About the University of Surrey

Modern Slavery Statement

We are committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking and are committed to ensuring that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in our supply chains or in any parts of our business.

Organisation's structure

The University of Surrey is constituted and founded by Royal Charter within the Higher Education sector. The University has approximately 3000 employees. Our operations are primarily based within the United Kingdom although we do have staff based overseas. The University is supported by a centralised procurement and contracting team with transactional purchasing devolved to individual departments. We also own a number of subsidiaries, including Surrey Sports Park Limited and Blackwell Developments (Guildford) Limited.

Our supply chains

Our main supply chains are as follows:

  • Laboratory testing consumables and equipment
  • Information Technology equipment and services
  • Estates goods and services
  • Business and Trading Services
  • Professional services

Within these categories we believe the following types of goods and services contract are likely to carry the highest risks in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking:

  • Construction and land development
  • Cleaning
  • Catering
  • Clothing and promotional goods
  • IT
  • Temporary labour

Many of the above are purchased under the Southern Universities Procurement Consortium (SUPC), who fully support the MSA. View SUPC’s statement and further information on how they ensure compliance with the MSA.

Our policies on slavery and human trafficking

We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. The University Purchasing policy is currently being updated. The updated policy will reflect our commitment to act with integrity and ethically in all our business relationships and to implement and enforcing effective systems and controls, including in relation to combatting modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains. We are also working on slavery and human trafficking  policy provisions, which are intended to be contained either in a standalone new policy or in an appropriate existing policy. This policy will also reflect our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships, and our expectations of our staff and business partners in this regard. The University has a whistleblowing policy in place that is intended to provide protection to University workers who raise genuine concerns regarding, amongst other things, our business practices. This policy is being updated to ensure it is consistent with recent legal developments and recommended good practice as well as making express reference to modern slavery in a supply chain as an example of a potential concern staff might disclose under the policy.

What we are doing now

  • Developing a “contract lifecycle management programme”. This is planned to include:

-   Identification and substantive training of a limited number of individuals who will have authority to purchase goods and services.

-   A “contracts repository”. We are in the process of selecting and implementing a suitable contracts repository software solution. The repository will include functionality to identify risks types, including modern slavery. It will also identify the University contract manager and signpost where training and guidance on MSA is provided and what the responsibilities of the contract manager are in identifying, managing and mitigating risks.

-   Requirement for appropriate due diligence for new suppliers with whom we contract, which will include modern slavery checks.

-   Updated standard terms and conditions of purchasing, which are expected to include provisions concerning compliance with applicable modern slavery laws.

  • Developing the policies referred to above.
  • A modern slavery working group has been set up and is:

-   Continuing to identify and assess potential risk areas in our supply chains.

-   Continuing to establish how to mitigate the risk of slavery and human trafficking occurring in our supply chains.

-   Continuing to monitor potential risk areas in our supply chains and consider proportionate ways to ensure compliance by our suppliers.

-   Continuing to commit to the protection of whistleblowers and to encourage the reporting of genuine concerns, including in respect of modern slavery and human trafficking.

-   Considering appropriate, effective and proportionate ways of raising staff awareness.

-   Providing input on the above referred to policies which are in development. 

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “MSA”) and constitutes the slavery and human trafficking statement of the University of Surrey. It will replace our previous statement, published in November 2016, effective upon approval by the Executive Board.

This statement was approved by the Executive Board of the University of Surrey on 21 September 2017.