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STEP ONE – Sign the organisational pledge, committing the college to acknowledge and support the CoS charter & organisational values and upholding our vision of welcome and belonging in the UK. This takes less than two minutes and is one of the minimum criteria.

STEP TWO – Connect with your Sanctuary Lead Contact. Once you sign the pledge, you will be contacted by the FE College of Sanctuary Team who will share details of upcoming events and also let you know if you have a Local Lead who will oversee your appraisal process. If not, your application will be overseen by City of Sanctuary UK and we will let you know about the support we can offer and application deadlines (*please see below for detail).

STEP THREE – Read and review the College of Sanctuary resource pack, noting the the minimum criteria  and the Colleges of Sanctuary website for ideas and inspiration. Undertake an audit of what the college has done to date to meet the award minimum criteria. Consider who in your college may be seeking sanctuary, what support they may need and how to include them in the process, as well as reflecting on how your curriculum planning & college-wide events could be adapted to include learning about sanctuary. Create a plan to fulfil outstanding criteria and consider linking this to the college development plan.

STEP FOUR – Complete an application form that clearly states how you have fulfilled the the award minimum criteria.  Typically this should be accompanied with an evidence portfolio/ folder  supporting your application and might include photos, newsletters, students’ work, emails, policies and more. Discuss with your Lead/ main point of contact about a realistic and convenient application submission deadline plenty of time in advance. When ready, submit your application to your Lead/contact and plan for an appraisal meeting. Transfer the accreditation fee to City of Sanctuary UK of £450 for the three year duration, or £150 per year. Contact the Colleges Lead for details on how to transfer this fee (you can read more about the reasons we have an accreditation fee here.

STEP FIVE – Once awarded, plan a celebration in collaboration with your local group and/or Lead. Make sure to share your achievements on social media and on the college website and reach out to local press. Continue to implement your sanctuary efforts and develop a plan for re-appraisal in three years.


*In the 2022/23 academic year, you should note that City of Sanctuary UK team has established an application submission schedule to better manage time, given our limited capacity. The schedule is as follows:

  • 31st October 2022 – Confirm intention to move forward with application.
  • 27th January 2023 – Submit a draft application and evidence portfolio.
  • 10th March 2023 – Submit final application and evidence portfolio and transfer application review fee.
  • 17th-28th April – Arrange an appraisal meeting/visit. Following this visit, the appraisal team will confirm their decision on your application.