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Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication: A Guide for

Consultancy Activities

This policy applies to College employees, both academic and non-academic, including
fractional, sessional and visiting staff. It also applies to consultants and secondees from
third party organisations unless specified differently in the contract governing their

1. Background

1.1 This Guide for Consultancy Activities embodies the College’s policy on
consultancy activities. It is in a form intended to help staff understand and
benefit from College policy.

1.2 The College recognises that consultancy activities can have an important role to
play in knowledge transfer and can constitute a valuable way to make its
knowledge and skill base available to the wider economy and society. The
College therefore encourages staff to undertake reasonable amounts of
consultancy within the principles set out in this Guide.

1.3 The benefits arising from consultancy include:

- Building links between the College and outside bodies which may help
the College to place students for project work or work placements;
- Increasing the expertise and experience of College staff through
involvement in ‘real world’ assignments, thus enhancing their teaching
and contributing to their career development;
- Generating additional income for the staff involved, for their Faculty or
Department and for the College.
- Ensuring that College facilities and expertise are fully utilised by the
creative industries and businesses wishing to access creativity, digital
technology and design innovation
- Positioning the College, its staff and students as leaders in their fields to
the outside world and raising their profiles
- Developing new partnerships spanning regional, national and global

2. Definitions

2.1 Consultancy is a term taken to refer to expert advice which draws upon and
applies the expertise of members of staff. Consultancy may include:

- Provision of advice or the undertaking of testing or development work for

a third party organisation (including commercial and not-for-profit
- Applied creative, design or experimental work commissioned by a third
party organisation (including commercial and not-for-profit organisations);
- Development and delivery of short courses and professional development
support (including open courses and bespoke courses commissioned by
third party organisations (including commercial and not-for-profit
organisations). Staff will be paid the same rates as professional training
facilitators for developing and delivering short courses, or if preferable a
time of in lieu system may be applied.

2.2 Consultancy is normally undertaken for the direct benefit of the commissioning
body and draws on existing knowledge. It is unlike research in that its primary
purpose is not the generation of new knowledge. Consultancy contracts are
usually short-term, lasting from a day to a few months, and involve work for
existing staff rather than the employment of new staff.

2.3 It is not intended to include within consultancy those activities, whether paid or
unpaid, which are in furtherance of scholarship or the general dissemination of
knowledge or creativity, such as:

- External examining
- Professional performance or exhibitions
- Authorship
- Occasional broadcasting
- Occasional paid teaching

However, it should be noted that staff wishing to engage in these types of

activities should first seek the permission of their Head of Faculty or Head of
Department who will be responsible for ensuring that the activity does
compromise the operation of College business. Information on permissions is
given under Section 3 below.

2.4 The College differentiates between consultancy carried out in the name of the
College and that carried out in a private capacity. The extent to which staff are
permitted to undertake private work or run their own companies is governed by
College regulations and contractual relationships with staff. Where work is
undertaken privately (to the extent permitted by College regulations and
contractual relationships) staff must not use College equipment, facilities or
College owned intellectual property without the College’s permission. Where
work is undertaken privately, the College will not provide professional indemnity
or insurance cover and will not regard any intellectual property arising from such
work as being covered by its regulations. Where work is undertaken privately, it
is the responsibility of the member of staff to ensure that the client is fully aware
that the work is being accepted from the individual in a private capacity and that
no responsibility can fall upon the College.

3. Consultancy Work: Permissions

3.1 Staff wishing to undertake a consultancy or work from an outside body as

described under 2.2 above must obtain permission from their approved
authoriser as set out below:
Authoriser Staff Member

Chair of the Board of Governors Director

Director Directors and Heads of Faculty

Heads of Faculty Academic and academic related staff

or others line managed by Heads of

Directors Those who are line managed by

Directors of service departments

3.2 There is no absolute limit to the number of days staff may be involved in
consultancy, although normally this will be up to 46 (based on one day per
working week) days per year. In giving permission, the authoriser will be
responsible for ensuring that the operation of College business is not

4. Consultancy Work: Administration

Subject to the approval of the Authoriser, all consultancy activities will be

administered on behalf of the College by Ravensbourne Limited through the
Enterprise and Innovation Centre.

