Information is included in the Key Information Set to inform prospective students if a course is accredited by one or more professional or regulatory bodies. In the C12061 collection, each institution was asked to write its own text to describe accreditation arrangements for courses and provide relevant links to the web sites of the accrediting bodies. This information was then included on Unistats.
Analysis of the consequent information on Unistats revealed that institutions had found many ways of saying what should have been the same thing and had submitted a wide variety of Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) website links. This is likely to be leading to confusion for prospective students who cannot be clear which courses are providing the same professional progression
Through workshops held with institutions, it became clear that compiling the text statements, identifying the appropriate (external) web links and monitoring that the latter continue to be valid presents a significant challenge. HESA was encouraged to consider a more centralised system for managing this information.
In response to this, HESA and HEFCE have now developed standard statements to describe each type of accreditation for each accrediting body and identified appropriate web links. These have been shared with the accrediting bodies which have been given the opportunity to edit where necessary. For the C13061 collection, institutions will indicate as part of their KIS return which statements from a coded list apply to which courses and the relevant statements will then be included on the course pages on the Unistats website, along with standard web links.
Through correspondence with colleagues at the Centre for Recording Achievement who are responsible for the Higher Education Achievement Report it was also decided that when contacting accrediting bodies, HESA would allow them the opportunity to provide text for section 5.2 Professional status of the Higher Education Achievement Report as this will minimalise the work required from institutions to populate HEAR records. Where no additional text has been provided, institutions are encouraged to use the KIS text for the HEAR.
The link this accreditation information table this can be found at www.hesa.ac.uk/C13061/accreditation_list. Others with an interest in this area are welcome to make use of the information that has been collated.