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					                           MCA Cooper Associates




REPORT TO



THE DEPARTMENT FOR EMPLOYMENT AND LEARNING (DEL)



ON AN EFFICIENCY REVIEW INTO BELFAST METROPOLITAN
COLLEGE (BMC)




April 2009
                                                                                   MCA Cooper Associates


CONTENTS

Section                                                                                                        Page
  Glossary of Abbreviations.....................................................................................4
  1. Executive Summary .....................................................................................6
  2. Terms of Reference......................................................................................9
  4. Background and Overview of BMC ............................................................13
  5. Approach Adopted......................................................................................14
    5.1   Project Initiation;...................................................................................14
    5.2   Understanding BMC.............................................................................14
    5.3   Assessing BMC....................................................................................14
    5.4   Reporting .............................................................................................14
  6. Financial Position and Projected Performance Analysis.............................15
    6.1   Forecast Outturn year to 31st July 2009 ...............................................15
  7. Audit Compliance and Financial Controls...................................................19
    7.1   Background and Overview ...................................................................19
    7.2   Review of the Audit Committee’s Reports............................................20
    7.3   Specific Audit Issues Followed Up .......................................................21
    7.4. Issues reviewed ...................................................................................21
    7.5   Financial Controls ................................................................................29
    7.6   Summary..............................................................................................36
  8. Estates .......................................................................................................38
    8.1   Introduction ..........................................................................................38
    8.2   Background..........................................................................................38
    8.3   Our Approach.......................................................................................39
    8.4   Information Review ..............................................................................39
    8.5   BMC Estates Strategy..........................................................................41
    8.6   Estate Strategy – Additional Points ......................................................42
    8.7   Conclusions .........................................................................................43
  9. Management Information System...............................................................46
    9.1   Introduction ..........................................................................................46
    9.2   Strategic Development.........................................................................46
    9.3   Staffing.................................................................................................47
    9.4   Elements of the MIS System................................................................48
    9.5   Data .....................................................................................................50
    9.6   Timetabling ..........................................................................................52
    9.7   Audit of MIS Data.................................................................................53
    9.8   Management Information .....................................................................54
  10. Curriculum & Staffing..................................................................................56
    10.1 General Review ...................................................................................56
    10.2 Curriculum Planning.............................................................................56
    10.3 Reporting Academic Performance .......................................................61
    10.4 Performance against Targets...............................................................64
    10.5 Retention & Achievement.....................................................................65
    10.6 Academic Staffing Requirements.........................................................66
    10.7 Support Staffing ...................................................................................70

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      10.8 Correct staffing level for the College .......................................................71
  11. Governance and Accountability.................................................................74
      11.1 Introduction .........................................................................................74
      11.2 Background.........................................................................................75
      11.3 The Governing Body – Fulfilment of Responsibilities..........................76
      11.4 Points Raised In Discussions..............................................................78
      11.5 Governing Body Relations with Others ...............................................80
      11.6 Way Forward ......................................................................................80
  12. Performance of the Senior Management Team.........................................84
      12.1 Introduction .........................................................................................84
      12.2 Our Approach .....................................................................................84
      12.3 Organisation Structure and Timeline...................................................85
      12.4 Job Descriptions .................................................................................86
      12.5 Performance Appraisal of SMT members ...........................................89
      12.6 Performance Appraisal of other College Staff.....................................90
      12.7 Financial Management of the College – SMT Responsibilities ...........90
      12.8 Financial Management Systems in BMC ............................................92
      12.9 The Performance and Capacity of the SMT as a team. ......................93
      12.10 The Performance and Capacity of individual SMT members ..............94
  13. Summary of Recommendations for Improvement ..................................100
  List of Appendices ............................................................................................112
  I            Financial Forecast and Historic Performance................................113
  II           Estates Information Request List and Document Availability ........114
  III          Draft Organisation Charts..............................................................115
  IV           Example of Curriculum Planning Spreadsheet ..............................116
  V            Pivot Table Extract ........................................................................117
  VI           Job descriptions ............................................................................118
  VII          List of Meetings with Staff .............................................................119
  VIII         Terms of Reference ......................................................................120




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Glossary of Abbreviations

ANIC        Association of Northern Ireland Colleges
BIFHE       Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education
BMC         Belfast Metropolitan College
BT          British Telecom
CCFHE       Castlereagh College of Further and Higher Education
DDA         Disability Discrimination Act
DDBS        Deputy Director Business Services
DDCP        Deputy Director Curriculum Programmes
DDCS        Deputy Director Curriculum Services
DDLS        Deputy Director Learner Services
DEL         Department for Employment and Learning
ECP         College Staff Recruitment Panel
ELB         Education and Library Boards
ETI         Education and Training Inspectorate
EU          European Union
FAST        DEL Audit Team
FE          Further Education
FLU(s)      Funded Learner Unit
HE          Higher Education
HR          Human Resources
IT          Information Technology
L1          NVQ L1, GCSE (Grade D-G)
L2          NVQ L2, BTEC (first Diploma), GCSE (Grade A-C)
L3          NVQ L3, A&AS levels, International Baccalaureate, Access to HE
L4          NVQ L4, Foundation Degree, Foundation Degree, BA/BSc Honours
            Degree
LRA         Labour Relations Agency
LSC         Learning and Skills Council (in England)
MCA         MCA Cooper Associates
MIS         Management Information Systems
NDAQ        National Database of Accredited Qualifications
NIAO        Northern Ireland Audit Office
NICIS       Northern Ireland College Information System
NIFON       Northern Ireland Finance Officers Network
PAM         Programme Area Manager
PAT         Portable Appliance Testing
POCVA       The Protection of Children & Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order 2003
PwC         Price Waterhouse Coopers
QLE         Agresso System e-Registers Module
QLP         Agresso System Personnel Module
QLS         Agresso System Student Record Module
SCOI        Springvale Community Outreach Initiative
SMART       Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely

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SMT         College’s Senior Management Team
SPUR(s)     Student Powered Unit of Resource
TEC         Temporary Executive Committee




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1.   Executive Summary
1.1     We were appointed to conduct an Efficiency Review of Belfast Metropolitan
College (BMC) in October 2008 and carried out our main fieldwork in November and
December 2008. We are aware that a number of the issues we reviewed have moved
on in the period since then and we have noted any significant developments in the
report.
1.2    BMC was formed out of a merger with Belfast Institute of Further and Higher
Education (BIFHE) and Castlereagh College of Further and Higher Education (CCFHE)
and came into being on 1 August 2007. It is the largest provider of vocational education
and training in Northern Ireland and covers the greater Belfast area although some
services extend across Northern Ireland. The College presently has six main campuses
and over 130 community-based centres and employs some 1,700 staff.
1.3      We were told of a number of contextual issues and challenges facing the College
in its formative years. Views on these varied between the parties we spoke to and some
argued that the College was not alone in facing a degree of turbulence. We detail the
contextual issues later but take the view that the combined weight of these did have an
impact on the financial management of the College but that these should have been
dealt with in a more coherent manner by the Governing Body and senior management
team despite the turnover in personnel filling the top posts.

1.4     We noted that the draft accounts for BMC in 2007-08 show that the College had
a revenue deficit of £6.66 million (pre adjustment for historic cost and depreciation) of
which £1.55 million is the deficit on continuing operations. The College’s historic cost
deficit for the year was £5.36 million.

1.5    In the current financial year the College is working towards achieving a balanced
budget. We have doubts about the College’s ability to achieve such an outcome due
principally to the late development of the College’s budget in mid-December, unrealistic
expectations on savings, limited control of staff costs and the College’s poor forecasting
record. Some of the initiatives being taken by the College are ambitious and their
implementation will need careful monitoring.

1.6    The College has complied with its statutory requirements to obtain audits, but we
found a significant number of weaknesses in financial controls and a slow follow up to
audit recommendations. These are detailed in our report along with our
recommendations. Whilst we are aware that the position has been addressed to a
degree since our fieldwork we consider that a huge challenge remains to be overcome
by the College in improving its financial controls on a consistent and continuous basis.

1.7    We found little synergy between corporate planning, curriculum planning, estate
planning and financial planning. We acknowledge that this is an issue to which the

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current Interim Director has devoted his skills and attention but there is a lot more to do
to ensure the necessary congruency. The key to this, we propose, is in the preparation
of a detailed curriculum plan on the lines suggested in our report. This would bring
together all aspects of student enrolments, curriculum provision, demand from business
and the community, staff skills and utilisation and estate needs into one comprehensive
plan that could be easily modelled and costed. We note that this suggestion found
favour with senior managers and some initial work is underway to benchmark best
practice.

1.8    We are aware of the College’s pre-merger plans for major capital investment in
Belfast and that decisions are awaited. We are concerned however at the absence of a
comprehensive estates strategy for BMC on the lines we would expect to see in a FE
college of this scale. The preparation of a robust estates strategy linked to a detailed
curriculum plan is an essential requirement and we make a number of
recommendations in this regard.

1.9    The College also suffers from poor management information due to issues
around its Management Information System. We found no clear processes for handling
student registers, a lack of process to ensure the conversion of enquiries and a complex
reporting system that is not user-friendly. These issues are being addressed but new
energy is needed to enhance the confidence of stakeholders in the management
information provided by the College.

1.10 The governance and accountability arrangements in BMC are satisfactory but
would benefit from a period of stability in the chairing and membership. There has been
an understandable focus on financial matters but governors and senior staff have a
desire to see an enhanced involvement in curriculum delivery and student contact. We
make a number of recommendations in our report.

1.11 We consider that the permanent members of the SMT have shown resilience in
the face of the contextual challenges facing the College and demonstrated best efforts
and teamwork. However they have collectively presided over the emergence of a
significant and apparently unexpected revenue deficit in 2007-08 and an unacceptable
position of financial and management processes in the College leading to the
commissioning of an Efficiency Review.

