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University of Chester’s careers service repeats success to earn prestigious quality standard

University of Chester’s careers service repeats success to earn prestigious quality standard

The University of Chester’s (@uochester) Careers and Employability team has been praised for its “commitment to providing an outstanding service that continually improves” as it leads the way in renewing a prestigious quality standard.

The team is among the first Higher Education careers services to be successful in renewing its AGCAS (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) Membership Quality Standard. AGCAS defines the standards for Higher Education careers services and members.

Students are supported by the service with career development from career planning, skills development, advice on CVs, applications and interviews, to work experience, guidance on further study, starting their own business or going freelance.

The team also helps students to make the most of their time at university by providing and recognising extra-curricular and employability-enhancing activities, and to earn-while-they-learn, through a range of paid opportunities.

The service was rigorously assessed for its three year renewal for the Standard recently by the Head of Student and Graduate Employment Services at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The assessor stated that Careers and Employability “has a willingness to embrace change and identify opportunities to enhance their service delivery and efficiency. The quality of the service and the commitment to quality and ambition has been evident. The service’s commitment to providing an outstanding service that continually improves, sees them making use of opportunities gleaned through effective relationships to maximise their visibility equitably to students. The team are clearly ambitious for the future and demonstrate advanced consideration for their practice in comparison with others in the sector.”

Diane Appleton, who led the team and the renewal of the Standard before retiring this year, said:

“I was particularly pleased that our assessor recognised the commitment to delivering a quality service and the progress made by Careers and Employability towards its ambitions since the previous assessment three years ago. Thanks to the commitment and professionalism of my colleagues, the University of Chester is amongst the first HE careers services to be successful in renewing the AGCAS Quality Standard, which we are immensely proud of.”

Vikki Brockhurst, Interim Head of Careers and Employability said:

“We will continue to work to deliver the best possible support to students and graduates and always seek to further enhance services with new opportunities.”

The service was assessed against nine Pillars of Professionalism, grouped within three themes: Service Leadership and Management; Stakeholder Insight and Collaboration, and Professional Expertise.

The team also had to demonstrate how they meet the AGCAS Code of Ethics, which includes equity and diversity, achievement for all, impartiality, confidentiality and integrity. 

Part of the assessment included compiling a development plan, providing the service with an opportunity to consider future enhancements that will benefit students, the University and its wide variety of stakeholders.

The renewal of the Standard comes after the University was rated in the top 10 in the UK for Career Prospects in the 2023 Whatuni Student Choice Awards, the leading Higher Education awards based solely on student voice.

To find out more about Careers and Employability at the University of Chester, please visit here.

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