Page 1: Introduction

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way in which further and higher education is delivered in the UK. The impacts of these changes have been particularly significant among subject areas that incorporate a substantial component of experiential learning into their programmes, e.g. fieldwork, lab work and work placements, and particularly where the delivery of experiential activities is required to fulfil accreditation criteria. As the main accrediting body for FE and HE environmental science programmes in the UK CHES-IES has a responsibility to support its member institutions, and to ensure that its environmental programme accreditation continues to benefit departments, staff and students in a changing HE landscape.

This research aims to investigate practitioners’ experiences of delivering CHES-IES accredited environmental science programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to identify how CHES-IES can best support its member institutions.

The research is being undertaken by Dr Alison Stokes (University of Plymouth, CHES Vice-Chair) on behalf of the CHES Executive Committee. Please read the following information carefully. You can ask questions or request further information about this research by contacting Alison at


Your participation

We invite environmental science practitioners at UK-based CHES member institutions to participate in this research by completing an online survey. Key topics covered in the survey include your experiences of using ‘blended delivery’, the impacts of Covid-19 on broader programme delivery, the role of accreditation and potential impacts on graduate employability. The survey consists of 20 questions and should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. The findings will be presented at the CHES Annual Meeting in May 2021 and in a summary report.

Your participation is entirely voluntary. You are not required to provide any personal information other than your current role, and you will not be personally identified in any output arising from this research. We encourage you to complete all of the questions, but you are free to omit any that you do not wish to answer. You can quit out of the survey at any time and without penalty, but be aware that the survey will save your responses as you proceed through each section.


Data protection

The information that you provide will only be used for the purpose of this research, and will be stored for a maximum of three years after the research is completed.

All personal data and information that you share will be held confidentially by the University of Plymouth in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. At no point will the information you provide be shared in a way that would allow you to be personally identified.


Ethical review and contact information

This research was approved by Human Ethics Committee, University of Plymouth Faculty of Science and Environment.

If you are dissatisfied with the way the research is conducted, please contact the principal investigator Dr Alison Stokes in the first instance: If you feel the problem has not been resolved please contact the secretary to the Faculty of Science and Engineering Human Ethics Committee on


Consent to participate

  • I am clear about the purpose of this research.  
  • I understand that I can withdraw my information until submission, after which point it will not be possible to request withdrawal as the survey is anonymous. 
  • I understand that my anonymity is guaranteed, unless I expressly state otherwise.  All material from the interview will be stored securely and treated confidentially by the investigator.
  • I understand that the Principal Investigator of this work will have attempted, as far as possible, to avoid any risks, and that safety and health risks will have been separately assessed by appropriate authorities.
1.1. Please indicate your consent to participate in this research: Required