1.12 We regard the early appointment of a permanent Director for BMC as critical to
its future success. We conclude that the present Deputy Directors, with one exception,
have the capacity to implement the findings of our review. The College’s finance
function has a number of serious weaknesses to address and we feel it is presently
constrained in its capacity to effectively deal with the recommendations of this review.
Whilst there have been identified shortcomings and skills gaps within the finance team,
the (XXXX) is ultimately accountable to the Director and
Accounting Officer and to the Governing Body for the failings in the performance of the


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Finance Department. The capacity constraints in that department must be addressed
immediately.




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2.   Terms of Reference
An Efficiency Review is defined in Article 18 of the Further Education (Northern Ireland)
Order 1997 as:
”The Department may arrange for the carrying out (whether as part of an inspection
under Article 102 of the 1986 Order or otherwise) by any person of studies designed to
improve economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the management or operation of an
institution of further education.”

We understand that DEL through its Further Education Division is responsible for
oversight of the statutory further education sector in Northern Ireland. This includes
setting policy, strategic development and provision of core funding and monitoring the
financial position and health of all colleges. DEL commissioned the Review in BMC
because of concerns about the quality and reliability of both financial and student-
related information being supplied by the College.

The Terms of Reference for the Efficiency Review are at Appendix VIII. The following
schedule details the requirements of the review and a reference to the section of this
report in which they have been addressed.
          Requirement                                                  Report Section
          Number                   Requirement Description             Reference
                          Establish the exact financial position of
                1                                                      Section 6
                          the College as at 31 July 2008.
                          Identify the causes of the current and
                2                                                      Section 6
                          projected deficits.
                          Review the adequacy and effectiveness
                          of all financial controls in place and
                3         identify any inadequacies, including the     Section 7
                          reasons for any failures in the current
                          arrangements.
                          Review staffing levels (part time and full
                          time academic staff and other support
                                                                       Section 7 & 10
                4         staff) in light of student enrolments,
                          curriculum provision and demand from
                          local business and the community.
                          Review the adequacy and effectiveness        Section 8
                5
                          of the College estates strategy.
                          Review the arrangements in place to
                                                                       Section 10 &
                          ensure congruency between corporate
                6                                                      11
                          planning, curriculum planning, estate
                          planning and financial planning.
                7         Investigate the adequacy of the              Section 9


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          Requirement                                                   Report Section
          Number                     Requirement Description            Reference
                           College’s    Management        Information
                           System.
                           Review the adequacy of the College’s
                                                                       Section 7
                 8         audit procedures as prescribed by the
                           Financial Memorandum.
                           Review the adequacy and effectiveness
                                                                       Section 11
                 9         of the College’s governance and
                           accountability arrangements.
                           Consider the performance of the Senior
                           Management Team in fulfilling their
                                                                       Section 12
                10         individual responsibilities with regard to
                           ensuring     the     efficient    financial
                           management of the College.
In addition to the above specific review areas, we recognised in our tender submission
the need to deliver, as an integral part of the project, recommendations which will
improve the economy and efficiency of BMC and to contribute to the future
effectiveness of its management and operations. In particular, the recommendations
were to focus on:
2.1     Making improvements in the economy and efficiency of the operation and
management of the College that are necessary to eliminate the current and future
deficits and restore it to sound financial health within a reasonable period of time.
2.2    Ensuring governance and accountability arrangements are in line with
requirements.

2.3    Ensuring sound financial and operational control systems and procedures are
established and maintained within the College

2.4    How points 2.1-.2.3 may be addressed.

2.5    Identifying where there are capacity constraints in the ability of the Senior
Management Team (defined as the Director and Deputy Directors) to address the
issues identified by the review.

The recommendations included in this report are classified according to those which are
deemed to be critical to the efficient operation of the College and those which, whilst still
considered to be important, are of a less critical nature.

Note: This review was based upon interviews with key personnel and examination of
various relevant documents and records. It should be noted that none of our work
involved the auditing or testing of the records and statements of BMC and we have
relied upon figures supplied to us by College officers. It should also be noted that we

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were not able to meet the former Director and that formal performance appraisal
records for senior staff were not available to us.




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3.    The Review Team

The members of the MCA review team are experienced in undertaking similar strategic
reviews in FE Colleges. In addition to MCA personnel, our team also included Property
Specialists from (XXXX), a company experienced in advising FE
providers in England on a range of property-related issues.

The key personnel of our review team were as follows:

3.1   Project Principal - (XXXX) - Managing Director – MCA Cooper
Associates

3.2   Project Finance Lead - (XXXX) – Senior Associate Director – MCA Cooper
Associates

3.3   Finance Specialist – (XXXX) – Associate Director – MCA Cooper
Associates

3.4    Property Specialist – (XXXX) – Director – Pearson Fraser

3.5   FE Governance Specialist – (XXXX)l – Governance Associate – MCA Cooper
Associates

3.6    FE MIS Specialist – (XXXX) – MIS Associate – MCA Cooper Associates

3.7    Northern Ireland Adviser – (XXXX) – MCA Cooper Associates




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4.   Background and Overview of BMC


4.1    Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) was formed on 1 August 2007 under the
provisions of the Further Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1997. The College was
formed by a merger of Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education (BIFHE) and
Castlereagh College of Further and Higher Education (CCFHE).
4.2    In advance of this and the other college mergers which happened across
Northern Ireland on 1 August 2007, DEL instructed each merging group to carry out a
financial health check or Due Diligence Review of the Colleges within its merging group
to provide the Chairman Designate, Director Designate, Temporary Executive
Committee (TEC) and the incoming Governing Body with a review of the financial
position of the merging entities.
4.3    Since the merger it is a matter of public record that there have been ongoing
challenges in relation to remuneration levels for FE lecturers in NI. Additionally we
understand that, as a result of the (XXXX) retirement of the
Director of the newly formed BMC there has been a number of key changes since 1
August 2007. A further source of instability for the new College has also been the fact
that since its inception it has had three different Chairs.




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5.      Approach Adopted
The approach that we adopted in undertaking this review was based on four key
phases. These phases are summarised as:

5.1      Project Initiation;

5.2      Understanding BMC

5.3      Assessing BMC
5.3.1          Financial position and projected performance analysis;

            5.3.1.1   Audit Compliance and Financial Controls;

            5.3.1.2   Estates strategy

            5.3.1.3   Management Information Systems
            5.3.1.4   Curriculum & Staffing Review

            5.3.1.5   Governance;
5.3.7          Performance of the Senior Management Team (SMT)

5.4      Reporting
5.4.1          Fieldwork on the review was completed on 17 December 2008.

5.4.2          Our first draft report was presented to DEL on 19 December 2008.

5.4.3          Subsequent discussions were held with DEL on 26 January 2009 and with
               the College’s Deputy Directors on 16 and 17 February 2009.
5.4.4          Changes since Completion of Fieldwork

Our main fieldwork was conducted over the period from 20 October to 17 December
2008 and we are aware that there have been a number of changes since then. These
include the completion of the College’s year end accounts for 2007/08; the development
of a balanced budget for 2008/09; the issuing of management accounts up to and
including period 5 of 2008/09 and the commencement of development work based upon
a number of our informal recommendations made to members of the SMT during the
course of our fieldwork.




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6.    Financial Position and Projected Performance Analysis
The initial brief for the review required us to establish the exact financial position of the
College as at 31 July 2008. However, due to the review starting later in the year than
had been anticipated i.e. October rather than July, the poor quality of financial
information available and the College’s delay in finalising its year end accounts, it was
agreed with DEL that this element of the review would be curtailed.

We were informed at our final meeting with the College’s (XXXX) on 17 February 2009
that the College had developed draft financial statements. The College’s financial result
for the year ended 31st July 2008 according to the Draft Annual Report and
Consolidated Financial Statements given to us is as follows:


                                                                £’000
 Deficit on Continuing Operations                              (1,548)
 Exceptional Restructuring Costs                               (5,113)
 Surplus/(Deficit) for the year                                (6,661)
 Historical Cost Depreciation Adjustment                        1,294
 Historic Cost Surplus/(Deficit) for the Year                  (5,356)
Source- BMC



6.1     Forecast Outturn year to 31st July 2009

6.1.1         A number of meetings/discussions took place with the (XXXX)                  in
conjunction with the(XXXX) to determine the likely results for the year
to 31st July 2009.
6.1.2          The normal starting point for such an exercise would be to review the
budget for the current financial year. This would then be followed by a series of reviews
of actual performance against that planned in the budget for the year to date at various
points throughout the year based on information included in the monthly management
accounts. Deviations from budget would then be reviewed and a view taken on any
likely impact on the full year position.
6.1.3         At the time of undertaking this part of the review, the College did not have
an approved budget and had not prepared any management accounts in respect of the
year to 31st July 2009. We understand that the College has subsequently prepared both
a budget and management accounts.
6.1.4         It is good practice for a College or any commercial organisation to have
their annual budget approved prior to the start of the financial year and for management
accounts to be prepared on a timely basis.

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6.1.5        At the time of undertaking this part of the review, we understand that the
(XXXX) was working with the (XXXX) to prepare a budget that achieved
a neutral position on the income and expenditure account at historical cost
surplus/deficit level. This process had been ongoing since the beginning of the financial
year and had included dialogue between the Finance Department and budget holders to
ensure that the appropriate levels of costs and income had been included. This process
had been made more difficult due to the recent curriculum re-organisation and the
absence of equivalent and similar historical data being difficult to provide for
comparative purposes. This issue did not impact on the preparation of budgets for
support functions which had suffered fewer reorganisational changes.
6.1.6        Faced with a projected historical cost deficit of around £3.0m for the year
ending 31st July 2009, the SMT met on 17th November 2008 to determine how to move
forward. The (XXXX) advised us that a decision was taken at that meeting to reduce the
deficit by taking the following actions:



                                   Action to be taken                                  £k

 Reduce part time lecturer costs                                                     300

 Restrict Health & Safety to minimum levels                                          400

 Reduce non pay costs                                                              2,000

 No ‘new’ and ‘replacement’ appointments – exception income growth/                  100
 projects/business critical

 EDRMS reduction                                                                      75

 Bad Debt reduction                                                                 100

 Reduction in energy costs                                                            75

 Total                                                                             3,050

We understood, at the time, from the (XXXX) , that achieving the above savings was
proving to be difficult.
6.1.7        The most significant saving was anticipated from a reduction in non-pay
costs. In order to deal with this issue, the (XXXX) had written to budget holders providing
them with a schedule of their current proposed non-pay budget together with a target
amount by which the costs needed to be reduced. If each budget holder was to make
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these target savings then cost savings of £2.0m would be achieved. The target
reductions were allocated to budget holders on the basis that each would need to make
the same percentage saving on their non-pay costs. The (XXXX) had said to us that
responses from budget holders indicated that these savings were unlikely to be
achieved.

