Key Features

Quality Students’ Unions is built around 12 components in 3 core areas that can be triangulated. The mark’s 12 components are the fundamental building blocks of a successful and effective union and are intrinsically linked to elements identified in Surfing the wave.

QSU Chart


1. Governance, leadership and management

2. Activities

3. Outcomes

The 3 core areas are interdependent – e.g. a union that has very strong governance, leadership and management and very strong activities will invariably have very strong outcomes.

Performance in any two of the core areas will essentially predict the performance in the third. This interdependence enables these 3 core areas to be used by unions to effectively and accurately analyse their own performance and for them to be accredited with a high level of confidence.

Self-assessment is fundamental to the Quality Students’ Unions model as it is designed to challenge unions to reflect on their performance, to identify their strengths and areas for improvement and to consider this in the context of the impact that they are having on their stakeholders.

Unions undertake their own self-assessment and then experience an audit to verify their level of attainment.