Student representative bodies

Student representative bodies, including students' unions, come in all shapes and sizes. They play an important role in supporting students who are unhappy with something they have experienced. Sometimes they can help students and providers to resolve an issue without formal complaints being made. Or they may provide advice or support to a student going through a formal process, sometimes acting as an adviser or representative. Most work with providers to develop and improve regulations and procedures using learning and insights gained from advising and representing students in complaints and appeals.

When advising individual students on complaints to us, student representative bodies can:

  • support and guide the student through our process.
  • ensure they understand the types of complaints we can and can't look at.
  • explain the time limits involved.
  • help the student provide the information they need to support their complaint.
  • help manage expectations relating to possible outcomes.

Find out more about:

Register a student representative body Point of Contact

Our effectiveness as an organisation relies in part on our ability to communicate and engage with all of our key stakeholders, including student representative bodies. Registering a Point of Contact helps us to share good practice guidance and details of our outreach activities with your organisation.

If you would like to register a Point of Contact, please email Barry McHale, Student Liaison Officer at

Subscribe Subscribe to our e-newsletterExternal link (Opens in a new tab or window)

Our e-newsletters are a good way to keep up to date with our latest news and information.

Contact Barry, our Student Liaison Officer

If you would like to talk to us about your student representative body or would like to know more, please get in touch with Barry McHale at

Accessing the OIA: Toolkit for student representative bodies

This toolkit is designed to help you and your students' union, association or guild understand our process and help students who use our Scheme.

related pages

Who can complain to us?

Learn more about who can complain to us and what they can complain about.

What happens when a student complains to us?

Learn more about how we deal with complaints, and what happens once the complaint is made.

Our Rules

Our Rules set out how our Scheme works, who can complain, what we can and can’t look at, how we review complaints, and what higher education providers should do.

Completion of Procedures Letter Guidance

Our guidance on Completion of Procedures (COP) Letters.

Case summaries

View examples of cases we receive and how we resolve them. These include our public interest cases and case summaries.

Good Practice Framework

Guidance we publish on good practice for higher education providers.

Outreach and events

Find out more about our upcoming workshops, events, provider visits, speaking engagements and webinars.