6.1.8         In addition, the (XXXX) advised that he had received resistance from
Curriculum Managers regarding the target savings of £300k in part time lecturing costs
and the restriction of health and safety spend.
6.1.9         We were informed in our discussion later in the review in February 2009
by the (XXXX) that he was optimistic that the required planned savings might be found.
However, we still feel it unlikely that a neutral position on the income and expenditure
account at the historical cost level can be delivered by the current initiatives which
require, amongst other things, a reduction in non-pay costs of £2.0m. Some of the
initiatives being taken by the College are ambitious and their implementation will need
careful monitoring.
6.1.10          The proposed budget before the cost-saving initiatives included £20.3m of
non-pay costs. Many of these costs will be fixed e.g. unitary payments re PFI,
insurance, rates etc. Based on our experience with other similar Colleges, around one
half of these costs could be classed as variable and would be capable of being reduced,
the remainder we would expect to be fixed costs that are difficult to reduce. The
reduction needed of £2.7m would, therefore, have to be found from an estimated £10m
of truly variable costs i.e. approximately one half of £20.3m, and it is therefore unlikely
that all of this would be saved.
6.1.11         In our experience, in order to find the necessary reduction in costs to
deliver a balanced budget, staff costs would need to be included in the equation since
they represent such a significant proportion of total costs. Forecast Staff Costs for
2008/09 represent £37.5m in expenditure which is 67% of the College’s forecast
income. Of the improvements being sought, only £300k is being found from staff costs
in the shape of a planned reduction in part-time staff costs. Experience of FE generally
tells us that part-time staff are normally employed because they have the skills required
to deliver the curriculum and are therefore difficult to reduce. Savings are usually found
from within permanent staffing where it is often the case that issues such as remission,
under-recruitment and market-shift lead to under-utilisation of permanent staff artificially
increasing staffing costs.

6.1.12         Another aspect to consider is the timing of any initiatives to make changes
to income and costs to achieve a balanced budget. At the time of this part of the review
the financial year was four and a half months old and there were only seven and a half
months left to deliver savings, which means that a very high proportion of the remaining
year’s spending would need to be saved

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6.1.13        In light of the above comments and the College’s previous record of failing
to achieve its forecasts, as evidenced by various audit reports, it is our opinion that the
College would be unlikely to achieve a neutral position in the year to 31st July 2009.
Recommendation

1.    A Recovery Plan should be prepared to review all operating aspects of the
College with a view to achieving future financial stability. (Critical)




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7.      Audit Compliance and Financial Controls

7.1      Background and Overview
This section of the report provides our findings regarding Audit Compliance in BMC and
the College’s Financial Controls.
7.1.1     Audit and Compliance

Our fieldwork which involved reviewing internal and external audit reports and relevant
Board minutes and meetings with various personnel, confirms that BMC, BIFHE and
CCFHE have all complied with their general requirements to obtain statutory internal
and external audits and for the results of those audits to be laid before meetings of the
Board of Governors.
7.1.2 CCFHE Internal and External Audits

During 2005/06 and 2006/07 prior to the merger, CCFHE internal audits did not appear
to raise any major issues The external audit relating to the final accounts did not
identify any major weaknesses or issues.
7.1.3     BIFHE Internal Audit

Similarly BIFHE internal audits did not appear to raise any major issues with the areas
under examination being given either full or substantial assurance in the reports.
The internal audit report dated 16 June 2008 refers to the lack of “departmental skills
matrices”. Without such a basic staff assessment it would be extremely difficult to match
staff skills and abilities to curriculum requirements. It also prevents the College from
deciding if individual staff skills are appropriate to the rapidly changing requirements in
FE. As there appears to have been no detailed curriculum plan, matching both
curriculum direct delivery hour requirements with available staff hours and a lack of staff
skills assessment, without this scientific and accurate curriculum planning, would have
been very difficult to achieve. A likely result would have been an over reliance on part
time staff i.e. staff without a permanent College contract, and an uncontrolled overspend
on total staff costs. Indeed, we have been advised by the (XXXX) that the part time staff
budget is likely to overspend by 10% in 2008/09.

We did note that this same report gave limited assurance on the fact that a Project
Manager had not been appointed to guide the merger process and our discussions with
senior managers have informed us that there have been a number of difficulties relating
to the harmonisation of accounting records arising out of the merger which have
contributed to the challenges facing BMC. This is a failure of planning and the audit did
draw attention to the lack of system testing prior to merger.




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7.2     Review of the Audit Committee’s Reports
7.2.1         We have been informed that during the early months following the
formation of BMC the Audit Committee was under strength, and, in conjunction with the
full Governing Body, was running a recruitment campaign. There were also no members
who had specific finance and accounting skills to assist the Committee to deal with what
became increasingly technical and detailed accounting issues. We also understand that
the Committee had difficulties in ensuring that it was quorate for its meetings
7.2.2         The Audit Committee which sat on the 13th November 2007 (the first for
BMC) noted only that the year’s Internal Audit for January 2006/07 had resulted in a
substantial assurance rating for BIFHE and a high level for CCFHE. No concerns were
expressed by the Committee regarding the request by KPMG for additional days to
carry out a review of the financial ledger and budgetary control issues.
7.2.3    This meeting also reviewed the annual accounts of both BIFHE and
CCFHE and noted that not only were the accounts late but showed deficits of
£3.2million and £1.2 million respectively. The (XXXX) reviewed the situation and the
reasons for the deficits and lateness of the accounts together with the significant
movement between the draft and final accounts. The external auditors of BIFHE, PwC,
presented a management letter which highlighted their concerns about a range of the
College’s financial controls and procedures.
7.2.4        When the Committee met on the 21st January 2008, the KPMG report was
still work in progress. The (XXXX) reviewed the College’s progress in dealing with the
issues being raised in relation to both Internal and External Audit and the DEL
representative expressed concern at the number of issues being raised.
7.2.5         At the meeting of the Audit Committee on the 14th April 2008 the outcome
of the additional internal review work undertaken by KPMG had not yet been made
available. The (XXXX) reviewed the College’s progress towards improving the areas
being reviewed by KPMG i.e. the financial ledger and budgetary control. KPMG
reviewed their findings to date which were still giving rise to a number of concerns.
7.2.6          At this point it was becoming clear from our review of documents that
issues being raised in both Internal and External Audits were inevitably interlinked and
that a co-ordinated approach would be necessary to resolve all of the issues as they
were overlapping. It was noted that some progress in resolving the control issues had
been made and the College management did not feel they required further resources.
The DEL representatives expressed concern at the situation and about the lack of a
clear financial position 9 months after the year end.




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7.3     Specific Audit Issues Followed Up
In this section we detail a number of issues that have been raised in audit reports and
management letters that we have reviewed which could influence the accuracy of
accounts produced by the College. We state the sources of our research, the
discussions we have had, the nature of the issue, the responses from various College
officers about corrective actions and our recommendations. Whilst some of these issues
may in themselves appear to be insubstantial, together they may lead to a material
distortion of the College’s financial position. Some are obviously due to errors, but some
are systematic and it is these which require prompt attention.
7.3.1   Sources of data

          •   Management letter on the 2006/2007 external audit of BIFHE Accounts
              prepared by PwC dated November 2007.

          •   Report on Phase 1 & 2 of the Extended Review of the Financial Position,
              Budgetary Planning and Monitoring and the Financial Close Process
              prepared by KPMG dated 16th June 2008.

          •   Internal Audit Progress Report against the Audit Plan for 2007/2008
              prepared by KPMG on 16th June 2008.

          •   Management letter on the 2006/2007 external audit of CCFHE dated
              November 2007.
7.3.2   Informed by

          •   Meetings/discussions with the (XXXX) .

          •   Meetings/discussions with the (XXXX) .

          •   Meeting/discussions with the (XXXX)

          •   Meeting/discussions with (XXXX) .



7.4.    Issues reviewed
7.4.1   Debtor Profile

          •   PwC reported that as at 31st July 2007 there was £923k of debt over 60
              days old and hence, recommended a review to establish the recoverability
              of these debts.

          •   As at 31st July 2008 there was £1.535m of debt over 60 days old with a
              provision of £273k provided for doubtful debts (18%). We were unable to
              obtain the comparative figure for 2007 from the College.

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         •   Given that the level of debt over 60 days old had risen, MCA reviewed its
             content and identified a debtor in respect of DEL for a sum of £470k.
             When investigated by the (XXXX) , a decision was taken to amend the
             accounts to allow for the non collection of this debt as it was unlikely to be
             paid in full. This increased the percentage provided for doubtful debts from
             18% to 26%.
         •   We found that individual debtors did not fully reconcile to the control
             accounts as at 31st July 2008 although the level of discrepancy was not
             material.
Recommendations

2.     Debtors need to be pursued for payment on an ongoing basis. (Non
Critical)

3.    A monthly report should be made available identifying the level of debt
outstanding that is 60 days, 90 days and over 120 days overdue. (Non Critical)


7.4.2   Accrued Income

         •   PwC reported that as at 31st July 2007 there was income withheld of
             £2.2m by DEL in respect of the Springvale Community Outreach Initiative
             (SCOI).
         •   There were concerns as to whether all of this income would be paid by
             DEL which could result in the income included in the accounts being
             overstated. We understand from our discussions with DEL that they had a
             problem with the College’s administration of the SCOI project including the
             lack of documentary evidence and audit trail which affected their ability to
             make payments to the College.
         •   During the course of 2008 the College provided FAST (the audit team
             acting for DEL) with a substantial amount of data to substantiate that they
             are entitled to be paid these outstanding monies which relate to the 12
             month period to March 2007. These claims were submitted late due to the
             College member of staff dealing with the administration leaving her
             position.
         •   On 12th November 2008 we were advised by the (XXXX)
               that, with the exception of around £20k, the
             outstanding claims should be paid in full and that confirmation was
             expected during the course of the next few days.



