Guidance for Deans and Heads of School

A new process for handling consultancy is effective from 1st August 2019. This process is designed to reduce the University’s exposure to risk, raise the visibility of consultancy work that is carried out, and improve the efficiency of contracting such work for all involved. It is to be applied consistently across all faculties.

The role of Heads of School in the process

The role of the Head of School, or other relevant manager, is to protect the best interests of their staff and School. He/she is the person who needs to assess whether there is value for the School in the proposed work being done, and whether the School can make the resource available whilst ensuring that academic standards of teaching and research are maintained, and that strategic decisions are supported.

If it is not appropriate for the member of staff to carry out the proposed work as university consultancy, the Head of School may, if appropriate, direct the academic to the Outside Work Policy and relevant guidance on carrying out consultancy privately. The Outside Work Policy has been updated to provide clear and up to date guidance and information for staff on carrying out private consultancy.

Staff will normally be allowed to carry out up to 20 days of university consultancy per year. This is not an entitlement or an expectation; it is just a limit to ensure fairness across Schools. Heads of School are free to exercise flexibility around this allowance if it is considered appropriate.

The process for university consultancy

The process is described in the guidance that has been prepared for academics. The specific inputs from Heads of School within that process are:

In addition, Heads of School must maintain a record of how much university consultancy each member of staff has done in any one year. They also need to ensure that mechanisms are put in place within their Schools to make sure that all academic staff follow the process for university consultancy, as described in the guidance, and that appropriate action is taken if they do not.

Heads of School need to maintain a record of all consultancy (both university and private) that is carried out within their School. Wherever possible, they should try also to keep a record of unpaid consultancy that is undertaken – the volume of this will vary by Faculty. Such work does not need to go through the university consultancy process, but it is important for each School to have an overview of how much is done and by whom.