Academic Quality Procedures Handbook

5. Student Feedback

5.1 Student-Staff Liaison Committee: Code of Practice for Taught Students

This Code of Practice defines the joint commitment expected from Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU) and Loughborough University (LU) to represent Students’ academic interests through the representation structures that are in place. Our objective is to ensure that every student feels their feedback is valued and can impact their education in a positive way. We believe that every student’s voice should be heard and effectively represented. This document will be accessible to students through the Loughborough University and Loughborough Students’ Union websites.

  1. Each School shall have at least one formally constituted Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) where students and staff meet for discussion and consultation about the students’ Course/Programme of study and other matters relevant to the quality of students' academic experience.Students from each year of each Undergraduate course/programme shall be represented on the SSLC. Schools should arrange separate SSLC meetings for Postgraduate Taught students where practicable. Schools may prefer to operate with separate SSLCs for each department/subject area/programme where the number of potential attendees is a concern. In all cases the SSLCs should report directly to the School Learning and Teaching Committee. Postgraduate/Doctoral Research students shall also have SSLCs and these are covered by a separate code of practice.
  2. Students from each year of each Taught Course/Programme shall be represented on the SSLC. Schools should arrange separate SSLCs for UG/PGT and different subject areas where this would be deemed more practicable and allow for more productive discussions. Schools may prefer to operate with separate SSLCs for each Department/Subject area/Programme where the number of potential attendees is a concern. In all cases the SSLCs should report directly to the School Learning and Teaching Committee. Doctoral Researchers shall also have Liaison Committees and these are covered by a separate code of practice.
  3. Student members of the SSLC – Course Representatives (‘Course Reps’ or ‘Reps’) shall be appointed through LSU’s appointment process, detailed below. Prior to the appointment of all Course Reps, the whole year group shall be briefed by Schools during week 1 on the role of the Reps and the responsibilities involved, as well as prior to their arrival by LSU colleagues, through different means of communication, such as via social media platforms. Detailed information and promotional materials to support this will be provided by LSU. The appointment of Course Reps shall be co-ordinated initially by LSU and conducted using an application process. LSU and LU shall encourage a diverse population of students to submit applications for the Course Rep role and seek to remove any potential barriers to participation. Where there are concerns that the demographics of the appointed Course Rep team do not reflect those of the cohort they seek to represent, LSU will work with Reps and Schools to take appropriate action to ensure all students’ voices are represented effectively.
  4. Appointment process and timescales:
    • During the summer prior to appointments, LSU will contact all Schools/Departments to request a key contact who is responsible for working with LSU to co-ordinate this process. Once initial communications have been sent by LSU, Schools/Departments must send through their contacts no later than end of July.
    • LSU will clearly communicate their key staff member co-ordinating the appointments and their contact details. Schools shall work with LSU to provide an up-to-date list of all Courses/Programmes and parts, at Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught level, that require a Course Rep to be appointed and how many Reps are required.  No Course Rep positions shall be created or removed without prior agreement between Schools/Departments and LSU.
    • Applications will normally open two weeks prior to the start of term and close at the end of week 2 of teaching. LSU shall provide Schools with a confirmed timeline before the start of teaching and will provide regular progress updates throughout the applications period.
    • School key contacts are responsible for updating all relevant staff on the applications timeline and process prior to applications opening, with materials provided by LSU.