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          •   There is also an outstanding issue regarding claw back of monies
              previously paid in respect of this project during the period April 2002 to
              March 2006. This relates to payments by clients of BMC to Belfast
              Education and Library Board employees which are being disputed by DEL.
              The (XXXX) told us that the College had taken a prudent view on
              this issue by providing in the accounts for a substantial claw back of
              £626k. We were unable to substantiate whether this amount was
              appropriate due to no written evidence being available.
Recommendation

4.    DEL should be contacted on a timely basis to determine when any
outstanding monies due are likely to be paid. (Non Critical)


7.4.3   Unrecorded Liabilities

          •   PwC advised in their report that there were purchase Invoices totalling
              £217k not appropriately accrued at 31st July 2007. This had the effect of
              understating costs included within the statutory accounts.

          •   The (XXXX) told us that there are concerns that accruals for
              outstanding purchase orders based upon the Agresso system may lead to
              inaccurate adjustments to the accounts due to either purchase orders
              being cleared down prematurely, or, inaccurate booking in of deliveries.

          •   In addition, although Agresso was not designed to provide a facility to
              acquire capital items, capital items are occasionally procured via this
              system by Business Administration staff. This could lead to capital
              expenditure being inappropriately classified as revenue expenditure.
              Indeed, according to the KPMG report this did occur in the first 3 months
              of the 2007/08 academic year and, as a result, costs included in the
              management accounts were overstated. Whilst we acknowledge that this
              was merely a minor overstatement, it is important to recognise that this
              represents a systematic weakness.
Recommendation

5.     Business administration staff need to be fully trained in the use of Agresso
and advised on the implications of their actions to ensure that the accruals taken
from the system are accurate and to enable the system to be used to its optimum
effectiveness. (Non Critical)


7.4.4   Bank Reconciliations

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          •   Both PwC, in their Management Letter dated 13 November 2008 and
              KPMG in their report dated 16 June 2008 identified that bank
              reconciliations were not being prepared and signed off by the (XXXX)
               on a monthly basis. As a result, costs/income may be missing
              from the monthly management accounts.

          •   We were advised by the (XXXX) that bank reconciliations
              had been reconciled and signed as at 31st July 2008 and appropriate
              adjustments made in the accounts for any anomalies. We were shown
              some evidence of these reconciliations from the 15 bank accounts that are
              operated in the College.

          •   At the time of our review in November 2008 bank reconciliations had been
              prepared for the months ending August, September and October 2008.
              However, delays in transferring data from 2007/08 to the new financial
              year had meant that discrepancies had not at that time been resolved. The
              quantity of discrepancies had been exacerbated by the failure of the on-
              line credit card equipment during September 2008. Any accounts
              prepared without resolving these issues could be incorrect.

          •   The number of bank accounts used by the College appears to be relatively
              high. The (XXXX) advised us that in some cases separate accounts are
              needed due to the funds belonging to third parties, but he did tell us that
              others were to be reviewed to determine whether they could be closed.
Recommendation

6.     The discipline of compiling bank reconciliations on a monthly basis is
critical to the production of accurate monthly/statutory accounts. These need to
continue to be prepared with outstanding issues being dealt with prior to
finalising the monthly/statutory accounts. (Critical)

7.    The number of bank accounts should be kept to a level appropriate to
ensure maximum efficiency of operation whilst complying with audit regulations.
(Non Critical)


7.4.5   Supplier Statement Reconciliations

          •   The PwC Management Letter dated 13 November 2008 highlighted that
              there was no evidence of supplier reconciliations taking place. This could
              result in some supplier invoices not being correctly identified and the costs
              being missed from management/statutory accounts. In some
              circumstances it could also result in suppliers being overpaid.

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         •   The (XXXX) told us that supplier reconciliations are now
             being undertaken on a regular basis each month although not all
             statements are reconciled every month. We were advised that, as at 31st
             July 2008, all supplier statements received had been reconciled.
Recommendation

8.    The College should ensure that supplier reconciliations are undertaken on
a regular basis, ideally monthly. (Non Critical)


7.4.6   Aged Debtors Analysis

         •   PwC reported that there was no evidence of a formal review of aged
             debtors being performed during the year. Without this reconciliation, the
             accuracy of the figures included in the monthly management accounts
             could be in question.

         •   The (XXXX) told us that this issue had been addressed
             although this had proved troublesome due to debtor reports not being
             produced at the appropriate time. The problem of the timings of the debtor
             reports had continued into the 2008/09 financial year.
Recommendation

9.    A monthly reconciliation of debtors needs to be undertaken with older
debts being reviewed and appropriate provisions for non-collection being
provided within the accounts. (Critical)


7.4.7   Aged Creditors Analysis

         •   PwC reported that as at 31st July 2007, there was no aged creditors report
             maintained. This could result in a risk that long outstanding creditor
             payments may go undetected and liabilities in the monthly/annual
             accounts may be under/overstated

         •   The (XXXX) provided evidence of a report as at 31st July
             2008 and advised that similar reports were prepared on a monthly basis.
             These reports included information regarding action taken to follow up
             specific issues identified in the document. However, the (XXXX)
              advised that there are issues, similar to those relating to
             debtors regarding the timing of the production of creditor reports.

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Recommendation

10.  The schedule of creditors needs to be produced at the appropriate point on
a monthly basis and reconciled to the general ledger. (Critical)


7.4.8   Delays in Processing Purchase Invoices

         •   KPMG reported that as at the end of December 2007 there were 2000
             invoices unprocessed. This could result in suppliers being paid late and
             costs within the management/statutory accounts being understated.

         •   As at 10th November 2008, the (XXXX) advised that there
             were some unprocessed purchase invoices although these represented a
             relatively manageable amount. These were being held pending booking in
             of goods/services by the business support team.
Recommendation

11.   Finance need to continuously review ‘pending invoices’ to ensure that they
are kept within manageable levels. (Non Critical)


7.4.9 Opening Balances

         •   KPMG reported that there was a £30k difference on the opening balances
             as at 1st August 2007, due to journals being posted incorrectly. This
             resulted in a set of accounts that did not balance.
         •   The error was identified as being a debtor that was overstated as at 31st
             July 2007. We were told that this had been written off during the financial
             year ended 31st July 2008.
Recommendation

12.   Debtor balances included in the accounts need to be carefully vetted to
ensure that they can be substantiated and reconciled to the general ledger
control account on a monthly basis. (Critical)


7.4.10 Renewing Communities Grant Revenue

         •   KPMG reported that the appropriate level of accrued income was not
             being provided in the monthly management accounts in respect of this


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             project. This could distort the level of surplus/deficit shown in the
             accounts.

         •   The (XXXX) advised us that the appropriate level of income was
             provided in the accounts as at 31st July 2008 and that these monies had
             subsequently been received. The (XXXX) subsequently confirmed that this
             project was now at an end.
Recommendation

13.    Monthly management accounts need to include appropriate adjustments
for timing differences in respect of income. (Critical)


7.4.11 EU Projects

         •   KPMG reported that EU Project accrued income had not been updated
             when preparing the July 2007 statutory accounts. This could result in
             income being either under or overstated.

         •   The (XXXX) advised us that from March
             2008, all EU projects income was reconciled for inclusion in the monthly
             management/annual statutory accounts.
Recommendation

14.    EU Project income should continue to be reconciled on a monthly basis to
reflect the accurate level of income in the monthly/annual accounts. (Non Critical)


7.4.12 Interest Receivable

         •   KPMG reported that interest income on bank placements was overstated
             by £70k in the December 2007 management accounts. This meant that
             the income within the income/expenditure account was overstated by a
             similar amount. The (XXXX) acknowledged the error and advised
             that it was corrected immediately.
Recommendation

15.    Regular checks should be made to ensure that the appropriate level of
interest on bank placements is being correctly included in the monthly/annual
accounts. (Non Critical)
7.4.13 Reversionary Interest Millfield

         •  KPMG reported that there had been no re-assessment of the fair value of
            the anticipated residual property cost at the end of the project in 2027.
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             This could result in an unusually large adjustment being made at some
             point in the future when the position is assessed.

         •   The (XXXX) advised that no action had been taken on this issue
             at this stage and pointed out that the contract had a further 20 years still to
             run.
Recommendation

16.   A policy should be agreed to review the position relating to Millfield
reversionary interest on a regular basis e.g. every 5 years. (Non Critical)


7.4.14 Over-accrual of Teachers’ Salaries

         •   KPMG reported that as at 31st December 2007, there was an over accrual
             of the potential increase in teachers salaries effective from 1st August
             2007. This resulted in an overstatement of costs included in the accounts.

         •   The (XXXX) told us that during the financial year an interim
             increase of 2.0% had been paid although the full award payable had not
             been agreed. The accounts to 31st July 2008 included a provision of 0.5%
             to cover the potential additional costs which may be incurred.
Recommendation

17.   The College should continue to provide an appropriate amount for
teachers’ salaries in the management accounts until the level of increase is
agreed and implemented. (Critical)
7.4.15 Additional Support Fund

         •   KPMG reported that there was an error in the accounting treatment of the
             Additional Support Fund as at 31st December 2007. This resulted in an
             inappropriate amount of income included in the income and expenditure
             account.

         •   The (XXXX) advised that the management accounts to 31st July
             2008 initially included the incorrect amount of income but this was then
             rectified with the correct figure being included in the statutory accounts.
Recommendation

18.   A monthly review of income and expenditure in respect of Additional
Support Funds should be undertaken and an appropriate adjustment included in
the management accounts. (Critical)
7.4.16 Pension Liability

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          •   KPMG recommended that movements in the pension liabilities should be
              reflected on a monthly basis. This would adjust the monthly management
              accounts to include changes in these costs.

