National Expert Think Tank on Fair Admissions

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Criminal convictions

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Unconscious bias


Welcome to SPA

Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA) is the independent and objective voice on UK higher education admissions. SPA promotes professionalism, fair admissions and access to higher education by developing and leading on evidence-based good practice in the recruitment and selection of students. For more information about SPA, see About us.

SPA’s good practice resources support a wide range of higher education providers when developing and reviewing their own admissions policies and procedures.

Resources and information

Clear, comprehensive and well implemented admissions policies are fundamental to fair admissions to higher education.

Co-ordinating engagement between higher education and a potential student will influence recruitment, transition and retention.

A community dedicated to sharing good practice amongst higher education admissions staff in further education colleges.

How to put an applicant’s prior attainment and potential to succeed within the context in which that attainment was obtained.

Engaging with qualification reforms and assessing the suitability of different learning will lead to clear entry requirements and accurate offer-making.

Higher education providers must not discriminate and have a duty to minimise barriers for applicants across all protected equality characteristics.

The five principles of fair admissions underpin all of SPA’s work with those responsible for the selection and admission of students.

Recruitment and admissions staff need to ensure they comply with all relevant legislation, including consumer protection and competition.

Planning admissions processes and structures, with a clear review method, will allow more effective predictions and response to developments.

Join the SPA JISCMail

For updates on good practice issues and to hear about SPA's events and activities, join the SPA JISCMail list for higher education providers.