Accreditation of departments' training quality

STFC requires greater assurance over the quality of the training a department provides for their students before allocating studentships to the department.

The current method of allocating studentships is by algorithm. To be entered into the algorithm, departments are requested to apply for accreditation of their training provision ahead of each biennial studentship allocation.

An application for accreditation is assessed by the Education, Training and Careers Committee (ETCC) on a simple pass/fail basis against a set of criteria drawn from STFC’s current expectations of student training. Departments are asked to respond to a set of structured questions, derived from the criteria, to enable the assessment to be made. The questions asked in the 2016 exercise can be found here. The ETCC assess each of the five categories: training environment; quality of training; quality of supervision; careers advice and recruitment.

Departments passing accreditation are entered into the algorithm in the normal way. Any that do not pass accreditation will not receive an allocation that time.

The accreditation process will be repeated ahead of the subsequent studentship allocation process, scheduled for 2018. The criteria will be reviewed ahead of that exercise and it is likely that a requirement for Project Juno and/or Athena Swan accreditation will be introduced at that point and that the minimum level of disciplinary training will be increased. Examples of Good Practice can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding accreditation, please contact the Studentships Team.

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Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000