How to Participate in the Consultation

This page describes the various channels by which stakeholders were invited to provide comment as part of the stage 2 consultation period. The Stage 2 consultation is now closed. It also contains links to essential background information. We welcome comment and reaction in whatever form you feel is most appropriate; the page contains suggestions and our preferred form of responses.

Stage 2 consultation is concerned with draft versions of: the full set of subject terms for classifying programmes and modules, a governance model, and an adoption plan. There are a number of specific questions which we have posed in relation to these drafts, but welcome responses on any aspect of the published drafts. Please use the “menu” above to access the drafts and supplementary information.

Higher Education Providers

Governance and Adoption:
Higher Education Providers are invited to provide formal organisational responses in relation to governance and adoption matters. We would like to encourage single responses from HE Providers. This is to maximise the extent to which consensus positions are received by us. We would prefer responses to be made via comments on this web site but private communications may be sent to

Subject Terms and Definitions:
We hope that central units in HEps will coordinate activity to test the practical utility of HECoS for classifying existing programmes and modules across a spectrum of subjects. Independently from centrally coordinated responses, academic units are invited to provide feedback, as subject specialists, on the subject definitions and HECoS structure. For feedback on the HECoS terms and definitions, we strongly encourage the use of the online system, as described on the Subject Scheme page. This is because we see subject identity as being an extra-institutional matter.

Downloadable resources:

Online resources:

Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies

Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) are invited to provide formal organisational responses covering all aspects of the published drafts, but we would like to draw your attention to the subject scheme and the governance model, in particular the recommendations concerning specialist vocabularies. We have already contacted representatives of PSRBs which were involved in Stage 1. Interested PSRB officers are advised to contact us on to express an intention to provide a response.

Downloadable resources:

Online resources:

Responses should be sent to, indicating the body that they are the authoritative response for.

MIS Suppliers and In-house Teams

We welcome responses on behalf of MIS developers, particularly in relation to system implementation matters. The aspects of the consultation we think are likely to be most relevant are: the proposals for change management; the recommendations for a web service (including the provision of APIs); and the outline adoption plan.  You may also be interested in understanding the proposed structure for HECoS, which is outlined in a brief Guide to Using HECoS.

Feedback on other aspects of HECoS is also welcome (please comment via this web site).

We would prefer responses to be made via this web site but private communications may be sent to We will not publicly disclose the identity of organisations when reporting on information sent by email. MIS development teams in HE providers should feel free to respond separately from their administrative or academic colleagues.

Other Organisations

We recognise that there are a number of other kinds of organisation which may wish to respond to the consultation. Please feel free to do so in whatever way seems most appropriate, using the above sections as inspiration, or contact us by email ( if necessary.


We welcome responses from individuals. Please provide comment via this web site.


2 thoughts on “How to Participate in the Consultation

  1. 1. Implementation of the new codes will require a significant amount of admin time to process. We would encourage that support is provided through a mapping of current JACS codes to HECOS codes to smooth the initial process and help with consistency. Additionally we feel it is important to ensure training materials and best practice in the use of the new coding protocols are provided to support HE staff in determining codes in the most consistent way. With the flat file approach we would want to ensure we are operating consistently in our use of this.
    2. We would encourage that careful thought on implementation is given to ensure use of HECOS is brought in consistently across the different data returns required from institutions, for example making sure we don’t have some returns requiring JACS coding after implementation of HECOS elsewhere. Clearly this also needs to ensure system providers have adequate time to provide updates to software ahead of implementation.
    3. The greater flexibility to react to filling gaps and additions in subject coding is positive but needs careful monitoring for consistency to ensure we don’t end up losing the ability to aggregate data effectively across the sector through use of subject coding becoming too disparate across the sector.

  2. 1. The practicalities of implementing a new coding structure will create a considerable amount of additional work and so we need to be convinced that the benefits outweigh the costs/inconvenience and that mappings to JACS are made available for use sector-wide so that we can continue to report on historical data.
    2. However, our main concerns are about ensuring consistency in terms of subject groupings and onward use of the data. We would therefore support a HESA led approach which ensured that aggregations were common across the sector and applied in external publications such as league tables.
    3. We welcome the idea of a ‘fresh start’ and the opportunity to avoid replicating past mistakes. The recognition that training and guidance is needed by a range of different staff (academics, analysts, administrators etc) is also welcome. This should include examples such as ‘when to use x’ and ‘when to use more than one code’ etc.

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