          •   The (XXXX) advised us that no adjustment was being included in
              the monthly accounts as this was in contravention to the advice given by
              DEL which recommends that an annual adjustment is made.


7.4.17 Deferred Capital Grants

          •   KPMG reported that the deferred capital grants spreadsheet for computers
              did not agree with the management accounts. Hence, capital grants
              released were overstated in the income and expenditure account.

          •   The (XXXX) told us that some costs of acquiring computers had
              been incorrectly allocated to the deferred capital grants schedule and that
              this error had now been rectified. He also confirmed that correct entries
              were now being reflected in the accounts.
Recommendation

19.    Capital Grants Release should be reconciled on a monthly basis. (Non
Critical)


7.5   Financial Controls
7.5.1 Compliance with Financial Memorandum, Financial Regulations and
Accounting Procedures Documentation.

We have reviewed the content of the above documents and highlight the following:
Paragraph 40 of Financial Memorandum - College Surpluses and Deficits

This paragraph states:
“In meeting the requirement in paragraph 39:
In pursuit of longer-term objectives, a college may incur a historic surplus provided that
the surplus represents no more than 2% of total income of the college and that the
surplus will not cause the income and expenditure reserve to increase above 10% of
prior year income.

Where a surplus is incurred in excess of 2% of total income and/ or causes the
accumulated income and expenditure reserve to exceed 10% of income, the college
must notify the Department without delay.

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The Department will consider reducing recurrent grant if it deems that a college holds
excessive cash balances and excessive accumulated income and expenditure
reserves.”

The balance sheet of the statutory accounts of BIFHE as at 31st July 2007 included a
closing figure on the income and expenditure account of £9.6m. This represents 20% of
the prior year income which was £47.7m

This issue was discussed with the (XXXX) who advised us that DEL had been made
aware of the situation. We also discussed how the situation had arisen. One reason
given to us by the (XXXX) was that in recent years DEL had provided the College with
additional funding during February/March which the College had attempted to spend
but had been unable to obtain approval for the projects from DEL.
Appendix G of the Financial Memorandum

Paragraph 1 of this appendix states as follows:
“Expenditure incurred by credit/ payment cards must be subject to the same rules and
at least the same levels of control that apply to all other methods of expenditure.
There must be full documentation of all transactions. Colleges should be aware that
because of the nature of such cards and the potential for abuse and misuse, it is
necessary to establish a separate and rigorous control system that should go beyond
that which is appropriate for most other types of expenditure. Such a control system
should be in place before credit / payment cards are issued to individuals.”

We reviewed the content of the Accounting Procedures document dated August 2008
but could not find details of any procedure relating to credit cards. We discussed the
situation with the (XXXX) who advised us that the College currently held one credit card
which was stored in the College safe. This credit card was used by budget holders to
purchase products and services via the Internet. The monthly invoice was received and
authorised for payment by the (XXXX) but not countersigned by the(XXXX) .

Recommendation

20.   The Accounting Procedures document should be updated to include
appropriately robust procedures in respect of credit cards including the
countersigning of the credit card invoice/payment. (Non Critical)


Section 2 of the Accounting Procedures – Month End Accounting Procedures.

This section specifies a checklist in respect of month end procedures. The (XXXX)
 told us there were difficulties in ensuring that month end computer reports
for both debtors & creditors were run at the appropriate time. This created difficulties in
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reconciling the purchase ledger and sales ledger control accounts with the schedule of
individual suppliers and customers at the end of each month.
Recommendation

21.  Section 2 of the College’s accounting procedures should be reviewed and
amended as appropriate to ensure that a more rigorous procedure is
implemented. (Critical)


7.5.2   Changes/Issues Affecting the College’s Financial Controls

From our review of the various documents and reports that we have been given, we
have serious concerns about the College’s financial controls. We are aware that the
College has had to deal with a number of changes, some of which occurred at the same
time e.g.

          •   Change in the accounting system

          •   Change in bankers
          •   The merger with CCFHE

          •   Sickness absence of key finance team member at BIFHE

          •   Industrial action by lecturers
 We are also aware from discussions with DEL that other FE Colleges across NI also
faced similar challenges but apparently without the same outcome experienced by
BMC. In our opinion, the control environment in which these changes were made in
BMC was lacking.

From the discussions we have had with the (XXXX) we would question the wisdom of
the extent of some of the changes that were made and their timing. Whilst we
appreciate that certain changes were outside the control of the (XXXX) e.g. the merger
with CCFHE, some were within BMC’s control. The change in bankers and the lack of
adequate contingency plans for staff absences were self-imposed challenges that could
have been avoided. The (XXXX) has admitted that some changes were ambitious. Some
examples of over-ambition in our opinion are:
Change in the Accounting System

          •   The College changed from Symmetry to the Agresso accounting system
              from 1st August 2006. Due to the perceived additional flexibility offered by
              the Agresso system, the College decided to revisit and improve the coding
              system at the same time as implementing the new system. Also new cost
              centres were developed in an attempt to improve financial analysis. The
            (XXXX) has said that these changes were ambitious, created much more
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             work, added a layer of complexity and were still presenting problems at
             the time of this part of this review.

         •   Based upon our understanding of the situation and reports that we have
             read, we would also question the extent to which the new system was
             adequately tested prior to being implemented.

         •   The Northern Ireland FE Colleges agreed to develop and adopt a standard
             Chart of Accounts. This was done to make the merger process as easy as
             possible in terms if integration of accounting details. The (XXXX) was a
             member of the working group that established this standard Chart of
             Accounts, so it would be reasonable to expect that the College would be
             better placed than other colleges to implement it.

         •   The issues that have caused problems are even more puzzling in view of
             the fact that the (XXXX) was a member of the NIFON project team set up
             to select the new accounting system and that BIFHE took a conscious
             decision to wait to implement it so as to learn from the other Colleges’
             experience. From our discussions with DEL we understand that the
             implementation in the other Colleges appears to have been relatively
             problem free compared with BIFHE’s experience. This must raise
             questions about the way in which the implementation was planned and
             organised at BIFHE. The challenge of learning about the new system at
             the same time as needing to run the College on a day to day basis
             appears to have become too demanding for the Finance Team and as a
             result the implementation of the Agresso system seems to have been the
             casualty. Our view is that the College has still not fully recovered from this
             poor implementation.

         •   The Colleges senior finance management team also decided to link the
             College’s MIS system with the new finance system to facilitate the
             production of invoices for fee payers. This did not work well with MIS staff
             making a number of errors that impacted directly and negatively upon the
             financial records.
Change in Bankers

         • We are informed that this was embarked upon because the original
           bankers could not offer web-based procurement. Whilst we can appreciate
           that web-based procurement may be a desirable function, we would
           question the timing of the change of bank. The change led to problems
           caused by third parties paying money into the old bank account and the
           bank refusing to allow the College access to its own funds. This presented
           a series of challenges to the College which could have been avoided at a


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             time when it was pre-occupied with other major changes e.g. implementing
             the new accounting system.
The Merger with CCFHE

          • Whilst the timing of this was beyond the immediate control of the (XXXX) ,
            we would question the quality of planning that went into its implementation.
            This is evidenced by the KPMG report which indicated insufficient testing
            had taken place, the decision to change bank accounts took the focus
            away from the main problems and substantial coding changes were
            implemented but not backed by the full system testing normally carried
            out. Also the fact that there were still problems in fully operating the
            Agresso system over a year after the merger would indicate that the pre-
            implementation planning was neither detailed enough nor of sufficient
            quality to ensure success of the project.
Sickness Absence of Key Finance team member at BIFHE

          • In August 2007 a key member of the BIFHE finance team became ill and
            unable to work. This coincided with the merger of the two Colleges and
            whilst the position which this member of staff had previously occupied was
             taken up by the former (XXXX) of CCFHE, it appears that this
             unexpected illness had a very negative impact on the handover of
             responsibilities.
Industrial Action by Lecturers

          • We appreciate that the industrial action had the effect of denying the
            College vital control information. It appears to have been just one
            additional burden the SMT had to carry and it is difficult to see how they
            could have done anything differently relating to this.


7.5.3   Other Financial Control Concerns
        Control of Staffing Costs

          • There are other aspects of financial control about which we have
            concerns. One of these is the controls applied over the employment of
            lecturing staff, the greatest area of concern for most colleges in terms of
            controlling costs. In our experience, 65-68% of any college’s income is
            expended on staffing costs. It is also our experience that a college that
            fails to exercise tight control over its staffing budget will inevitably suffer
            financial viability problems at some point.


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         • We understand that whilst BMC uses a staff recruitment panel (ECP) to
           scrutinise and ultimately give authority for permanent post holders to be
           appointed, we have seen no evidence of senior management controls over
           the employment of part-time staff who may be employed at the discretion
            of curriculum managers. The (XXXX) has told us that the College’s forecast
            spending this year on part-time staffing is 10% higher than had been
            expected. We do acknowledge that the College’s spending on permanent
            staff to the end of December was below expectations and that the two may
            be related. However, we maintain our view that controls over part-time
            staff should be improved.

         • The College has taken the decision in 2008/09, for the first time, to charge
           the College’s permanent staffing costs to a central budget instead of
           charging them to individual managers’ budgets as was the case
           previously, thereby denying the curriculum managers visibility and any
           chance of exercising any control over the largest element of the College’s
           spending. In our opinion this decision could have serious consequences
           for the College’s attempts to control its staffing costs, on an ongoing basis,
           as there is no clear departmental responsibility for controlling these costs.
           As with any budgetary control system it will only work when individuals are
           set clear targets for specific areas of responsibility over which they have
           control. Under the system currently operated by the College the entire
           permanent staff budget is in a single cost centre and whilst one person
           may have responsibility it is so large and diversified this cannot lead, in our
           opinion, to effective control. In our more recent discussions with the SMT
           on this subject, we have received agreement to our view from three of the
           Deputy Directors.

