5.2. New Partner Approval

  • The partnership approval process is the means by which the University establishes the market demand, strategic fit and financial viability for a proposed new collaborative arrangement.

  • Partnership approval process

    Approval for entering into new collaborative partnerships must be sought from the Learning Partnerships Advisory Group (LPAG) which is chaired by the PVC for Research & Global Partnerships.

    There are a number of steps to be undertaken before a new proposal can be considered at LPAG. Consult your ADSD and Faculty link QAO for advice on timescales.

    Collaborative provision proposal form

    Key documents

    Formal proposals for new partnerships are presented to LPAG on the appropriate Collaborative Provision Proposal Form which provides the Group with details of:

    • the legal, financial and academic standing of the prospective partner;
    • the proposed collaborative programme arrangements, and who will be responsible for their development and management;
    • the business case and financial model which will support the proposal;
    • the risk register for the proposed provision.

    Preparing a partnership proposal – due diligence

    Before a proposal can be submitted to LPAG, the project leader must carry out due diligence enquiries, assess the risks involved in the partnership, and obtain Faculty Executive approval.

    Due diligence

    • The project leader should visit the partner to discuss how they would like the partnership to operate and the outline financial arrangements; and assess the partner’s ability to support the proposed collaborative programmes. The information gathered will assist you in completing the CPPF, and guidance note G5.2 gives some advice on academic due diligence. You may wish to draft a Memorandum of Understanding, but there is no obligation on either side at this stage.

    Risk assessment

    • A risk register is an integral element of the CPPF form, and action plans for any risks rated Medium/High or above must also be included with the LPAG submission. You should seek advice from your ADSD, and refer to the guidance notes in G5.3 a-c.

    Faculty Executive approval

    • All proposals for new collaborative arrangements must have the support of the PVC/Dean of Faculty prior to submission to LPAG. The ADSD will advocate for the proposal at LPAG, therefore the Faculty Executive must satisfy themselves that there is a strong rationale and market demand for the proposed partnership, that comprehensive due diligence has been carried out, and a realistic assessment has been made of the risks. They must also approve the business plan, and ensure the necessary resources are available to enable the PDT to develop the proposal.

    LPAG approval

    • Proposals may not proceed to approval of the academic arrangements until LPAG has given approval. In the context of the University’s strategic objectives for partnerships, they will consider the rationale and market analysis set out in the CPPF, the business case for the proposal, and the Faculty’s assessment of the risks.