Covid-19: Crisis Management Structure for UCL

To ensure that UCL can continue to function smoothly for the duration of this crisis, and can emerge from it stronger and more resilient, we implemented different governance structures at various points during 2020 to enable informed decision-making at speed.

In March 2020, we adopted a new governance structure to in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Implementing the Gold / Silver / Bronze (GSB) structure allowed us to close down the campus effectively, and to undertake a huge amount of co-ordinated planning work for a delivery model in 2020-21 that, of necessity, looks very different to our normal way of working. We are now clear about how we want to deliver teaching and run the campus next year. 

On 8 June 2020, we moved away from the GSB structure towards a more streamlined implementation framework focusing on translating our planning into practice. The focus of this new structure continued to be set by the Provost and was supported by a Crisis Leadership Team.

From 28 September 2020, as the campus was reopened and students and staff began to return to UCL, the Provost took the decision to revert to our normal ways of working. The crisis structure has now been stood down and the Senior Management Team is continuing to function as an advisory body for the Provost. Details of the senior leadership team can be found here.

The formal university governance structure has operated throughout the pandemic, with meetings of Academic Board and Council taking place online, and decisions about education delivery ratified by Academic Committee.

Supporting groups

The senior leadership team continues to be supported by delivery groups including the Education and Operations Delivery Group (EODG) and the Research and External Engagement Delivery Group (REED), as well as the Public Health Advisory Panel (PHAP).

UCL Public Health Advisory Panel

The Public Health Advisory Panel will serve as an expert advisory group to help inform UCL’s planning and co-ordinate public health-related activity around COVID-19.

Membership and terms of reference

Chair: Professor Graham Hart (Dean, Faculty of Population Health Sciences)
Secretary: Clair Tranter 

Terms of reference:

  1. To ensure academic input into all aspects of our COVID-19 planning;
  2. To serve as an expert advisory group to inform UCL’s decisions on health promotion and disease prevention measures through the COVID-19 crisis;
  3. To undertake a weekly review of public health data relating to activities on campus and in the local community to inform UCL decisions;
  4. To ensure close engagement with local partners and co-ordination of all public health-related activity in relation to COVID-19, including any testing facilities on campus or in the community, and any engagement with national testing or surge capacity;
  5. To maintain a watching brief  on public health interventions at other universities and key community partners, and to advise on any implications of these.


Professor Andrew Hayward, Director of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
Dr Rob Aldridge, Institute of Health Informatics
Dr Laura Shallcross, Institute of Health Informatics, Consultant in Public Health Medicine
Professor Ibrahim Abubakar, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Max Hill, Director of Workplace Health
Richard Jackson, Office of the COO
Becky Whitham, Director of COVID Response Planning (Testing)
David Everett, Director of Campus Services
Anna Cornelius, Head of Comms, Strategy & Planning 

Delivery Groups

The Senior Management Team (SMT) is supported by two Delivery Groups (for Education and Operations, and Research and External Engagement). These groups commission work as needed and work closely with faculties. The frequency and focus of the meetings of these groups are determined by the chairs. Although they may refer issues back to SMT if needed, the Delivery Groups are set up to operate autonomously to enable decisions to be implemented, rather than to act as a conduit between different parts of structure.

Education and Operational Delivery Group

Chair: VP Education / COO
Convenor: COO, Chief of Staff

Recruitment and Admissions

  • Chair: VP Education / VP Research
  • Convenor: Chief of Staff


  • Chair: Dean of the Faculty of Population Health Sciences
  • Convenor: Strategic Research Facilitator
Research and External Engagement Delivery Group 

Chair: Vice-Provost (Research), Vice-Provost (International & Advancement)
Convenor: Director of Planning, Strategic Project Manager (Deputy)

Further information

If you have a question about UCL's response to the coronavirus pandemic and the crisis management structure we have adopted, please submit this through our online form (for staff and students only). 

If you have a specific question about your individual circumstances please speak to your department in the first instance.

We may not be able to respond to every question individually, but we will use your questions to update the website, so please do continue to check.