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The strategic review of the College's operating model for Professional Services

Programme Overview

The College strategy requires us to provide professional support, consistent processes and appropriate technology for all of our staff and students, reducing the amount of time that academic staff are required to spend on administrative activities and ensuring our support teams are valued by our customers.

We need an operating model for Professional Services, which defines how people, processes and technology come together to implement the College strategy, focusing on three fundamental design principles:

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Providing services that are more personal and relevant to the individual


Integrating services so that we can prioritise the needs of the service users


Offering services that are quick, easy to use and accessible by all staff and students

Why are we reviewing our operating model?

Our current Professional Services are not as effective as they could be - not as a result of the effort and commitment from hardworking staff - but because our processes are not always as integrated as they need to be to ensure seamless delivery. Feedback from our service users has highlighted that the College's structures and systems can often be hard to navigate.

Furthermore, the growth forecast for the College over the next five years assumes a 20% increase in student numbers and a 15% increase in research volume. We need to create a more efficient and sustainable operating model for Professional Services that frees up the capacity required for value-add activities and supports the anticipated growth.

The review of the College's operating model for Professional Services has been initiated jointly by the Provost and CFO, with the primary objective of improving the staff and student experience whilst enabling a reduction in overall support staff costs.

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What do we mean by "Professional Services"?

Professional Services covers a broad range of services that enable our core research and education activities and are also dependent upon and provide utility to each other. Professional Services are both suppliers and customers of services, spaces across the College, and creators and custodians of data, information and knowledge. It covers services delivered by staff both centrally and locally.

operating model

What is an operating model?

An operating model is a description of how an organisation is designed to deliver its strategy and service proposition. It is formed of a number of elements - processes and work flows, technology and systems, work locations, governance, service delivery, behaviour and work culture. All of these elements enable the effective and efficient delivery of that service proposition.