Accommodation code of practice
Last updated on Monday 13 Mar 2023 at 3:14pm
How to join and implement the code
There are two requirements to join the code:
- To carry out an independent audit against the Universities UK Code and
- Submit the results of the audit with the management responses to the National Administrator with a covering letter from the vice-chancellor/principal.
This letter should include details of the establishment's key contact for the purposes of the Code of Practice.
Upon receipt of the application the Sector Advisory Group will review and make a recommendation to the Governance Board. The key contact will then receive a confirmation letter from the board of its decision.
- Institution list - a required register of establishments (PDF)
Usually updated in February
Timescales - annual cycle of the code, audit outcomes and student feedback (PDF)
About the code
A revised Code of Practice was laid before parliament on 4 November 2010. This was approved and came into force on the 25 November.
The Housing Act 2004 introduced licensing for houses of multiple occupations in England and Wales. Higher education institutions are exempted from licensing providing they sign up to a code of practice that has been approved by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Three codes of practice for the higher education sector were approved by parliament in April 2006:
- The Universities UK/GuildHE Code of Practice for University Managed Student Accommodation
- The ANUK/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Residential Developments for Student Accommodation Managed and Controlled by Educational Establishments
- The ANUK/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Developments for Student Accommodation NOT Managed and Controlled by Educational Establishments
In addition to universities and higher education colleges the codes are also open to further education colleges with residential accommodation and to private higher education providers, providing these institutions have the necessary mechanisms in place (eg on complaints) to fall within the code.
All the codes are designed as statements of good practice which are subject to change and refinement in the light of experience. They should serve to reinforce and, where necessary, encourage better management of accommodation provided by higher education institutions and major private suppliers. Together with licensing requirements for HMOs for privately rented property, they should help to effect a sustained improvement in the management of all forms of student housing.
Governance and annual reports
The responsibilities of the governance Board are:
- to oversee the operation of the code and issue guidance as necessary on management issues
- to conduct an annual review of the Code taking account of HEEs' experience, audit findings, complaints raising issues with regard to compliance with the code
- to request reports from institutions on any complaints involving breaches of the code that have been reported directly to the Board or to external bodies
- having regard to audit reports and reports of complaints submitted to it, to consider cases of alleged non-compliance and if necessary undertake further investigation
The board may make proposals to help remedy any identified defects in an HEE's management of its student accommodation. In cases of serious or persistent management failure the Board may declare that an HEE is no longer compliant with the Code in respect of some or all of its student accommodation.
- Independent Chair – Mark Swales
- Independent Chair of the Sector Advisory Group – Fay Sherrington
- UUK – Chris Hale and Rowan Fisher
- GuildHE – Kate Wicklow
- Association of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education (AMOSSHE) – Emma Bales and Ravteg Singh Dhesi
- Accreditation Network UK (ANUK) – Simon Kemp, Jess Carrier and [vacancy]
- Association for Student Residential Accommodation (ASRA) – Michael Ball, Tom Bates and Sarah Reynolds
- Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) – Bryan Carroll , Lucy Black and Joanna Hynes
- Council of Higher Education Internal Auditors (CHEIA) – [vacancy]
- College and University Business Officers (CUBO) – Robin Walsh(Deputy Chair), Kirsty Woodward and [vacancy]
- Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) – William Tandoh and [vacancy]
- National Union of Students (NUS) – Rory Hughes
- University Safety and Health Association (USHA) – Simon Watson
- Local Authorities – Ian Wright and [vacancy]
- Association of University Engineers (AUE) – Heather Loosemoore
- College and University Business Officers (CUBO) Executive Director – Jan Capper
- UUK Administrator – Trudy Williams
Sector Advisory Group
The role of the Sector Advisory Group (SAG) is to:
- oversee the day to day operation of the code
- make recommendations to the Governance Board on enhancements to the code itself as well as its administration
- the SAG reviews submissions from members with regards to audit outcomes, responses to student complaints concerning a member's adherence to the CoP as well as making recommendations to the Governance Board on applications for membership
The group meets quarterly.
- Independent Chair – Fay Sherrington
- Association for Student Residential Accommodation (ASRA) - Michael Ball and [vacancy]
- Associate of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) - Mark Hughes and [vacancy]
- Council of Higher Education Internal Auditors (CHEIA) – Barry Frankham
- College and University Business Officers (CUBO) – Deirdre McIntyre, Mel Parrott and Michael Uprichard
- University Safety and Health Association (USHA) – Simon Watson
- Association of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education (AMOSSHE) – Chris Warrington
- Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) – [vacancy]
- National Union of Students (NUS) - Rory Hughes and [vacancy]
- Interim UUK Administrator – Trudy Williams
The reports are broken down into relevant sections and cover summary feedback from the audit processes undertaken by establishments in each year. A review of the activities undertaken by the groups is covered and future planned developments arising out of the audit process and student complaints received are presented.
Drafted by the Sector Advisory Group, the National Administrator and Universities UK, the report is submitted to the Governance Board for approval in September each year. Following this, the report is submitted by Universities UK to the Department for Communities and Local Government. Universities UK receives written confirmation from DCLG.
A zip file (34 MB) of promotional material including logos, posters and leaflets to promote the code.
These are tools for members to use in the promotion of the Universities UK/GuildHE Accommodation Code of Practice (ACOP).
The copyright to these materials belongs to Universities UK and they must not be altered without the permission of the UUK ACOP Sector Advisory Group. Members should send queries to the National administrator.
For any queries please contact the National administrator:
Telephone: 07958 599 947