Professional Services Group

Appointed by SMG, the Professional Services Group (PSG) brings together the directors of the University’s centrally managed services (University Services) together with the chief operating officers and directors of professional services in the four Colleges.  Its primary purpose is to coordinate the provision of services across the University in support of academic activities and the student experience.  This executive-led management group oversees the development and delivery of the University Services strategy, budgets and operating plans in alignment with the University Strategy as well as considering the distribution of professional support across both central services and Colleges.

The management group is convened by the Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary who is the budget holder for University Services.  As such, the scheme of delegation allows PSG to approve expenditure up to £250k and estates related contracts up to £500k.  PSG collectively owns the development and ongoing management of the University Services budget.

PSG takes primary responsibility for overseeing implementation of the Services Strategy, focussing on its three pillars – People first, Working together, and efficiency and effectiveness. It is committed to supporting the University’s transformation agenda and to ensuring that resources are deployed to take forward specific transformation initiatives

Group remit

The PSG remit is as follows:


  • Ensure that University Services and professional support functions in the Colleges support implementation of the University Strategy and associated thematic and enabling strategies
  • Develop a Service Strategy, and oversee its delivery
  • Coordinate budget planning and monitor performance against forecast
  • Identify areas for additional investment needs


  • Provide functional expertise to enable specialist aspects of service delivery and operations, focusing on technology, people and organisation design, financial control and data
  • Pre-approve any organisational change impacting more than 10 employees prior to submission to the Organisation Change Governance Group
  • Identify and coordinate changes to support provision as the University’s strategic and operational needs evolve
  • Undertake horizon scanning and risk analysis to address new opportunities and challenges

Professional Services Delivery:

  • Pre-approve the annual University Services revenue and capital budget
  • Approve rolling investment plans and submit as part of the annual planning exercise
  • Approve funding and resource requirements within set budget to deliver strategic goals
  • Maintain oversight of all service delivery and operations
  • Undertake biennial review of performance and user perspectives on professional services
  • Identify, assess and mitigate service delivery and operational risks, escalating to SMG as necessary

Governance and Service Strategy Programme Assurance:

  • Ensure appropriate governance is being applied at a programme and operational level and that business cases are periodically reviewed
  • Assure business readiness before implementation of new initiatives in terms of knowledge and capability of users
  • Undertake effective post implementation reviews to identify the lessons on what has worked and what needs to change for future implementations

Scheme of Delegation

The following details the delegated authority for PSG and shows how it is placed in the overall University Scheme of Delegation with escalation to SMG, advising other committees as required:

Area of Responsibility


Final Authority

Decision Making Delegated Authority

Escalation To

Approve Service Strategy (pre-SMG and Court)



Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary


Approve spend within approved budget


Executive Director of Finance

Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary

Senior Management Group

Approve University Services related capital project business cases

<£500k or change requests >5% of

Executive Director of Finance

Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary

Investment Committee

Pre-approve all Service Strategy business cases (pre-Investment Committee)

>500k or change requests >5% of

Executive Director of Finance

Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary

Investment Committee

Approve sequencing and delivery timescales for all Service Strategy projects


Senior Management Group

Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary

Senior Management Group

Pre-approve resource requirements prior to following P&OD recruitment policy


Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary

Executive Director of People & OD

Senior Management Group

Group Membership

This is an executive led group with the following membership. 

  • Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary (Chair)
  • Vice Principal (External Relations) and Deputy Vice Chancellor (External Engagement)
  • Vice Principal (Economic Development & Innovation) and Deputy Chief Operating Officer
  • Executive Director of Finance or Deputy Director of Finance
  • Executive Director of Estates
  • Deputy Secretary and Head of Legal
  • Executive Director of Commercial Services
  • Executive Director of People & OD
  • Executive Director of Information Services
  • Executive Director of Research Services
  • Executive Director of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Engagement
  • Executive Director of Student and Academic Services
  • Executive Director of Transformation
  • College of MVLS Director of Professional Services
  • College of Arts & Humanities Director of Professional Services
  • College of Science & Engineering Director of Professional Services
  • College of Social Sciences Director of Professional Services
  • Head of University Services Finance
  • Head of University Services People & OD
  • Head of Estates Finance
  • PA and Secretary to Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary (Clerk)

In attendance:

  • Presenters of business cases or updates to changes as required

Group Member Responsibilities

Court has final accountability for the approval of strategy and investment.  Each group member has a responsibility to:

  • Assure business continuity at all times
  • Provide insight, scrutiny and challenge to the associated strategic project deliverables and outcomes
  • Agree on the achievability of business cases, plans and roadmaps
  • Provide challenge on delivery timescales including cost and resource constraints
  • Identify, assess and mitigate service delivery risk at an operational, programme and project level
  • Openly and constructively challenge where investments do not meet our Service Strategy outcomes or meets key criteria for regulatory, business continuity and strategic investments
  • Take ownership for specific actions and risks in the PSG Action and Risk Logs. All actions and risks must have a committee member as overall owner
  • Activity and behaviour should embody the University’s values (click here for details)

Format and cadence

The meeting schedule will be every month.


  • Service Strategy
  • University Services dashboard summarising budget, resources, risks and communications
  • Update papers as required
  • Business cases as appropriate
  • Service Strategy Benefits Tracker


  • Business cases, change requests and papers as required
  • Decision Log
  • Action Log
  • Minutes

Substitutions and Quorum

Substitutions may be made with prior notice given to the clerk.  There must be a minimum of 9 (excluding clerk) in attendance for decisions or approvals. In the event of a consensus not being reached, the convenor will have the casting decision.

Conflict of Interest

The PSG will follow the UofG procedure for the management of any conflicts.  The procedure defines declaration of conflicts as a standard agenda item at the start of the meeting, the maintenance of a register of conflicts, and a process for managing all conflicts which are declared.