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