5. Consultancy Work: Pricing and Fees

5.1 Consultancy contracts should always be priced at market rate to ensure that all
costs are covered and wherever possible there is an element of surplus This will
mean that the price charged will be higher than for a typical research or
educational activity

5.2 Research and other educational contracts are usually priced on the cost of staff
and materials plus an overhead. This costing methodology rarely recovers the
full economic costs of the activity but is often justified by other benefits seen to
accrue from undertaking the work.

5.3 Consultancy contracts should always be priced according at the level the market
will bear and should return a surplus over and above the full cost of undertaking
the activity. As a general guideline, the price of a contract will be double gross
staff time plus all other direct costs and a contribution to overheads.
5.4 Consultancy rates will be agreed with the staff member and the contractor prior
to each consultancy project commencing and will vary depending on the
discipline, facilities and project concerned.

6. Rewards

6.1 The College will normally seek to reward staff for consultancy work undertaken.
The first call on any income must always be the reimbursement of the direct
costs incurred in carrying out the consultancy and the level of the fee paid to the
individual staff member will be determined by College policy with regard to the
split of surpluses generated from fee earning work.

6.2 Normally surpluses will be split as follows:

- Ravensbourne Limited: 15%

- Faculty or Department: 15%
- Staff member: 70%

6.3 The College may review and revise this reward distribution model at any point
and will ensure staff are made aware of any changes.

6.4 By agreement with the relevant authoriser, consultancy funds may be used to
buy-out staff from teaching or other duties allowing staff adequate time to engage
in consultancy activity. In such cases, there will not normally be any additional
payment to the staff member(s) released from teaching or other duties.

6.5 Where and when appropriate the College may enlist graduating students to work
on consultancy projects under the supervision and support of a full time staff

7. Records and Reporting

7.1 Staff engaging in consultancy work should notify their head of faculty who
in turn should notify the Head of Enterprise and Innovation prior to each
project commencing

7.2 Staff will be required to report on all consultancy and all outside work referred to
under 2.2 above through the annual appraisal process. A record of all approved
work for outside bodies, including paid consultancy activities, will be maintained by
the College (even where nil returns apply).

7.3 The record of approved outside work will form part of an annual report on
knowledge transfer and commercial activities made to the Commercial Development
and Enterprise Committee and may be used by the College as the basis of reporting
on activity to third parties. In agreeing to undertake approved consultancy activity or
outside work, the member of staff will be deemed to have given permission for such
use of information held on record.
8. Failure to Disclose or Obtain Approval for Consultancy Activity or Work for
Outside Bodies

8.1 Failure to disclose or obtain formal approval for consultancy activity as required
by the policy set out in these Guidelines may be regarded as a disciplinary matter
and subject to the College’s disciplinary procedures. In addition, members of
staff will not be insured or indemnified by the College in circumstances where
formal approval has not been obtained.

9. Citizenship Activities

9.1 The College recognises that many of its staff engage in citizenship activities
other than the activities governed by this policy and in their own time. The
College wishes to support and encourage these activities wherever appropriate.
The College may therefore invite staff to disclose their involvement in citizenship
activities but recognises that any such disclosure is entirely voluntary and not be
linked to contractual responsibilities, terms and conditions of employment or
employment record of members of staff who volunteer such information.

10. Sources of Support and Information

10.1 Support in identifying and attracting consultancy work to the College can be
obtained through the Enterprise and Innovation Centre, whose team can work as
new business consultants. If you would like them to approach a company or industry
sector on your behalf contact Chris Thompson, Head of Enterprise and Innovation,
through the details provided below.

10.1 Opportunities for consultancy should be raised at each faculty meeting by

members of staff approached by outside partners.

10.2 Support with contracts, invoicing and administration will be available from
Ravensbourne Limited through the Enterprise and Innovation Centre.

10.3 Help and advice in relation to this policy are available from, Chris Thompson on
extension 4956, Email or through Directors and Heads
of Faculties.