    • Following the application period, LSU will first anonymise and then review all applications. Course Reps will be appointed by a panel of two LSU staff members and an Officer. LSU will then provide Schools with a list of positions filled successfully as well as positions that remain vacant at the end of the process.
    • School key contacts should co-ordinate the promotion of any vacant positions and names should be sent to LSU no later than week 5 so that students can receive training and support for the role.
    • Schools/Departments must adhere to the following guidance when finding students to fill vacant positions:
      • Schools/Departments shall wait for confirmation from LSU regarding the vacant positions that need filling. LSU will send the above information through no later than 10 working days after applications have closed.
      • Schools/Departments must inform LSU the first student/s to contact them so that LSU can fill positions on a first-come-first-served basis and no later than week 5 – where possible, these names should all be sent at once to ensure efficiency of the process.
      • LSU will formally appoint Course Reps into roles to fill vacant positions.
      • Course Reps should not be appointed to represent Courses/Programmes or Parts that they are not enrolled on/part of as they may not be able to fully understand the challenges faced by cohorts they are not a part of.
      • All Course Representative details should be forwarded by School key contacts to all relevant staff members (e.g., Programme Leaders, Senior Tutors) once the final iteration of the Rep team is available and prior to the first SSLC meeting taking place.
      • If positions shall remain vacant even after this process is conducted, the students on that Course/Programme will be represented at SSLCs by the School President(s).
      • In cases where a Course Rep steps down from their role, the same appointment process applies as that of Schools finding students to fill positions following LSU’s application and appointment process.
  5. LSU shall provide compulsory training (online and/or in person) for all Course Reps (regardless of their previous experience in the role, i.e., even if they have been a Rep before) no later than week 6. The training shall cover as a minimum:
    • Loughborough University representation structures
    • The role and responsibilities of a Rep
    • Appropriate methods for gathering feedback
    • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
    • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
    • Pre-SSLC and SSLC meetings, conduct and behaviour
    • Informal feedback and problem solving
    • Working in partnership with staff to make positive changes to the academic experience
    • Being accountable to the students they represent
  6. Schools shall provide the following useful information to all Course Reps:
    • Briefing on how SSLC meetings run within the School/Department as this may vary between Schools/Departments
    • An up-to-date list of key contacts in the School
    • SSLC actions from the previous academic year
    • Survey results and action plans e.g., NSS, PTES
    • Reports on previous module feedback scores and action plans
    • Reports on previous feedback from External Examiners and action plans
  7. Pre-SSLC meetings should be arranged at School or Course/Programme level to enable Course Reps to have a more detailed discussion of student feedback prior to the formal meetings. Pre-meetings can help to identify feedback better raised in another forum or issues that could be easily resolved informally ahead of the SSLC meeting. These meetings shall be organised by the School President and notes should be taken for reference at the SSLC and forwarded to the SSLC staff Co-Chair and Secretary. In all cases they shall be student-led with staff providing operational support, such as booking spaces, as needed. Schools may have other forums for discussions, but these meetings should not replace pre-SSLCs or SSLCs.
  8. A minimum of 3 SSLC meetings shall be called in each academic year, normally in the following teaching weeks (to allow time for Reps to be trained and to gather feedback from students):
    • Autumn term – Weeks 8-9
    • Spring term – Weeks 5-6
    • Summer term – Weeks 10-11
    • For PGT Courses/Programmes Schools may hold an additional SSLC meeting in Semester 3 (optional)

