Classes of information explained

  1. Who we are and what we do
  2. What we spend and how we spend it
  3. What our priorities are and how we are doing
  4. How we make decisions
  5. Our policies and procedures
  6. Lists and registers
  7. The services we offer

Who we are and what we do

Organisational information, structures, locations and contacts.

We would expect information in this class to be current information only.

Legal framework

Information relating to the legal and corporate status of the institution.

How the institution is organised

Information about the management structure of the institution, including a description of the Statutory Bodies and the organisational structure together with a description of the work of each unit and the names and responsibilities of key personnel. It is also expected that terms of reference, membership and description of all boards and committees would be provided. It should include faculty and department structures and identify senior personnel.

Location and contact details

If possible, named contacts should be given in addition to contact phone numbers and email addresses.

Lists of and information relating to organisations which the university has responsibility for, those it works in partnership with, those it sponsors and companies wholly owned by it

On the basis that most of these bodies will be responsible for their own affairs, it is expected that this information need be only sufficient for the purposes of identifying the relationship between these bodies (such as business, the professions and the community) and the university.

Student activities

Information relating to the operation and activities of the Student Union and other clubs, associations and non-academic activities that are organised for or by the students can also be included where this information is held by the University.

What we spend and how we spend it

Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, procurement, contracts and financial audit.

We would expect as a minimum that financial information for the current and previous two financial years should be available.

Funding / income

Information on the sources of funding and income, such as Funding Council grants, tuition fees, endowment, rents and investment income (including investment strategy).

Budgetary and account information

Annual Statement of Accounts and other information to allow the public to see where money is being spent, where it is or has been planned to spend it and the difference between one and another. We would expect revenue budgets and budgets for capital expenditure to be included.

Financial audit reports

Capital programme

Information on major plans for capital expenditure including any public private partnership contracts.

Financial regulations and procedures

Staff pay and grading structures

This may be provided as part of the organisational structure and should indicate, for most posts, levels of pay rather than individual salaries.

Register of suppliers

Procurement and tender procedures and reports

Details of procedures used for the acquisition of goods and services. Contracts currently available for public tender and reports of successful tenders.


We would expect normally that it should be necessary only to publish details of contracts that are of sufficient size to have gone through a formal tendering process.

Research funding

Information about Government, Research Councils, European, international and industrial funding for research together with information about the management of research accounts.

What our priorities are and how we are doing

Strategies and plans, performance indicators, audits, inspections and reviews.

We would expect information in this class to be available at least for the current and previous three years.

Below is a list of the type of information that we would expect universities to have readily available for publication. Any other reports or recorded information demonstrating the university’s planned or actual performance should normally be included.

Annual report

Corporate and business plans

Teaching and learning strategy

Academic quality and standards

Information on the University’s internal procedures for assuring academic quality and standards and qualitative data on the quality and standards of learning and teaching.

External review information

This will include information such as the annual monitoring and review process together with a statement of roles, responsibilities and authority of different bodies within the institution involved in programme approval and review.

Corporate relations

Information relating to the University’s links with employers and the development of learning programmes.

Government and regulatory reports

For example accreditation and monitoring reports by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies and information that an institution is legally obliged to make available to its funding and/or monitoring bodies.

How we make decisions

Decision making processes and records of decisions.

We would expect information in this class to be available at least for the current and previous three years.

Minutes from governing body, Council / Senate, academic boards and steering groups

We would expect minutes of meetings where key decisions are made about the operation of the university, excluding material that is properly considered to be private, to be readily available to the public.

Teaching and learning committee minutes

Minutes of staff / student consultation meetings

Appointment committees and procedures

Our policies and procedures

Current written protocols, policies and procedures for delivering our services and responsibilities.

We would expect information in this class to be current information only.

Policies and procedures for conducting university business

Codes of practice, memoranda of understanding, procedural rules, standing orders and similar information should be included. Procedures for handling requests for information should be included. In Wales it will include the Welsh Language Scheme in accordance with the Welsh Language Act 1993 and in Northern Ireland the equality scheme/statement produced in accordance with section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

Procedures and policies relating to academic services

Some of these policies may already be covered in class 2 ‘What our priorities are and how we are doing’ in the context of external review and academic quality and standards. Additional policies under this heading may include such matters as policies and procedures relating to honorary degrees, procedures for changing course, regulations and policy on student assessment, appeal procedures and policy on breach of assessment regulations.

Procedures and policies relating to student services

This will include relevant policies and procedures as they apply, for example, to student admission and registration, accommodation, management of the

student records system, the assessment of external qualifications, internal student complaints and appeals, and code of student discipline.

Procedures and policies relating to human resources

This will include the full range of human resources policies and procedures such as generic terms and conditions of employment, collective bargaining and consultation with trade unions, grievance, disciplinary, harassment and bullying, public interest disclosure, staff development (such as induction, probation, appraisal, promotions).

Procedures and policies relating to recruitment

If vacancies are advertised as part of recruitment policies, details of current vacancies will be readily available.

Code of Conduct for members of governing bodies

Equality and Diversity

This will also include policies, statements, procedures and guidelines relating to equal opportunities.

Health and Safety

Estate management

This will include disposals policy, estates strategy and plan, facilities management policies, grounds and building maintenance.

Complaints policy

Complaints procedures will include those covering requests for information and operating the publication scheme.

Records management and personal data policies

This will include information security policies, records retention and archive policies, and data protection (including data sharing) policies.

Research policy and strategy

This will include quality assurance procedures, policy and procedures relating to intellectual property, ethics committee terms of reference, applications and their approval, and any other relevant codes of practice. This will include policy, strategy and procedures relating to knowledge transfer and enterprise.

Charging regimes and policies

Details of any statutory charging regimes should be provided. Charging policies should include charges made for information routinely published and

clearly state what costs are to be recovered together with the basis on which they are made and how they are calculated.

Lists and registers

We expect this to be information contained only in currently maintained lists and registers.

Any information we are currently legally required to hold in publicly available registers

Asset registers

We would not expect universities to publish all details from all asset registers. We would expect some information from capital asset registers, including landholdings, to be available.

Disclosure logs

Where a university produces a disclosure log indicating the information that has been provided in response to request it should be readily available. Disclosure logs are themselves recommended as good practice.

Register of gifts and hospitality provided to senior personnel

Any register of interests kept in the university

The services we offer

Information about the services we offer, including leaflets, guidance and newsletters.

Generally this is an extension of part of the first class of information. While the first class provides information on the roles and responsibilities of the university, this class includes details of the services which are provided by the university, internationally, nationally and locally as a result of them. It will also relate to information covered in other classes. Examples of other services that could be included are:


Services for outside bodies

Course content

Welfare and counselling

Health including medical services


Chaplaincy services

Services for which the university is entitled to recover a fee together with those fees

Sports and recreational facilities

Museums, libraries, special collections and archives

It is expected that this will include guides to collections and scope and

availability of catalogues. (Further guidance is available in that provided for bodies responsible for managing museums, collections and archives.)

Conference facilities

Advice and guidance

Local campaigns

Media releases

Page last modified on 11 jun 14 14:47