the students/postgraduates may find it useful to hold 4 meetings - two per semester, or have one in semester 1 and two in semester 2.

There are periods in the year where required agenda items are to be discussed with student/postgraduate reps and the formal meetings should look to align with these (School Education Plans and actions discussed in the autumn, external examiner reports in the autumn or spring, SSF annual report in the spring/summer). The SLC Calendar (PDF - 126KB) provides an overview of discussion items and when they are expected. Also, discuss with the student co-chair any periods they believe would be useful to hold meetings. Informal meetings can be utilised on a more regular basis than the formal meetings, with the formal meetings being saved for required agenda items and larger topics.

Who should be writing minutes and taking notes of actions at SSFs?

The Guild and University ask that the minutes and action logs are written by staff members either with an SRS role or supporting staff who are available to attend in a note taking capacity. As a last resort, a student/postgraduate rep in attendance at the meeting cant take notes and write minutes (with staff guidance) but this should be on a rota basis so the rep has the opportunity to enagage with the discussions rather than occupied by taking notes each meeting. If a student is to take the notes then some training on how to write minutes and actions is encouraged, and can be a useful skill for them to obtain. 

Who is responsible for informing students about volunteering for a rep role?

Promotion of the rep role and volunteering to be a rep should be from the Department and School. Department and School communications and social media are much more likely to reach the majority of students/postgraduates and can be directed. The Guild can provide materials and guidance to support these promotions, and will also promote the rep roles at Guild events.

How will Reps engage with their fellow students?

The Guild online training for reps includes a focus on how to gather feedback online and tips to ensure the reps have the tools and understanding of how best to gather views of their fellow students. These methods of feedback gathering include online surveys, discussion board via Slack, Discard, Google Docs, Canvas, cohort emails, academic society communications, and social media. Reps will be provided with a digital handbook outlining their role and the support available.
Reps can still use the Rep Fund which allows them to apply for up to £150 to enable them to better fulfil their role. this money could be used to buy a webcam for meetings or incentivise a survey. Please contact the Guild for further details.

How and when will I find out who my Student Reps are?

Students apply to be a Rep via the volunteering portal on the Guild website. This asks them to confirm they wish to be a rep before they proceed to undertake the core Canvas training. Staff are able to log in to the portal and download a report which informs them of the students who have 1) volunteered (shown as 'signed up', 2) volunteered and undertaken the core training (shown as 'attended'), and therefore are a recognised rep, and 3) withdrawn from volunteering (shown as 'cancelled'). Updated reports will be available each morning.

The report will provide many details of the student including name, contact email, Department, programme, and level of study. This will enable staff to filter to find their specific reps/students who volunteered. Please be aware that the data is sensitive and you should only share details of your Department and password protect any copies. Here you can find a 13-minute Zoom video demonstration of the portal (passcode: e8g^q+Or) from a student and staff perspective which we highly recommend you watch before commencing to use the reporting. There is also the Guild's guidance document on using the portal to recruit and manage student rep data.
Please contact The Guild if you have any queries or difficulties. 

How do I change the set-up of an SSF or update SLC/admin details?

SRSAB keep a record of all the SSFs in the University and the contacts for each SSF and School, such as SLC, admin, SEOs. This list is circulated to School and College contacts at the start of each academic session to enable any changes to be made, though changes can be made through the year.

If there are any changes to the number and level of SSFs in the College/School it is expected that your CQAAC approve the changes before a request is made to SRSAB to update the list (via the secretary). These changes may include the removal of SSFs due to programmes no longer running, the combining of SSFs (e.g. combining individual programme SSFs or UG with PGT/PGT with PGR), or new programmes requiring SSFs to be created. The College are asked to consider these plans based on resource and student numbers per SSF to help consolidate SSFs for the purposes of the School/Department.

Minor changes to existing SSFs, such as the change of an SLC or admin support staff, can be confirmed without approval via the update contact form on the SSF Teams. The master copy of the SSF list with contacts is then updated by the SRSAB secretary to ensure those who require communicating with are listed. These lists are also on the Teams site.

If you wish to run an alternative method of representation outside of the agreed operation of SSFs, please submit a proposal and rationale to your CQAAC and then to SRSAB for approval.



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