Policy actions  2 of 3

Framework for fair access

The Scottish Framework for Fair Access, launched in May 2019,  has been developed to help access practitioners plan and evaluate new ways of helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds access higher education.

It has been designed for use by schools, colleges, universities and the third sector, and provides evidence and advice and highlights best practice by identifying activities that are making the most impact.

There are two elements to the Framework. This first is the Framework for Fair Access toolkit website which provides evidence on activities universities and others can undertake to support access into and through higher education.

The second element of the framework is the establishment of Scotland's Community of Access and Participation Practitioners (SCAPP) - a forum to share and develop best practice in access support across Scotland.

The framework was developed in response to recommendations contained in a 2016 report by the 2016 report by the Commission on Widening Access: a Blueprint for Fairness.

Work to develop the framework was led by the Commissioner for Fair Access. The Scottish Funding Council, on behalf of the Commissioner, commissioned CFE Research to develop the toolkit, with governance and strategic oversight provided by a Framework Governance Group.  

The framework aims to:

  • showcase best practice in research and evaluation
  • disseminate research and evidence to define the most effective access interventions
  • support the development of new activities and regional collaborations and the enhancement of existing interventions
  • help to build evaluation capacity within the sector, identifying the minimum standards of monitoring and evaluation that should be embedded in all major access programmes
  • articulate and share practitioner knowledge and best practice

It covers the entire learner journey, from early years to adult returners, and include awareness-raising, admissions, retention, progression and outcomes.

The framework is not a kitemarking tool but it highlights what works.

Archived content

To access information that was on the previous website see the archive of universities and colleges content.