The following page provides information about the University’s approach to managing and recording potential conflicts of interest.
You can access the University’s Policy on Disclosure of Interest here. You are also encouraged to read the supporting Procedure of Disclosing and Managing Conflicts of Interest.
It is the responsibility of each individual to recognise situations in which they have a conflict of interest, or might reasonably be seen by others to have a conflict, to disclose that conflict to the appropriate person and to take such further steps as may be appropriate as set out in more detail in the Procedure for Disclosing and Managing Conflicts of Interest.
1. Procedure as Part of Day to Day Activities
The general rule, with the exception of committee business (see section 3 below), is that the disclosure should be made at the time the conflict first arises, or it is recognised that a conflict might be perceived, in writing to the Head of Department (or equivalent). If the Head of Department (or equivalent) has an interest in the matter to be discussed, the disclosure shall be made to the person at the next higher level of authority. For Council members, this disclosure should be made to the President and University Secretary.
The disclosure must include sufficient information so that an appropriate resolution can be achieved. The following template can be downloaded to assist you in recording the potential conflict
In the case of undergraduate/postgraduate taught students, the student should discuss the relevant issues with their Academic Advisor (or Student Experience Team), who where appropriate, will consult with the Head of Department (or equivalent) following which an approach for dealing with the conflict might be agreed. In the case of postgraduate research (PGR) students, this discussion should be had with the student’s supervisor.
Where the conflict of interest arises between the interests of the supervisor and the student, the student should discuss the matter with the Director of PGR Students or the person responsible for PGR students in the department.
* The term ‘student’ also includes apprentices on degree apprentice programmes.
2. Procedure as Part of Committee Business
At their first meeting of the academic year, each committee within the University should have a standing item on their agenda about conflict of interest and include a copy of both the Policy and Procedure for reference. This item should cover what a conflict of interest is and how the members of the committee should declare such an interest if and when such a circumstance arises.
It is also recommended that all committees adopt the practice of including a similar statement to the following in each agenda:
- ‘Members of [Name] Committee will be asked to declare any interest that could give rise to conflict in relation to any item on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting (or if possible, before the meeting when the agenda is circulated by writing to the Committee Secretary and Chair). All interests so disclosed will be recorded in the minutes of the Committee. If the Chair of the meeting deems it appropriate, the member shall absent themself from all or part of the Committee’s discussion of the matter.
The minutes of the respective meeting should also detail the nature of any conflict, who had the conflict, and how the conflict was managed to ensure full transparency in the decision-making process. The University has developed a suite of templates for managing meetings, which are available on the Governance Team’s intranet templates
3. Annual Declarations of External Interests
In addition to declaring any conflict or potential conflict in accordance with the procedures detailed above, the University has identified a range of postholders who shall be required to submit an annual declaration of their own external interests. Further information can be found in section 4.a of the Procedure for Disclosing and Managing Conflicts of Interest.
Please note this annual process will be administered through the relevant Central Professional Services and Faculty Leads.
Who to contact
|University Secretary and General Counsel
|Governance, Compliance and Regulatory Manager
|0151 794 2110
|0151 795 5525
|Health and Life Sciences
|Saskia Wood, Faculty Operations Manager,
|Humanities and Social Sciences
|Judi Turner, Head of Policy and Corporate Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Science and Engineering
|Vicki Reynolds, Head of Compliance and Operations, email@example.com
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