Risk and Project Assurance Team

The key aim of the Risk and Project Assurance Team is to provide a high level of confidence across the University in relation to University objectives and strategic initiatives. They work in partnership with Academic Colleges and Professional Services across the organisation to provide a project assurance and risk management function. They are responsible for fostering and growing the project management community and culture within the University, for administering risk assessment processes and also ensuring that more active risk management is conducted across the University. The team provides professional project and risk management oversight of all major projects in delivery and ensures the successful implementation of externally funded projects and activities critical to the delivery of the University’s Strategic Plan.

The team endeavours to:

  • provide project assurance and risk assessment for major externally funded projects
  • ensure that there is an effective operational link between projects and the Senior Management of the University
  • develop and sustain an effective risk management culture within the University
  • champion professional project management across the University

The team will achieve this by:

  • forging strong and positive professional relationships
  • growing project management professionalism
  • facilitating a proactive risk management culture 

The team is responsible for the development and maintenance of the University’s Project Management Framework. They have achieved the highly considered APM (Association for Project Management) Corporate Accreditation status on behalf of the University. This means that the organisation considers the APM Body of Knowledge and Competence Framework as lead references in all project management activities. Staff are supported through APM qualifications and membership, with a variety of CPD opportunities available. For more information see the Guide to Project Management Upskilling which is available on our SharePoint site alongside frameworks, procedure and template documentation.

The University has a Risk Management Policy which explains the University’s underlying approach to risk management and documents the roles and responsibilities of Council and its sub-committees, the Senior Management Team (SMT) and other key parties. The policy also outlines key aspects of the risk management process and identifies the main reporting procedures.

The Risk and Project Assurance Team aims to provide a high level of confidence to the University and will endeavour to ensure that the University can continue to embrace innovation whilst being reassured that there are robust and independent evaluations and controls in place.

The team’s role is to:

College Research Hubs

Forge strong, positive and supportive relationships within the College Research Hubs

  • Support effective operation of the College Research Hubs
  • Contribute project management expertise in the review and drafting of new proposals
  • Conduct risk assessments of all proposals over £100K in a fast and efficient manner to support grant submission timescales
  • Interrogate proposals in AMS system and ensure engagement with relevant PIs to improve quality of submissions and grant capture
  • Ensure pro-active start-up support to key PIs for new projects
  • Facilitate resolution of administrative issues impacting the start-up of new projects
  • Support recruitment, mentoring and coaching of new project managers      

Major projects in delivery

Forge strong, positive and supportive relationships for all major projects in delivery

  • Facilitate operation of Major Projects Board
  • Develop and own integrated assurance plans for each major project
  • Track and manage an integrated assurance plan for each major project
  • Conduct regular assurance checks on each major project
  • Liaise with College Managers and College Research Hub Managers to ensure effective monitoring and assurance of all major projects owned by each College
  • Provide coaching and relationship support to each major project manager
  • Provide guidance to PIs and PMs on project management processes and practices
  • Attend project boards or steering groups
  • Attend risk workshops during project delivery
  • Ensure close working relationships with other PSUs (Estates, REIS, HR, Finance/Procurement, ISS, Academic Services) in support of major projects
  • Assist all PMs in resolution of issues and management of risks including escalation management
  • Support effective financial assurance processes including identification and escalation of issues
  • Support quality reviews of financial and output evidence required by funders
  • Maintain a log of major projects including key attributes and status

Project Management

Grow Project Management professionalism

  • Maintain the Project Management Framework
  • Lead the project management and project support community
  • Encourage the documenting and sharing of good project management practices
  • Facilitate local project management communities within both the Colleges and the Hubs
  • Facilitate project initiation for any University initiative
  • Maintain the University project management practices and support material
  • Maintain the University project management webpages
  • Facilitate the Project Management Forum
  • Administer the PM Channel e-learning portal and encourage the University project management community in obtaining qualifications
  • Develop and deliver project management training via APECS and other vehicles
  • Develop and deliver bespoke project management training to other PSUs
  • Facilitate pan-University engagement with APM including hosting regional APM events
  • Network with APM membership and Special Interest Groups to market the University and harvest any intellectual capital
  • Keep up to date with the latest developments in project management practice and utilise them to improve University practices
  • Network with other Welsh universities to share project management experiences and improve consistency of practice across Wales
  • Network with global higher education institutions to harvest any project management intellectual capital
  • Ensure University conformance to APM Corporate Accreditation requirements
  • Maintenance and guidance of project management competency assessment tool
  • Maintenance of project manager template job descriptions to ensure adherence to APM and industry standards
  • Support the integration of professional project management with student education activity to add value to the student experience

Proactive risk management

      Facilitating a proactive risk management culture

  • Coach and support College Managers and PS Directors in active management of risks
  • Ensure University conformance to Risk Management Policy
  • Conduct quarterly reviews of all risk registers with Registrar/COO
  • Conduct annual review of College and PSU risk registers
  • Facilitate risk assessment review process on behalf of SMT
  • Administer University Risk Register tool and direct ISS resources in maintenance and enhancement activity
  • Administer University Risk Register for VC on a quarterly basis
  • Prepare and gain approval for annual Risk Administrator’s Report
  • Interlock the University Risk Register with JIAU annual audit plan
  • Attend Audit Committee meetings
  • Develop and deliver risk management training via APECS and other vehicles
  • Maintain the University risk management tools, practices and support material
  • Maintain the Risk Management Policy
  • Maintain the University risk management webpages
  • Facilitate risk workshops for any University initiative
  • Encourage the documenting and sharing of good risk management practices
  • Network with risk management professional bodies to market the University and share best practice
  • Network with other Welsh universities to share risk management experiences and improve consistency across Wales
  • Network with global higher education institutions to harvest any risk management intellectual capital