         • The College also employs a large number of part time non contract
           teaching staff but these can be employed by individual budget holders
           within their areas without reference to the permanent teaching staff
           budgets. This allows additional staffing resources to be engaged without
           reference to either current resources or departmental budgetary control
           parameters.


Recommendations

22.    The College should take immediate steps to analyse its staffing costs by
curriculum area and compare these with its curriculum delivery requirements.
(Critical)

23.    The College should revert back to charging permanent staff costs to
individual departments as soon as is practically possible. (Non Critical)

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24.  The College should develop and implement a process for controlling
temporary staffing costs (Critical)

Monthly Management Accounts

         •   From talking to the senior management of the College and the Governors
             and examining the papers submitted to them, it has become clear that the
             management accounts lack consistency both in the figures and regularity
             of submission.

         •   It is our belief that the regular monthly submission of management
             accounts to the SMT and the Governors is essential for those bodies to
             gain a clear understanding of the College’s current and future financial
             position.

         •   We found that the format of the management accounts did not lend itself
             to a clear understanding of the main financial issues facing the College.
             Key ratios appear to be omitted such as the percentage of staff costs to
             income. In addition, they did not provide any clear analysis on the
             performance of the individual areas of the College and there was often too
             much detail, especially in the information provided to Governors. We also
             noted that analysis of cash flow did not figure prominently within the
             figures or commentary. This is a cause for concern, particularly in a
             college which appears to have rapidly reducing cash balances.

         •   We noted the lack of clarity of the budget and year end forecast as both
             seemed to have become interchangeable. Good practice dictates that the
             budget, once set, should be fixed and actual performance measured
             against it. A forward forecast should be revised periodically as an
             indication as to the likely outturn, but should be quite separate from the
             budget.
Recommendations

25.   The College should review the format of the management accounts

         •   With a view to focussing on the aspects that are critical.

         •   To ensure that they are presented so as to be relevant to the various
             different users. (Critical)
Budgeting/Forecasting

         •   We have found that the accuracy of budgeted/forecast outturns was
             relatively poor during the financial year 2007/08. For example, in the
             KPMG report dated 16th June 2008 the forecast deficit on continuing
             operations for 2007/08 was anticipated to be significantly different to the

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              original budget - £2.0m against the original budgeted surplus of £102k. As
              shown in Section 6 of this report, the draft year end accounts for the
              College show a deficit of £1.5m on continuing operations.

          •   We have seen a copy of an undated report prepared by the (XXXX) which
              outlines the improvements to be made with a view to improving financial
              controls within BMC during 2007/08. Whilst this includes a number of
              initiatives, we have not seen any evidence of any control mechanism to
              assign responsibility for the completion of each of the actions or to identify
              target dates for their completion.
Recommendation

26.  The College should review its budgeting process with a view to producing
more accurate figures in advance of the start of each year in terms of likely
outcome. (Critical)


7.6   Summary
Whilst the College has complied with its statutory requirements to obtain audits, there
have been numerous significant issues arising that have needed to be addressed.
Whilst action has been taken to resolve some of these issues, there are still a number
requiring urgent attention to assist the College in achieving effective financial
management. We are aware, however from recent discussions which we have had with
the (XXXX) in February 2009 that the situation relating to outstanding audit queries has
improved.

The accuracy of both budgets and forecasts prepared by the College appear to have
been poor in the past and in our opinion, future projections will be adversely affected by
the decision to centralise permanent staff costs and the current systems and
procedures relating to part time pay costs which do not appear to be under the direct
control of senior management.
In our experience, effective financial control starts with a budget that has been created,
in advance of the year to which it relates, with the involvement of line managers who
should fully understand the day-to-day operating issues of their individual areas.
Once prepared, the budget should remain unchanged with any updates to the likely
year end position being described as forecasts or latest forecast. By their nature, all
budgets and forecasts are likely to be subjective but will still aid management decision-
making and by preparing them in a systematic manner, the accuracy of the figures
should improve over time.




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The College needs to focus on adopting policies to improve its budget preparation and
install effective monitoring procedures. This will enable management to take the
appropriate corrective action when faced with deviations in its financial performance.
We have reviewed the KPMG report dated 8 June 2008 on the Skills and Capability of
the Finance Function, which we understand was presented to the College Audit
Committee in December 2008 and we have noted its comments. It is clear that the skills
level in the finance function is not high with fewer qualified accountants than we would
normally expect in an institution of this size. We also understand from discussions with
the (XXXX) that three members of the Finance Department staff have recently left the
College, including the (XXXX) . Their roles are being covered by temporary
staff. In our view, this may have the effect of further weakening the finance function.

It is also clear from the KPMG report that the (XXXX) has not demonstrated
particularly strong leadership. However, the (XXXX) is ultimately responsible for the
adequate staffing and skills availability within the finance function and it is therefore our
view that the financial control weaknesses that have been identified in this review are
quite clearly his responsibility. We return to this issue in Section 12.




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8.    Estates

8.1    Introduction
This section of the report responds to the requirement within the Terms of Reference to
‘review the adequacy and effectiveness of the College estates strategy’.

DEL informed us in discussion of the background and special circumstances relating to
BIFHE’s accommodation, before its merger with CCFHE, which required urgent action
leading up to the agreement by DEL to progress the Millfield, Titanic Quarter and
Springvale developments.



8.2    Background
8.2.1         The business planning process within most colleges, whether integrated
with the college development plan or otherwise, will consider the extent of and nature of
the college’s future curriculum provision. It must take account of Government priorities,
demands from local business and communities and demographic trends in the
catchment area. An estates strategy represents a central plank to support the college’s
business plans by ensuring that the college has access to an adequate range of
accommodation to enable it to make the proposed curriculum offer. The estates strategy
should therefore consider the existing estate, establish the extent to which it meets the
requirements of the curriculum both now and in the future, and identify the extent to
which development or other adjustments are needed. An estates strategy, developed in
line with Government guidelines, therefore needs to consider the following:

          •     The College Development Plan and the education business case;

          •     Theoretical modelling to establish the future size and composition of the
                estate required to meet the education business case;

          •     The existing estate (in terms of size, composition, condition, functionality,
                fitness for purpose, and running costs, location etc);

          •     A range of options to determine how the existing estate needs to be
                developed to meet the theoretical model;

          •     Analytical critique of the options to establish the preferred option;

          •     The development of a preferred option into a fully realised Master Plan,
                describing the strategy to acquire, dispose of and develop the property
                portfolio, giving detailed analysis on procurement routes, cost planning
                and implementation processes necessary to deliver the strategy; and

          •     The structure of the estate management team and the processes it
                follows.

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8.3     Our Approach
8.3.1         In addressing this aspect of the Terms of Reference and to establish the
extent to which BMC has pursued the development of a strategy in line with the above,
we first conducted a desktop study, based on the information the College provided in
response to our request. Our information request is included in Appendix II which also
shows where the information provided fell short of our requirements.
8.3.2         We supplemented the desktop study with a site visit to the main college
buildings, with discussions with a sample of teaching staff from Art and Design and
Motor Vehicle, these discussions were undertaken on an informal basis during the site
visit and helped to obtain staff feedback regarding the functionality and suitability of the
accommodation. The site visit to the main buildings was conducted by the (XXXX) and
concluded with an interview with the relevant official in DEL followed by an interview
with BMC’s (XXXX) .

8.4     Information Review
We reviewed the information provided by the College against the following headings:
Size and Nature of Estate
8.4.1         Size:

There is no schedule of existing accommodation in the College with sufficient detail to
describe the overall size of the estate or its composition in order to evaluate against
business needs and/or benchmark against DEL guidance.
8.4.2         Condition:

The information needed to assess existing building conditions is limited and outdated.
This means that the College is not in a position to assess revenue implications such as
financial effect of maintenance costs, impact on staff morale, student numbers etc. The
College is also unable to assess the impact on property values either for the purpose of
maintaining the existing estate or for developing an estates strategy.
8.4.3         Fitness for Purpose:

There is no schedule to describe fitness for purpose.
8.4.4         Utilisation:

The College has limited information available regarding current utilisation levels. A brief
analysis of the data provided raised questions about how it had been collated and / or
analysed by the College. This issue was discussed in interview with the (XXXX)
who confirmed the general uncertainty and lack of process in the generation of the
utilisation information. The partial information provided is insufficient to inform the

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College on how the existing estate is operating or the future needs in line with business
requirements.
8.4.5         Statutory Requirements:

There is insufficient information available to establish the College’s compliance with
statutory requirements such as DDA access, fire compartmentation, fire alarm systems,
PAT testing, and legionella, nor the ability to assess the capital and / or revenue
implications of maintaining the estate as a status quo or providing this information into
an estates strategy which informs the financial modelling of a preferred option. The lack
of information regarding statutory compliance has significant implications for the College
financial management and the consideration of options within an Estates Strategy.
8.4.6         Ownership / Title:

College staff confirmed that they are in the process of establishing a Legal Terrier and
as such, there is insufficient information available at the time of compiling this review to
allow for detailed consideration how the ownership of land and property has been
considered in the development of a preferred option leading to an Estates Strategy.
8.4.7         Property Values:

College staff have confirmed that they have limited information on land values. The
information provided does show depreciation values but would not be sufficient to
inform an estates strategy in terms of providing alternative use valuations.
8.4.8         Planned Maintenance Programme:

Documents show that (XXXX) provided part of the planned
maintenance programme for BMC. This documentation highlights planned maintenance
costs by building but does not make any reference to the details required to establish a
Maintenance Plan or timeframes required to implement such a plan. This information
also only relates to the former CCFHE. There is insufficient information both in terms of
a Planned Maintenance Schedule and a Maintenance Investment Plan to inform the
College’s financial planning of either the existing estate or the implications for an estate
strategy.
8.4.9         Review and Benchmarking of Running Costs:

Information was provided regarding running costs for the estate and staff stated that this
information will, in the future, be cross referenced to the size of the estate for
benchmarking purposes. However, the amount and robustness of the information is
unclear. For example, rates for College Square in 2007/08 are circa £70,000, but in
2008/09 the rates are indicated at circa £900 only. The current level of information does
not allow for benchmarking or for use in a robust estate strategy.



