The University of Sheffield Students' Union has become only the second Students' Union in the country to receive a Gold Award in the Student Union Evaluation Initiative (SUEI).
The SUEI assessment and audit is a unique quality assessment model which aims to make a positive difference to the lives of students at University, by improving the outcomes from their Students' Unions.
The assessment, which is carried out over two years, looks at where the Students' Union is currently positioned and where it would like to move to against a number of factors including its values, achievements, leadership, outcomes and rationale.
The award-winning Students' Union, which employs over 900 people and offers more than 200 sports clubs and societies, is a major factor in attracting students to Sheffield. In their review, the audit team highlighted the excellent attitude and knowledge of the staff they met at Sheffield Students' Union and the positive comments they received from all students they interviewed as part of the audit process.
As part of the process, Students' Unions are required to deliver action plans and are then assessed on the outcomes of these over two years. The auditors' reports are then submitted to a panel chaired by Professor Sit James Drummond Bone, recently retired Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, which then confers the award.
The Students' Union, which has also been ranked joint first in 2010's Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, is currently undergoing a £5million renovation due to be completed at the end of the month. This latest success adds to past achievements for the Students' Union including being named as best Students' Union in the UK by trade magazine Club Mirror in 2007, and being rated as the Higher Education Students' Union of the Year' at the first-ever National Union of Students' (NUS) Awards in 2008.