      Meetings should be held a minimum of four weeks apart.
  9. Meetings shall be booked at the beginning of the academic year and calendar invites sent to all required to attend. Proposed dates should be sent to the School President first to ensure that they can plan their pre-SSLCs with enough time to collect feedback. SSLC Secretaries shall endeavour to notify LSU of SSLC dates in advance by way of email to Meetings should be scheduled at a time allowing for full student participation. Every Course Rep shall be invited to attend at least 3 SSLC meetings per year. In recognition of this being a voluntary role, Reps shall not normally be required to attend more than 6 hours of mandatory meetings per term (8 hours for PGT cohorts). It is strongly advised that SSLC meetings should be no longer than 2 hours.
  10. To ensure SSLC meetings are accessible to all members and to facilitate attendance, meetings shall normally be scheduled on a day where teaching is already timetabled and at a time that does not clash with other School events (please note that SSLCs shall be scheduled when no Reps have timetabled teaching provision. They do not need to be scheduled on a Wednesday). If any member of the SSLC is unable to attend in-person, the meeting should be offered in a dual delivery (virtual and in-person) format in the first instance. Accessible formats and printed copies of SSLC agendas and papers shall be provided in advance of all meetings upon request.
  11. The SSLC shall be co-chaired by the Dean of School or their nominee, normally the Associate Dean (Teaching) or a member of academic staff and the School President who shall be a previous Course Rep. School Presidents should be given the co-chair responsibility to clearly demonstrate that the representation process is a partnership between students and staff. To co-chair effectively, both Co-Chairs should:
    • Meet prior to the SSLC to create the agenda based on feedback raised at the pre-SSLC meeting;
    • Take it in turns to chair sections of the meeting with the School President leading the student feedback area; and
    • Stay in regular contact to work and report on actions from the SSLC.
  12. Some Schools may wish to propose more than one School President is appointed to cover each Department/Subject area/Programme. LSU shall provide training and support for School Presidents including how to co-chair meetings effectively. The Co-Chairs are responsible for any decisions reached by the committee and for ensuring that specific action points from meetings are carried out and reported on at the next meeting. The Secretary of the SSLC shall be a member of School staff appointed by the Dean of School or nominee. Academic Registry shall provide guidance and support for Co-Chairs and Secretaries of SSLCs.
  13. The Associate Dean (Teaching), Undergraduate and Postgraduate Directors of Study and Programme Leaders shall be included in the membership of SSLCs as appropriate. The Co-Chairs may invite the student Department Committee Chair, Peer Support Student Coordinator(s) and other members of management, teaching, support staff, or professional services staff to attend as required. Membership of the meetings should be managed carefully to ensure that there are usually more students than members of staff present at SSLC meetings and that the meetings are not too large to be productive and completed within a reasonable timeframe (2 hours per SSLC). However, should the student-staff ratio not permit this (e.g., in the case of PGT-specific SSLCs) the meeting should still go ahead.
  14. In the first instance, Course Reps should raise any feedback about specific modules with the relevant Module Leader. If students raise concerns around particular staff members, then the Course Reps should signpost students to LSU Advice for further support and guidance. If the challenge brought forward affects all students in a specific cohort, this should be brought up with staff (e.g., Programme Leader) by the Course Rep with support from the School President.
  15. The SSLC shall include as a minimum the following agenda items (as approved by LTC):
    • Welcome and introductions
    • Reporting on actions taken and actions outstanding
    • Student feedback from each Course Rep and new actions agreed
    • Any Other Business (for items not able to be deferred to the next meeting)
    • Additional items to be considered at least once per academic year [for brief discussion and questions]:
      • Report on outcomes from student feedback questionnaires and actions taken in response
      • Report on outcomes from the NSS and PTES and actions taken in response
      • Report on External Examiner comments and actions taken in response
  16. Any additional items shall be discussed under Any Other Business (AOB) with most of the meeting time dedicated to student feedback. Every member of the SSLC shall have the right to propose items for inclusion on the agenda before or at the start of the meeting and to submit papers for discussion.
  17. Schools are encouraged to develop a model for the SSLC (in line with the Code of Practice) that works well for the School, encourages open and positive dialogue between students and staff and seeks to achieve timely positive change for students where appropriate. LSU and Academic Registry will work with Schools to develop and promote innovative SSLC practices across the University.
  18. The SSLC Secretary shall keep minutes of each meeting in the form of an issues and action tracking document to be updated during the SSLC. This document shall clearly list all points raised; along with the initials of the staff member and/or Course Rep/School President responsible for ensuring the point is actioned and reported back at the following SSLC. The minutes shall be circulated in this format within 10 working days of the meeting by email to every member of the SSLC, to LSU ( and the Education Executive Officer ( and made available to the next School/Departmental Staff Meeting and School Learning & Teaching Committee. The Co-Chairs shall be responsible for monitoring progress on actions between meetings.
  19. Where joint honours students raise issues relating to their partner School at the SSLC meeting of their lead School, the Secretary to the SSLC shall be responsible for ensuring that this feedback is communicated to the partner School. The partner School shall be responsible for ensuring that actions are taken as appropriate and reported back to the SSLC, with a request that the partner School reports back at the next SSLC.
  20. Course Reps are expected and encouraged to attend SSLC meetings as a key part of their role. If a Rep is unable to attend the meeting they should, where possible, email their apologies and feedback to the Secretary in advance of the meeting. LSU will endeavour to track the engagement of all Course Reps, including attendance at SSLCs and training. To facilitate this, Schools/Departments should send SSLC meeting minutes and attendance records to LSU (
  21. Where the School or LSU have concerns about any aspect of a Course Rep or School President’s performance in the role, LSU will first seek to meet with them to offer some additional training and support. If their performance does not improve a decision shall be made by LSU, following discussion with the School and School President (as appropriate) as to whether it would be appropriate and beneficial to re-appoint the position. If a Course Rep or School President chooses to step down from their role, LSU will work with the School to appoint a replacement.
  22. Where a Course Rep of School President has concerns over the way their School’s/Department’s SSLC is run, the representative should contact LSU ( in the first instance. LSU colleagues will then liaise directly with the School/Department.