REF 2021 Code of Practice, Complaints and Investigations Process

The REF 2021 Codes of practice (COP) complaints and investigations (C&I) process is now open. The purpose of the C&I process is to provide assurance to the UK funding bodies that COPs are being applied as set out by institutions participating in REF 2021 and provide assurance of the accuracy of submissions to REF 2021.

This assurance also helps the UK funding bodies to meet their obligations concerning equality, diversity and inclusion. All four UK Funding Bodies (Research England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland) are informing institutions within their respective nations of this process in a similar manner.

The funding bodies required that institutions put in place a Code of Practice for REF setting out how HEIs would ensure that they adhered to the principles of transparency, consistency, accountability and inclusivity in the construction of their REF submissions.

The University developed and published its Code of Practice (COP) [PDF]

The Code describes the steps we have taken and implemented to ensure we adhered to these principles. To further ensuring fairness in REF processes, the UK funding bodies made a commitment to putting in place measures to enable individuals to make a formal complaint where they have reasons to believe that their institutions' Code of Practice have not been applied as set out.

The University of Bedfordshire successfully implemented all aspects of the code of Practice and a summary of this can be found within the Code of Practice Implementation [PDF] document.

The complaints process is set out in section 33, page 6 of the REF 2021 Codes of Practice, Complaints & Investigations Process [PDF] document on the REF website.

Further details of the process are available at REF 2021 - Codes of Practice complaints and investigations process

If you have any questions please contact the University of Bedfordshire's REF team at