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Project Compliance Update: Progress to date and future direction

Launched in May 2022, Project Compliance aims to embed a proportionate, but robust, approach to compliance, throughout the University – where people know what their responsibilities are and are supported to discharge them.

Project Compliance Logo Strategy 2030

Through the project, we have updated our approach to meeting legal and regulatory compliance by adopting the Inform-Support-Assure-Lead (ISAL) framework in suitable areas. 

ISAL, a risk-based framework, introduces a proportionate and intuitive approach to compliance that aligns with our values and changes how we operate. 

The ISAL framework moves us from traditional, gateway-heavy processes to an approach that promotes understanding and trust. From the onset, careful consideration was given to the ISAL framework's introduction, focusing on maintaining rather than detracting from our compliance standards.  

Recent internal audits have shown that this approach has not adversely affected our compliance in those areas. In fact, there has been a notable improvement in awareness of compliance requirements and resources compared to our initial benchmarking. We are delighted with this progress as it highlights the Project’s contribution to fostering a culture of compliance. 

As we look to the future, the Project Board has set ambitious targets to complete key activities and transition project activities to ‘business as usual’ by the end of the calendar year. 

Our revised priorities for the coming year are: 

  • Enhancing mandatory training completion rates across the University – mandatory training is fundamental to helping colleagues to identify compliance issues and signposting them to relevant help. 
  • Completing the integration of the ISAL framework in the current compliance areas – these include:  
    • Export control
    • National Security & Investment Act
    • Whistleblowing
    • Freedom of Speech
    • Diversity & Inclusion Practices
    • Subsidy Control
    • Conflicts of Interest
    • Data protection
    • Improving the visiting academic experience
  • Validating the adoption of the ISAL approach in other relevant areas – in some areas, the ISAL approach is already being used and the Project wants to highlight these successes. 
  • Developing resources to help colleagues deploy the ISAL method after the Project has closed. 
  • Establishing a robust post-hoc assurance methodology to help compliance leads after the Project has closed. 
  • In collaboration with colleagues in the Academic Registry, we will refresh our approach to policy development and implementation. 

As we move forward, your ideas and suggestions are of value to us. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please contact John Houghton, OD and Change Advisor and Project Manager