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. Examples of the services provided include, but are not limited to, accommodation management, events management, facilities management, finance information management, human resources, IT management, people management, student administration and research administration. It covers services delivered by staff both centrally and locally.

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.

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.

This review 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.

What is the vision for Professional Services?

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:

  • Value driven: improving the staff and student experience, freeing up staff time and reducing cost
  • Customer focus: prioritising the needs of service users whilst promoting a culture of continuous improvement
  • Unified and leveraged: integrated, standardised and centrally managed processes and services

Who will govern the design process for the new operating model?

The Professional Services Transformation programme board was launched in January 2018, providing strategic oversight and direction for the delivery of the programme of work. Its primary purpose is to secure the successful delivery of the programme outcomes and the realisation of associated benefits.

The board consists of:

  • Programme Sponsor: Richard Martin
  • Programme Coordinator: Anne Storno
  • Senior Faculty Representatives: Nazia Hirjee, Jon Tucker, Chris Watkins
  • Process Owners: Joe Cooper, Lynne Cox, John Whitlow, Tony Lawrence

What is a Process Owner?

For each process area, there will be a single individual with accountability and authority for the design, service quality and delivery of their assigned processes. The Process Owners will operate in a consultative way to ensure that the needs of those impacted by the processes are met. They will consult with key stakeholders to ensure that those closest to the processes are able to contribute effectively to the design and specification of their processes.

How can I get more involved with this work?

The more voices we hear, the more we will be able to create a stronger, user-focused operating model, so we greatly encourage you to get involved.

There will be ongoing “Voice of the Customer” workshops taking place across Faculties and Departments, in addition to process mapping workshops, which will help us understand how the relevant processes currently work and how they could work in the proposed new approach.

If you’d like to find out more about getting involved or providing feedback, please contact the Professional Services Transformation team: email us