Expenses policy

What has changed?

The updated policy allows greater flexibility, with spending limits increased where appropriate and greater clarity provided on overseas travel expenses.  The policy also includes clearer guidance about rates and thresholds.

Updated areas of the policy include:

  • allowances for accommodation, meals and other expenses while away on College business, including a new 24-hour meal rate and guidance on conference hotels;
  • clarity on requirements for pre-approvals, including classes of expenditure requiring pre-approval;
  • clarity on what must be included in submissions – both for claimants and approvers;
  • better definitions of terms used in the policy.


For more detail please see Policy change.

When does the new policy go into effect?

1st March 2017.

Which policy should I follow for expenditure incurred before the new policy comes into effect?

Expenditure incurred before 1st March 2017 must follow the 2016 policy (Imperial College Expenses Policy 2016 Edition).  Expenditure incurred after date should follow the 2017 policy.

Should I still refer to HMRC tables for overseas subsistence and accommodation rates?

No, the revised policy does not make reference to these HMRC rates.  Revised rates for countries have been published (Overseas rates).  These have been created based on common traveller locations and past expense data.

What is the rate for countries not listed on the accommodation and subsistence table?

Use the rate listed for All Other Locations.  The thresholds are given in both GBP and EUR.

What happens if I have personal circumstances that will generate policy exceptions?

Can I stay in a conference recommended hotel if it exceeds the accommodation rates in the policy?

For the Conference Hotel claim process please see the Policy change information.

Is the 24-hour meal rate the same as a per diem?

No, this must be used for receipted subsistence meals.  Only actual costs may be reimbursed.  This is not a general daily allowance and is intented to allow flexibility in how you take your meals.  See Subsistence meals and How to use the 24-hour meal rate for more information.