Archived Page.

This page related to stage 1 of the project, which concluded in September 2014.

The idea of establishing a sector-wide and multi-purpose approach to identifying subject implies a means to reconcile the differing requirements of stakeholders. While the current project will do this through extensive consultation, it will be important to be able to maintain the scheme to account for changing uses, and the changing nature of academic disciplines, over a period that could be 20 or more years in duration. How should this process of change be governed?

Which kind of approaches might be workable in practice, by being:

  • effective in managing change;
  • sustainable;
  • acceptable to all stakeholders?

For example:

  • would a consensus approach be feasible;
  • should it be easy or difficult to get a change made, and on what kind of time-scale;
  • which organisation(s) should have a right of veto;
  • would a differential approach be feasible, with more detailed levels of description being managed by different bodies?

We would like to thank those people who commented in Stage 1. We have taken your comments on-board and have issued a series of draft recommendations on the subject of governance as part of the Stage 2 consultation.


3 thoughts on “Governance

  1. With regard to more detailed levels of description being managed by different bodies, I’d note that an existing problem with JACS is that different parts of the coding frame are structured differently for no apparent reason, e.g. W4 has a code for ‘The preparation of individuals to apply business management principles to the management of theatres and production corporations’, but W7 has no equivalent code for crafts bsuinesses. This kind of thing is frankly unhelpful.

  2. This will represent a significant upheaval in the sector so it needs to be done as effectively as possible – if there is any appetite for radical change this is the time to do it but it should only be done once. Then wrt on going management, surely this has to be vested with a body like HESA who liaise with key stakeholders and consult in the sector on a periodic basis anyway. I don’t think that any body should have the right of veto but in reality certain stakeholders will have a stronger voice. Hopefully needs are being addressed as part of this consultation. But we must assume some statutory bodies need a certain level of detail and are not being capricious – and we must accept that political change may drive further changes in the future. For that reason perhaps we should not aspire to a single framwork – but have the standard framework for most uses with an additional level to reflect specific needs/customers.

  3. a. A Governance Structure is a good idea as a subject identification scheme should allow new subjects to be identified as they develop, but there needs to be some control. Whether changes to the scheme should be ‘easy’ or ‘difficult’ would depend on the specific nature of the change and should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

    b. Our past experience is that effecting any change to JACS codings as a result of new subjects has taken a substantial amount of time (several years).

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