Definition of University Consultancy

University Consultancy is the application of existing specialist knowledge to address or resolve client needs or issues by eg:


It excludes the following types of activities, which are part of normal academic roles (although it is recognised that some of the activities listed below may involve payment of modest fees):

The core academic role, for each pathway, is defined fully in the University's agreed Academic Staff Role Profiles:

Other excluded external activities:

Depending on how they are contracted, the following types of activity may constitute consultancy, either academic or private. Normally, prior permission will be required to carry them out, regardless of how they are contracted:

Please refer to the Policy on Outside Work for other types of work requiring prior permission.

It should be noted that the lists above are intended to provide guidance and are not exhaustive.

Types of Consultancy

• University Consultancy: Consultancy work which is arranged and contracted through the University, via the University Consultancy Procedure. Income for such work flows directly to the University, prior to any onward allocation. Legal liability for the work carried out normally rests with the University, and the University Consultancy Procedure requires the work to be fully costed and approved by the Head of School prior to establishing any such arrangement.

• Private consultancy: Consultancy work which is arranged privately by the member of staff. The contract for the work is set up directly between the member of staff and the client, without any involvement or support from the University. Income flows directly to the member of staff. Professional liability for this work rests with the member of staff, who must ensure that the client understands clearly that they are not acting on behalf of the University. No University facilities or resources may be used in the carrying out of the work (unless this is agreed via a services rendered contract). The member of staff should be careful that they do not inappropriately hold themselves as the agent or representative of the University, for example by using a University email account, the University’s headed notepaper or the University’s address.

Consultancy work which is undertaken via this route requires prior permission and declaration under the Outside Work policy (See Section 3 of the Outside Work policy). Staff should also refer to the guidance on undertaking private consultancy on the Research, Enterprise and Development Office’s website.