Free Webinar on new Higher Education Coding Scheme for Subjects (HECoS)

A free webinar by the  HEDIIP Subject Coding Project on HECoS, the new Higher Education Coding Scheme for subjects to replace JACS will take place on the 23rd April. The webinar is hosted by Jisc, the topic of subject coding aligns with Jisc’s work with the sector on course data and its use in supporting the student experience and business intelligence.
This webinar is part of the consultation around the new coding scheme, and will include a description of why it is being developed, how it differs from JACS3, and how organisations can provide feedback on the work so far. The webinar will be at 11:30 on Thursday 23rd April and will last approximately one hour, the registration URL is
About the HEDIIP Subject Coding Project
The Higher Education Data and Information Improvement Programme (HEDIIP) includes a project to consult with stakeholders in UK higher education to develop a new subject coding scheme to replace JACS3. In addition to seeking an approach that is sustainable and better suited to consistent application, one of the aims of the new scheme is to enable Higher Education Providers to streamline the handling of subject classification in regulatory returns to multiple bodies.
The project is progressing in two stages. The final report from Stage 1 of this work, covering requirements and impact analysis, was published in the autumn of 2014. Stage 2 consultation is concerned with draft versions of: the full set of subject terms for classifying programmes and modules, a governance model, and an adoption plan.
The project welcomes feedback from any individual interested in the the subject coding of HE courses. Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies, and similar organisations, are invited to provide formal organisational responses covering all aspects of the published drafts, but the project would like to draw your attention to the subject scheme and the governance model, in particular the recommendations concerning specialist vocabularies.
Access to the consultation drafts, response templates, and support documentation is via the consultation web site:

Phil Barker (HEDIIP project)

Second Stage of New Subject Code Consultation launched

Consultation ( is now open on a new subject coding scheme to replace the current Joint Academic Coding Scheme, JACS 3. Cetis staff, Wilbert Kraan, Adam Cooper, Phil Barker and Lorna Campbell have worked with Alan Paull, Charlie Paull (APS ltd and Gill Ferrell (Aspire, to produce HECoS – the Higher Education Classification of Subjects for the Higher Education Data and Information Improvement Programme (HEDIIP). The HECoS structure differs significantly from JACS 3 in the following respects:

  • HECoS will have a six digit random numeric code with no leading zeros
  • HECoS will have some form of navigation to aid user input but will have no defined hierarchy
  • JACS3 terms meeting usage and clarity criteria have been adopted into HECoS. This will permit a direct mapping from many JACS3 codes but some, particularly the ‘not elsewhere classified’ type codes, will not map.

The team had produced a report outlining how the requirements from the first consultation have been incorporated into the new scheme, together with plans for the governance and adoption of the coding scheme.

The HECoS coding scheme, the governance and adoption plans are all open for consultation on the HECoS open consultation site operated by Cetis on behalf of HEDIIP:

The consultation will run until the end of May 2015 and comments are sought from Higher Education providers, professional, statutory and regulatory bodies, MIS suppliers and in house teams, and other organisations. Further information about participating in the consultation is available here

Open Consultation on New Subject Coding Scheme

Cetis has launched an open consultation on developing a New Subject Coding Scheme for UK higher education, a project funded by HEDIIP. The consultation focuses on four areas:

  • Uses
  • Impact and Adoption
  • Governance
  • Design

The consultation is available until the 5th September on the Subject coding site. Have your say.

Cetis to Run New Subject Coding Project for HEDIIP

Cetis is delighted to announce today that it will be developing a replacement for the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) on behalf of HEDIIP (Higher Education Data & Information Improvement Programme)

Subject coding is one of the key building blocks of student data that ought to have sector-wide and consistent applicability. The current method of classifying subjects is based on a scheme known as the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS). JACS has been in use for a number of years and requires a major review because:

  • the limit of the existing coding framework has been reached;
  • changes and growth in JACS’ range of functions mean it is no longer consistently applied;
  • it does not meet the needs of all of the key sector stakeholders.

Cetis is undertaking a project to develop a replacement for the JACS system which meets the needs of a broader group of stakeholders and reflects the diverse and dynamic nature of higher education in the twenty-first century. This builds on the JACS report published in 2013 which considered the varying requirements and uses of subject coding in HE and sets out options for the development of a replacement for JACS.

Further details about the project will be available on the HEDIIP site over the coming weeks.