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Audit and Risk Committee

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference

  1. To review the annual consolidated financial statements of the University to ensure that they comply with all relevant statutory requirements and appropriate accounting conventions. [Note: the consolidated statements include subsidiary and joint venture companies.]
  2. To oversee the University's policy on fraud and irregularities, including being notified of any action taken under that policy, and to be advised of any significant losses.
  3. To review, in conjunction with internal audit, the system of internal control. 
  4. To ensure, in conjunction with internal audit, that arrangements are in place to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
  5. To consider and approve with internal audit their programme of work, including management's response, and to monitor its effectiveness.
  6. To receive internal audit reports and, in conjunction with the University Officers, to monitor progress in implementing the recommendations made and resolving any differences.  The Head of Internal Audit shall have the right to meet the Committee in private.
  7. To promote co-ordination between internal audit and the external auditors.
  8. To consider and discuss with the external auditors the scope of their audit and subsequently the results thereof.
  9. To review with the external auditors the management letters arising from their audit of the University and to discuss with the Director of Finance and other senior University Officers, where appropriate, the work carried out to implement agreed solutions.  The external auditors shall have the right to meet the Committee in private and to seek a special meeting if they think it appropriate.
  10. To make recommendations to the Council regarding the appointment, re-appointment and remuneration of both the internal and external auditors, as well as recommendations regarding the provision of any non-audit work by either service.
  11. To make an annual report to the Council on the work of the Committee.
  12. To keep under review on behalf of the Council the effectiveness of the University's approach to risk management,to receive regular reports and a series of presentations on the management of the University's significant risks and to forward to the Council reports of the Committee's consideration of issues relating to risk management and internal controls.
  13. To keep under review on behalf of the Council the effectiveness of the University's approach to control and governance arrangements, and in particular to review the external auditors' management letter, the internal auditors' annual report, and management responses.
  14. To monitor annually the performance and effectiveness of external and internal auditors, including any matters affecting their objectivity.
  15. To receive any relevant reports from the National Audit Office, HEFCE and other organisations.
  16. In the event of the merger or dissolution of the institution, to ensure that the necessary actions are completed, including arranging for a final set of financial statements to be completed and signed.
  17. To report on the adequacy and effectiveness of the University's arrangements for the management and quality assurance of data submitted to HESA, SLC, OfS and other bodies.


Constituency and Membership for 2021/2022

Five lay persons not directly concerned with the financial management of the University, of whom at least three shall be members of Council, but excluding the Chair of Council.  

  • Mr David Watson (until April 2022) (Chair)
  • Professor John Loughhead (until October 2021)
  • Mrs Amanda Nevill (until October 2021)
  • Mr Owen Trotter (until February 2022)

In attendance

  • Professor Saul Tendler (Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost)
  • Mr Jeremy Lindley (Finance Director)
  • Dr Joss Ivory (Chief Operating Officer)
  • Ms Karen Finlayson (PwC partner)
  • Ms Clare Partridge (KPMG partner)


Meeting Dates

Meeting dates 2021/2022

  • Thursday 23 September 2021 at 09:15 online
  • Thursday 11 November 2021 at 09:00-09:15, 09:15-11:00*, 11:00-13:00 in H/G21
  • Thursday 17 February 2022 at 09:15-12:30 online
  • Thursday 12 May 2022 at 09:15-12:30 in H/G09
  • Thursday 14 July 2022 at 09:15-12:30 online

*Joint with Finance Committee


Further Information

Committee BusinessRelevant University Policies


Risk ManagementInformation for Committee Members only
Relevant External Regulatory DocumentsOffice for Students
Internal AuditExternal Audit

The prime responsibility of internal audit within the higher education sector is to provide the governing body (usually via the audit committee), head of institution and other senior managers with assurance regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of arrangements for risk management, control and governance. Internal audit can also provide independent and objective advice specifically to help management to improve risk management, control and governance, so contributing to the achievement of corporate objectives and reducing the effects of any significant risks faced by the institution. 

The University’s current provider of internal audit services is PwC.

The primary role of external auditors within the higher education sector is to report on the financial statements of the institution, carrying out whatever examination of the statements and underlying records and control systems is necessary to form their opinion of the statements. Institutions may also ask external auditors to provide services beyond the scope of audit of the financial statements, including special investigation work, taxation compliance and advice, consultancy and value for money reviews.

The University’s current provider of external audit services is KPMG.

Audit and Risk Committee
reports to Council


  • Mr David Watson

Who to contact

  • Dr Philip Evans
    Senior Governance and Assurance Officer
    for agendas and minutes
    01904 324031

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