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Risky business? Help is on line

Press release issued: 30 September 2002

Media release
Risky business? Help is on line

Avoiding the legal minefields associated with bullying, research misconduct, staff discipline and 23 other areas of risk in higher education has become easier thanks to a new, web-based advice project.

Called ARMED (Active Risk Management in Education), the project is about minimising risks by assessing them, understanding their legal contexts and devising policies and procedures to prevent and deal with them.

The ARMED website, launched at the end of September, includes practical advice and specimen policies enabling universities to check easily that they are up to speed in this field. The site also encourages universities to add information about their own experiences and share good practice.

The project is financed by HEFCE Good Management funds. It is led by Bristol University, working in partnership with the universities of London, Nottingham Trent, Oxford and the West of England and with Eversheds, solicitors. Some 30 lawyers have been involved, working in the five universities' administrations and in Eversheds.

Dr Katharine McKenzie, Secretary of Bristol University and co-ordinator of the project, said: "From the outset, we were determined to make ARMED practical, easy to use and up to date.

"The project allows feedback from institutions and will be regularly modified to incorporate others' contributions and reflect changes in the law."

Four seminars - free to university representatives - have been arranged with HEFCE funding to explain ARMED in detail. They will be held at Eversheds in Manchester on October 22; the University of Oxford on November 1; the University of London on November 13; and the University of Bristol on December 6. To book a place, contact Sharon Bancroft on 0113 2430391 or email

The 26 units in ARMED cover:

* academic assessment and appeals
* bullying, harassment and stress
* children, maternity, paternity
* consultants and agency staff
* equal opportunities and disability (students)
* equal opportunities and disability (staff)
* equal pay and grading systems
* fixed-term contracts / contract research staff
* outside work
* part-time staff and flexible working
* public interest disclosure
* redundancy
* research misconduct
* sickness absence
* staff discipline and dismissal
* staff employment contracts
* staff grievances
* student accommodation contracts
* student complaints procedures
* student computer use
* student contracts and charters
* student debt
* student discipline and fitness to practise
* student placements
* student unions and clubs
* work permits and visas

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Copyright: 2002 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Monday, 30-Sep-2002 16:43:51 BST

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