University Policy on Work with Outside Bodies
by Members of University Staff

Download the Policy on work with outside bodies (PDF , 104kb)

1  Introduction

1.1  Work by University staff for outside bodies makes important contributions to the working of the wider academic community, to knowledge exchange with business and the public and third sectors, and to the community more widely.  It also brings benefits to the University and to the staff involved.

1.2  As a responsible business and employer, the University encourages its staff to undertake work for outside bodies, provided this does not conflict or interfere with their agreed duties for the University.

1.3  Work for outside bodies can be considered within three broad categories:
a.    Work for the wider academy – work that depends on a member of staff’s academic or administrative expertise for outside bodies that form part of the wider academic endeavour.  This includes: external examining or other expert advice for other universities; peer review and committee work for research funding bodies, learned societies and academies and journals; lectures and presentations at other universities and academic conferences; authoring and editing of books and journals; TV and radio appearances related to dissemination of research.
b.    Consultancy and other expert work for non-academic bodies - work for non-academic outside bodies that depends on a member of staff’s academic or administrative expertise, such as consultancy advice to industry or government departments.
c.    Non-expert work for non-academic bodies – work for non-academic outside bodies that does not depend on a member of staff’s academic or administrative expertise, such as membership of a school governing body.

2  Work for the wider academy

2.1  Work for the wider academy is an important part of the roles of academic and some administrative staff. Such staff are encouraged to seek and accept work that supports high quality academic endeavour nationally and internationally in their field of expertise and helps to build their own and the University’s reputation.   Staff should discuss the level and nature of such commitments with their line manager.

2.2  Staff must seek their line manger’s agreement to any work that might conflict, or be seen to conflict, with the interests of the University.  All such work must be recorded in the Department’s Register of Interests.  

2.3  Staff may keep any payments made directly to them for work for the wider academy, but policy on such payments will be kept under review as policy and practice in universities and other outside bodies develops.

2.4 The University does not normally seek to review or participate in contractual arrangements between staff and outside bodies in relation to work that falls solely inside this category.

3  Consultancy and other expert work for non-academic bodies

3.1  Consultancy and other expert work for non-academic bodies is an important part of knowledge exchange between the University and outside bodies.  The University promotes and supports such work as an important way of meeting the objectives in the University Plan and Business and Community Strategy and of responding to the needs of business and the public and third sectors.

3.2  Departments should charge prices for University consultancy and other University expert work for outside bodies that take account of the full costs of the work to the University and the value of the work to the client.  Prices should exceed full costs unless the department agrees a strategy to use the work to develop a longer term relationship that can generate greater value to the University.

3.3 Subject to approval by the Head of Department, staff may gain additional income from their work on consultancy or other contracts for the Department. Departments are expected to retain as a minimum a proportion of any contractual income to compensate the University for the resources committed to winning and managing the contract and bearing the associated risks.  Departments have absolute discretion to also recover some or all of the salary costs of the staff required to deliver the contracted work.

3.4 Subject to approval by the Head of Department, staff may undertake consultancy and other work for outside bodies on a private basis in University time, up to a maximum of 20 days per annum (or pro rata for part time staff) for any individual member of staff and subject to the University-wide requirements in the following paragraph.

3.5  If a member of staff undertakes consultancy or other expert work for outside bodies on a private basis as permitted by their Head of Department and whether or not in University time, they must discuss it with their line manager and secure their written agreement in advance, ensuring that:
a.    It does not compete with work that the department or University itself may wish to pursue
b.    It does not affect their ability to undertake their agreed duties for the University
c.    It is recorded in the Department’s Register of Interests
d.    They sign a statement in advance to confirm that
•    They have made clear to the outside body that they are working in a private capacity and the University has no involvement or responsibility for the work
•    No University resources are being used for the work
•    They are aware that any liability associated with the work or its outcomes rests with them and not the University

3.6  The University promotes the exploitation of consultancy opportunities through the University rather than the private route. This offers benefits both to staff (through the use of University facilities and systems, reduced personal liability and support should difficulties arise and, in cases where Departmental and/or Central support staff have more experience of such matters than the staff undertaking the consultancy, possible improvements in the terms and conditions of the contract) and to the University (in terms of direct income and contacts for further business).

4  Non-expert work for non-academic bodies

4.1  The University is a respected and responsible part of the local and wider community.  Staff are encouraged to contribute to the work of other organisations in ways that do not relate directly to their work or expertise at the University, particularly where these contributions make an impact on the social and/or economic well being of the community.  Where such contributions may affect a member of staff’s attendance and/or performance of their role at the University, they must discuss it in advance with their line manager and seek his or her permission.

4.2   Staff must also seek their line manger’s agreement to any work that might conflict, or be seen to conflict, with the interests of the University.  All such work must be recorded in the Department’s Register of Interests.  

4.3  Staff may keep any payments made to them for non-expert work for non-academic bodies, except where a formal secondment or loan arrangement from their University role has been agreed with their line manager and Human Resources.

5  Record keeping

5.1  Departments should handle contracts for consultancy and other work for outside bodies, and the income received by the Department for such work, as set out in guidance issued from time to time by the Finance Department.  Departments should also maintain records of the number of days of approved private consultancy undertaken each year by each member of staff, and the total number of days of approved private consultancy undertaken by all staff in the Department each year.

5.2  Departments should ensure that any staff work or interests that might conflict, or be seen to conflict, with the interests of the University, are recorded in the Department’s Register of Interests.

5.3  Departments should retain written statements from staff as described in 3.5d.

6  Development of local policy

6.1  Departments are encouraged to develop local policies within this University-wide framework in respect of their approach to consultancy and other work for outside bodies, particularly where such work is undertaken on a regular basis or by several staff across the Department. This allows a consistent approach to be articulated and adopted in light of Departmental strategic priorities.

6.2  Members of staff working for outside bodies on behalf of the University or developing or implementing Departmental policy should look to the Research and Enterprise Office for advice and support where needed on consultancy and other expert work for non-academic bodies.