Student Support Services Gains Matrix Accreditation

Matrix-QM-RGBStudent Support Services, which includes Additional Learning Support, Art & Music, askBU & Frontline Services, Careers & Employability, Residential Services and sportBU has successfully gained the Matrix Accreditation after working for two years to ensure that all areas of their service met the Matrix Standard.

The Matrix Standard is a unique quality standard for organisations to assess and measure their advice and support services. Traditionally, Matrix assessment covered careers departments and frontline information, advice and guidance services – we believe that BU is the first HEI to gain accreditation for a service this diverse.

Preparation for the assessment provided the opportunity to reflect on how people worked across the different departments, identify areas of synergy and work on integrating the departments into one cohesive team

The assessment involved 75 interviews (49 staff, 19 students and 7 external partners – the largest our assessor had ever been involved in), and looked at four elements of the service; Leadership and management; Resources; Service delivery and continuous quality improvement.

Following the successful completion of the assessment a number of areas of good practice were identified including:

  • a very clear link from the overall organisational structure to individual objectives
  • regular departmental wide staff development events
  • good examples of innovative practice
  • opportunities for personal development
  • good use of shared resources and support across the service

In 2013, the library also achieved a successful Matrix accreditation and is currently the only standalone Library & Learning Support Service in a UK university to achieve this.

Chartwells have achieved the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark

Food For Life Catering Mark Bronze PhotoThe Food for Life Catering Mark is based on the principles that food should be fresh, local, seasonal and better for animal welfare. It means food is freshly prepared using ingredients which are free from GM and harmful additives.

This means that the food Chartwells serve is meeting standards around freshness, provenance and traceability; meaning that staff and students can eat at BU with confidence. The Catering Mark shows that Chartwells prioritise and promote healthy choices and sustainable purchasing.

Ricky King, General Manager for Catering, BU said “For the Chartwells team to achieve the Bronze Food for Life Accreditations is a fantastic result. Meeting the standards for traceability, integrity and good provenance with a trusted industry symbol makes us very proud and it is one of the key goals we have pledged to achieve with BU, bring on Silver standard!”

Chartwells have passed a thorough inspection by the Soil Association to show that they meet the bronze standards detailed below, and will be inspected every year so that they can show they’ve kept up the good work.

Bronze Standards

  • Meals contain no undesirable food additives or hydrogenated fats
  • 75% of dishes are freshly prepared
  • Meat is from farms which satisfy UK welfare standards
  • Eggs are from cage-free hens
  • Menus are seasonal
  • Training is provided for all catering staff
  • No GM ingredients are used
  • Free drinking water is prominently available
  • No fish are served from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) ‘fish to avoid’ list
  • Information is on display about food provenance
  • All suppliers have been verified to ensure they apply appropriate food safety standards

For more information about the Catering Mark please visit the Soil Association website.

Photo: Shane Wilson, Catering Manager for BU at Talbot Campus and Thom Barker, Head Chef for BU, with the Food for Life, Bronze Standard Certificate.