Our charter mark for universities in recognition of their outstanding strategic support for, and commitment to improving, public engagement.
About Engage Watermark
The Engage Watermark is a national award for public engagement, granted by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement to higher education institutions, research centres and individual faculties or schools. Just as a watermark runs through the fabric of a document, an Engage Watermark indicates that engagement runs through the fabric of an institution.
The Engage Watermark follows a rigorous assessment process leading to a report which provides a synthesis of evidence collected and core recommendations. The resulting action plan is also assessed, enabling institutions to continue to progress in the following years.
The Benefits of the Watermark
Engage Watermark is both a rigorous assessment and a developmental process, It provides a rich source of data and insight, supported by expert recommendations, enabling an institution to further embed its support for impactful public engagement.
Completing the Watermark process will provide:
- A focussed ‘stock take’ of existing evidence of the impact of the institution’s support for engagement
- Targeted evidence to provide a robust picture of public engagement across the institution
- A synthesis and review of that evidence, benchmarked against other HEI’s
- Recommendations and tailored advice for how support for engagement could be enhanced
- A review of the institution’s action plan, developed in light of the feedback
- An opportunity to demonstrate to staff, students, partners and funders the institution’s commitment to public engagement
- Compelling evidence to underpin funding applications, REF submissions, and other quality assurance processes
The Award Levels
The Watermark Assessment process
Initial evidence gathering
EDGE Tool Assessment
Interviews and focus groups
Future Action Planning
It was a really useful process for us to go through as an institution, to help us think strategically as University of Derby about what we were doing. It is quite a lot of work, and it happens over a condensed time period, so you get a lot done in a one-year time window. But it’s been positive and has enabled us to think in a much more structured way about how we’re addressing public engagement in the organisation.
Considering applying and need more information?
Engage Watermark is a very valuable process for many institutions but we recommend you talk to us before making an application so we can understand your institutional context and can support you to decide how best we can support your engagement work. Get in touch with Katherine Hathaway below.