Review process

Developing the 2017 Code

When the first edition of the Scottish Code of Good HE Governance was published in 2013, the Committee of Scottish Chairs made a commitment to review it after three years, to ensure it evolved and reflected good practice.

Independently of this, the review also proved timely to allow adjustment for a changing legislative context. Early in 2016, the Scottish Parliament had passed the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016 which introduced a number of changes to legal requirements on HE governance. The Code Review gave the sector a chance to consider how the Code should accommodate these changes.

The Chairs began the review process in the summer of 2016. Overseen by a Steering Group, chaired by Ian Marchant and including staff and student representation, the review proceeded in three phases:


Phase 1: Evidence gathering

Independent consultants from the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education were commissioned to gather evidence through a public consultation, a survey of governing body members and meetings at each higher education institution. The latter involved 292 institutional and stakeholder representatives in total. The consultants also met with the national leadership of major stakeholder groups. They then produced a written report and attended early steering group meetings to convey their findings. Their report and responses to the phase one consultation can be found here.


Phase 2: Consideration of the evidence and re-drafting

Evidence gathered in Phase 1 was considered by the steering group over a series of meetings in the second half of 2016 and early 2017.

Following extensive discussion of the diverse views held both outside and within the steering group, the group produced a draft revised Code.


Phase 3: Consultation and adjustment

The draft revised Code was released for an open public consultation, which ran during June and July 2017. All the submissions to this consultation can be found here.

The steering group held two further meetings to consider the views received and amend the draft revised Code, to reach the final version published in October 2017.

The steering group produced a summary of the major themes that emerged in this consultation and how the group addressed each of them. You can read this summary here.