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8.4.10         Origin of Information:

The Estates information has been gathered from a variety of sources (please refer to
Appendix II both pre and post merger and it appears that there is currently no central
database or ownership of estates information. We would regard it to be insufficient and
outdated for use in running the existing estate or for informing a robust estate strategy.

8.5      BMC Estates Strategy
8.5.1         A college Estates Strategy should be able to demonstrate the logical
process of evaluating the existing estate against the College Development Plan
(including strategic objectives) and the identification of a preferred option for moving
forward (following a robust option generation and appraisal). BMC’s current Estate
Strategy gives details of planned developments, without making any reference to option
appraisal or consideration of the College objectives and the capacity of the existing
estate to support these objectives.
8.5.2          Without the necessary logical comparison of the existing estate against
current and planned curricular provision, it is not possible to demonstrate whether and
the extent to which new accommodation is required. If new accommodation was to be
established as a requirement, there is no demonstration of the most appropriate
development in terms of location, size, composition, etc. There is also no indication of
the financial implications, both in terms of capital or revenue costs, for the long term
sustainability of the College. In relation to the existing college estate strategy, we would
also make the following observations.
8.5.3          Formulation of Estates Strategy Objectives:

The estates strategy information consists of Appendix 2 of the College Development
Plan and the document headed ‘Estates Development Strategy (Draft) Updated April
2008’. The estates strategy information has been formulated in house by the former
College (XXXX) . Within this documentation, there is a list of estate objectives
which are written more as outputs rather than objectives, for example:

           •   objective (i) describes the objective as restructuring the estates
               department; this in actual fact is an output to an objective e.g. The
               objective could be ‘Provide an efficient and effective estate management
               support service’

           •   objective (viii) describes the objective to further develop the use of
               technology, again this is an output to an objective such as ‘provide up to
               date estate information which is consistent with DEL guidelines, further
               education and governmental good practice and which support the
               business decision making
8.5.4          Alignment of Estate Strategy Objectives with Academic Objectives:

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There is no demonstrable link between the generation of the estate objectives and the
College Strategic and Academic Objectives, as described in the College’s Development
Plan. The objectives noted above are supported by an Estates Action Plan, which briefly
identifies a number of actions required to achieve the objectives. The actions identified
are not set out in a SMART format. The actions are not specific in their requirements;
the desired outcome of an action is not detailed to a sufficient point to allow for
measurement; there is no evidence of consideration of how the actions are to be
achieved or resourced and there are no deadlines set for the conclusion of actions.
8.5.5         Generation and Review of Estate Strategy Options:

The current Estate Strategy document does not provide or consider alternative options.
(See Conclusions below for a more detailed description of the implications of this
deficiency).

8.6     Estate Strategy – Additional Points
8.6.1         Implementation Management Structure:

We were informed by the College that all projects in which they are involved are
governed by a structure as set out in the Office of Government Commerce (OGC)
“Achieving Excellence in Construction” guidelines. The OGC guidelines in particular
Part 2, Project Organisation, Roles and Responsibilities indicate the essential and
desirable skills and requirements for each role within the project team which also
informs the need for other key skills and support for the success of the project. This is
useful in identifying skills gaps in the main team to enable the College to bring in expert
internal or external assistance to fill the gaps.
We asked for and were given an organisation chart showing job titles and a
management structure showing the specific roles and capabilities of the team members.
The College provided an organisation chart and a list of the internal project team and
the Project Execution Plan (PEP) for the integrated project team. We would have
expected to see details of how the College had assessed the team members’
capabilities for suitability for their proposed roles in light of the OGC guidelines. It was
difficult for us, from the information supplied, to assess the quality of the process that
had been used for this purpose and determine whether it did indeed comply with the
OGC guidelines.
8.6.2         Qualifications and Experience of Estate Management Personnel:

It was confirmed that new job descriptions for estates management staff members are
being drafted to take account of the merger, which includes the roles of the Capital
Development and Space Utilisation Manager.
8.6.3         External Consultants:



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There is no evidence to suggest that a process of internal evaluation has been carried
out to allow an appreciation of in- house capabilities, capacity, skill sets, etc. nor has
there been a review of the implementation process
8.6.4         Appraisal and Approval of Capital Development Projects:

The College should ensure that the principles of the Office of Government Commerce’s
Achieving Excellence Guidance, in particular the Gateway Approval Process, are
utilised in determining the decisions to approve capital development projects.
8.6.5         Performance Assessments:

No evidence has been provided that there are processes for undertaking performance
reviews / assessments of personnel, companies, processes or projects. There was a
reference to membership of a Strategic Estates Management Group and to the set of
minutes issued within the documentation. The documentation provided does not,
however, demonstrate how this senior group is linking the performance assessments for
capital projects.
8.6.6         Effectiveness of Performance Assessment Processes:

As there is no evidence of an assessment process being utilised by the College, this
item cannot be assessed as part of this review.
8.7     Conclusions

8.7.1      We recognise that the current (XXXX) has been in post
for a relatively short period of time and is grappling with many of the issues we have
highlighted. To help in this process, we would point out that the College’s current
Estates thinking does not appear to consider:
          •   Educational Business Case:

              Documentation provided to date does not demonstrate the availability of
              the educational business case or the analysis of the various elements for
              consideration within an estates strategy, e.g. there is not demographic
              study, post code analysis, curriculum analysis, etc. which feeds into the
              estates strategy-
          •   Theoretical Modelling:

              No theoretical model, supporting the Educational Business Case, has
              been provided to demonstrate the likely size, composition, utilisation,
              capital / revenue costs, etc

          •   Assessment of Current Estate:



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          There is a significant shortage of information in terms of the existing estate;

          •   Option Generation:

              Given the lack of data surrounding the educational business case, the
              theoretical model and existing estate, there is insufficient information
              currently available to allow for the generation of alternative options for
              consideration
          •   Analytical Critique / Option Appraisal:

              As there is insufficient information to allow for the generation of options, it
              is not possible to demonstrate a preferred option
          •   Master Plan:

              Again, as there is no demonstrable preferred option, it is not possible to
              undertake further development in the production of a long term Master
              Plan.

          •   The Estates Management Structure and Processes:

              These do not support the development or implementation of an Estates
              Strategy

8.7.2      In our final discussions with the (XXXX) in February 2009 he acknowledged
that the information provided to MCA was a reflection of the level of data available in the
College and he did not demur from our broad conclusions. He outlined the significant
impact arising from the loss of four senior managers and his proposals to restructure -
currently being considered by the Interim Director. He agreed on the need for a
curriculum-led estates strategy and said his team was working closely with DEL.

Recommendations
27.   Estates Data - The College should establish a SMART action plan which
seeks to address the information requirement as described at the beginning of
this section as soon as possible. This action plan should be presented to
Governors with clear actions, responsibilities, accountabilities together with a
programme of actions and delivery dates; the report to Governors should also
include approximate costs to collate the Estates Data. This information is vital in
establishing a meaningful estate strategy. (Critical)

28.   Estates Strategy – The College should undertake an analysis and review of
future management decision making processes in line with the Office of
Government Commerce’s Achieving Excellence Guidance and implement the
findings of this analysis. (Critical)

29.   Estates Strategy - The College should develop and produce an action plan

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and detailed programme (with SMART objectives) with a view to producing
master plan options leading to a preferred option. The master plan option
analysis must consider the information generated from the review of the existing
estate. The options analysis must also consider the College’s educational
Business Case, to include new demographic data, growth analyses, curricular
demand and analyses, etc. in generating appropriate estate and delivery options.
These options must demonstrate estate efficiencies such as space management,
utilisation, improved running costs, greater estate management efficiencies, etc.
(Critical)
30.    Estates Management Structure – Undertake a detailed analysis of the
existing estates structure in order to produce data for comparison and
benchmarking. (Critical)
31.    Estates Management Structure – Undertake a detailed analysis of the
existing staff in terms of capabilities, roles and responsibilities, experience, etc.
(Non Critical)

32.    Estates Management Structure - Following the above analysis, establish a
system for performance management, training, support, contingency planning,
etc. (Non Critical)

33.    Estates Management Structure – Undertake a needs analysis to identify
and understand the roles, staff numbers, etc. required to efficiently and
effectively manage the estate and to understand the external support required in
order to successfully deliver an Estates Strategy, if required. (Non Critical)

34.   Estates Management Structure - Undertake a benchmarking exercise in
order to better understand how exemplar colleges efficiently and effectively
manage their estates. (Non Critical)

35.   Estates Management Structure - Re-evaluate the proposed structure, based
on the above actions and submit a recommendation together with implementation
process on the findings of the above to the Governing Body. (Non Critical)

36.    Estates Management Structure - The results of the above process will give
an efficient and effective estates management strategy up to the current post
merger position. Future changes in the estate will obviously require a similar
undertaking to ensure that these efficiencies are maintained. Future changes to
the structure should be considered as part of the Master Planning exercise and
review of option appraisals. (Non Critical)




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9.    Management Information System

9.1    Introduction
This section of the report addresses the requirement, in the Terms of Reference for the
review, to ‘investigate the adequacy of the College’s Management Information System’,
which in normal FE terms is defined as those systems and modules which together
position a college to track student activity.

In conducting this aspect of the review we carried out a series of interviews with key
staff from BMC, senior officials from the DEL and the Association of Northern Ireland
Colleges (ANIC) who provided some historical information to support the review
process.
This report provides a review identifying some of the key areas that will need to be
addressed to further develop the College’s MIS Strategy. Data sampling or auditing of
the data did not form part of this review but may need to be considered in respect of any
future reviews when analysing in detail the effectiveness of the College’s data systems
and processes.

Whilst aspects of the Agresso System and associated systems have been discussed
with the College staff interviewed, this section of the report does not cover a full and
comprehensive review of the functionality of the Agresso system or its subsequent use
by College staff.
We were informed during the meeting with representatives from DEL that the College
had a history of poor data management and failure to provide statutory external returns
in an accurate and timely manner in accordance with published schedules. We have,
therefore, made recommendations to improve the management information reporting
process.

The review also makes observations regarding the current/proposed staffing structure
and is sensitive to the views and needs of the College.

9.2    Strategic Development
The Agresso QL Student Record system which is standard to all NI colleges allows the
College to fully integrate its MIS system linking it to Personnel, Finance, Estates and
Timetabling. We were informed of one example of a recent system development to
achieve greater efficiency in data handling in the piloting of an e-registers project using
the e-registers module from the MIS system. At the time of the review the e-registers
project was on hold, due to some technical difficulties with regard to the server. The
College and the (XXXX) from ANIC were working towards a
resolution with BT who hold the first line support to the products for the Northern Ireland
Colleges.



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A key requirement underpinning good data management is the process by which the
College manages its attendance registers. This in turn would support the data used in
any external returns or external auditing process. Currently, the College does not have
a suitable register system where registers are issued to teaching staff, marked and
subsequently recorded on the student record system on a daily basis.

We were told by the (XXXX) that data
clinics were held on a regular basis for curriculum and support staff and covered a
range of data themes, in particular pivot tables and data relating to FLUs. This is a
reasonable approach to take in any college but it should be made clear whether these
were to re-enforce the concept of data ownership or training staff in the use and
understanding of the data presented. We would expect both of these issues to be
addressed and the College should make the purpose of each session clear.
Given the criticisms from DEL about the College’s record in relation to the accurate and
timely completion of data returns, we would have expected to see plans in place or in
preparation to address these issues. We were not presented with any plans that would
indicate how the College is addressing such issues within the MIS function, or whether
key areas of weakness had been identified as part of the MIS Strategy.
Recommendation

37.   The College should implement a business process review as part of the
MIS Strategy to identify the following:

          •   Strengths and weaknesses in the data collection process.

          •   Review of the software systems used

          •   Review the current operational structure (Critical)


9.3   Staffing
The MIS team is split over several sites and covers the normal range of college MIS
functions. The organisation chart that was supplied and shown in Appendix III showed
clear lines of management control and communication. This was evidenced during the
meetings with the following:

          • (XXXX)

          • (XXXX)

          • (XXXX)

          • (XXXX)
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          • (XXXX)

All of the staff interviewed understood where their roles fitted within the structure.
Regular meetings apparently took place with their own line managers or (XXXX)
 but time did not allow us to check this
across all areas of the MIS function. We consider that regular meetings to discuss
problems and exchange information are particularly important in this area.
We were unable to make a detailed assessment of the full technical capabilities of the
MIS team in the time given. However, the individuals to whom we spoke were
knowledgeable about their own area of work and understood the importance of getting
the data accurate and the implications for the College. We saw reports which indicated
high technical skills were available to the team in terms of using Crystal Reports as a
management information tool and in developing Microsoft Excel pivot tables.



9.4     Elements of the MIS System
9.4.1   Agresso System

The College uses the Agresso system which has been adopted across all of the
Northern Ireland Colleges. The Agresso system incorporates the Personnel Information
System module (QLP), Finance System module, Student Record System module
(QLS), E-Registers module (QLE).
The College also uses the Scientia ET system which handles the timetabling. All the
Agresso modules and Scientia ET are integrated and allow information to flow between
them.
During the review we were shown how specific modules were used. There was a high
degree of knowledge shown in using the system and it appears to us that the
application was fit for purpose. It was also demonstrated during these reviews how staff
made full use of the software packages available in their own particular area of work i.e.
timetabling software and student record system and the use of the Crystal Reports
software.
It was not possible to evaluate whether the full capabilities of the system were being
used as this would require a full specification of the software and a more in-depth
review of the business process and the MIS modules used in comparison.


9.4.2   Registers

During the meeting with the (XXXX)
we were informed that a number of issues exist around the issuing and recording of
student registers and attendance. The current process for handling registers was
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outlined inasmuch as all lecturing staff use standard College mark books to record
attendance at each register session. A clear and consistent daily routine is not in
operation to check the mark books and transfer the attendance marks back into the
student record system. There is no mechanism for ensuring that actual registers exist
for all courses and events that are running in the academic year. A daily process for
handling and recording register information and attendance marks needs to be in place
within the College, which will in turn support the validity of the data made in the external
returns in terms of withdrawals, transfers and actual Taught Hours for each student.

During the meeting with the MIS Support and Audit Function staff we were informed that
learner checks are made at census points during the year. Census dates are normally
derived by the college and would occur two or three times a year depending on the size
of the college and how regularly the college makes external data returns. We were not
given the schedule for the census checks at BMC but it was suggested that two would
occur between January and July. Census checks would normally cover
course/qualification start and end dates, confirm that the student is still active on the
course, confirm withdrawal/transfer dates and the College confirmed that they did cover
these areas and the Funding Audits have not revealed weaknesses in this area. The
work covered in the census checks also forms part of the data verification work needed
to generate the FLUs for the College. There are no standard templates that we would
normally expect to be used in the learner census process or any linking to course
review documentation which should accompany such a process.
The College had attempted to run a pilot of the QLE e-registers module but was unable
to complete this, first because of industrial action from lecturing staff and subsequently
because of technical difficulties relating to the server. The technical difficulties seem to
have been exacerbated due to the contractual arrangements that are in place as part of
the NICIS Project. However we were assured by ANIC that this was being resolved. Our
understanding of the relationship process for the partners in the NICIS project is
described as follows:

          •   ANIC are the authority to the contract. The contract has named contacts
              i.e. BMC.
          •   Agresso are the software suppliers of the QLS student software and are a
              3rd party to BT

          •   BT are the prime contractors to the NICIS Project.
          •   BT provide 1st line support to the Agresso products for the Northern
              Ireland Colleges.

          •   The Colleges pay BT direct for support for all software and hardware.
          •   ANIC provide business support and in their role as Authority to the
              contract provide the link for the Colleges with the supplier.

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We are concerned that the overall support package for Agresso products is a complex
arrangement compared to that experienced in English Colleges and to enable the
College to obtain full benefit it requires a detailed service level agreement and extensive
co-operation between all parties involved.
Recommendations

38.   The College needs to implement a registers project to evaluate how it will
deliver the following:

          •   A clear process for handling registers

          •   Registers that are generated from the Student Record System for all
              courses and events being run in the College.

          •   A process to collect and issue registers on a daily basis to lecturing
              staff across all sites and record the attendance marks in QLS.

          •   A review of the technology available to record attendance marks
              across all sites. This may require a mix of approaches and should
              consider the costs relating to staffing, technology and resources.
              (Critical)


9.5    Data
During the review we looked at and discussed the data processes for managing the
central admissions and the timetabling functions for the College. Both functions would
be applicable for both FE and HE students in the College.

Central admissions manage the process for the initial student enquiries and
applications. Student enquiries can be received via letter, email or telephone and are
subsequently logged into the MIS Enquiries module. This is followed by a mail merge
process which results in an email, or letter being sent to the student. Whilst we did not
have the time to complete a detailed audit to test whether all enquiries are subsequently
followed through by the College, we believe from comments made to us that they may
not be. The risks associated with not having a controlled recording and tracking
mechanism are as follows:
          •   Loss of students and potential revenue

          •   Potential for courses not being filled to capacity

          •   Loss of future marketing activities via telephone, email and mail shots
          •   Bad publicity about the College for not contacting prospective students



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          •   Over subscription to courses through places being offered and not
              recorded on the Enquiries and Applications module.
Recommendations

39.    The College should define the process and flow charts for capturing and
recording all enquiries across sites, to include those received directly with
academic staff as a result of informal discussions with potential students. (Non
Critical)

40.   The College should ensure that all enquiries processed to the mail merge
stage are flagged accordingly in the Enquiries module. (Non Critical)

41.   The College should implement exception reports to identify enquiries that
have not been processed to the mail merge stage. (Non Critical)


The applications process moves through various stages and starts with applications
being received via e-mail direct into the College’s system via the internet or paper
application by post. All application forms are then subsequently quality checked with
regard to details and course availability. The QLS Applications module is set up with
application course codes all of which map through to the QLS course code which is then
used at the enrolment stage for the student. Currently all forms are scanned and then
issued to the secretaries in the curriculum teams across all of the sites, who then
arrange for students to be called in for an interview. If the student is successful in their
application then a conditional offer is made. The (XXXX) told us
that unsuccessful students are offered alternative courses or levels of study. The
applications process and operation is fairly typical of that encountered in any FE
college, but the College must be aware that there are risks associated with paperwork
being transported and collected across a multi-site college.

We were advised by the (XXXX) that it is the responsibility of the
curriculum areas to follow up applications and ensure that at each stage of the
applications process the QLS module is updated with a status change. At BMC the
status change process is sporadic which makes it difficult to track conversion rates for
applications into enrolments. There is also an associated risk that students are not
followed through to the enrolment stage resulting in the loss of students and potential
revenue. The policies and procedures relating to the applications process need to
reflect the roles and responsibilities across the College. We asked the (XXXX)
 how the Central Admissions unit measured the effectiveness of
the applications process. They cited one such measure that we feel is very effective,
and we are familiar with in other colleges, is the conversion rates from applications to
enrolments. We were advised that this measure was not used. We were not supplied
with any other evidence to suggest that any performance indicators were in place.
Recommendations
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42.    The College should ensure that all areas involved in the applications
process update the applications module at each stage of the process. (Non
Critical)

43.  Implement exception reports at each stage of the process to track and
monitor applications. (Non Critical)

44.   Implement a report to show conversion rates from applications to
enrolments. (Non Critical)

45.   The College should consider implementing a business process review of
the Enquiries and Applications functions and evaluate any benefits that could be
obtained from centralisation. (Critical)


9.6    Timetabling
9.6.1        Timetabling for the College is carried out using the Scientia ET
Timetabling System and links to the QLS Student Record System. Course set up details
are taken from QLS into the timetabling system where the curriculum user plans the
timetable.
9.6.2          The timetables move through a series of validation processes between the
timetabling team and the curriculum teams until the timetabled hours match the planned
taught hours in QLS. The validation process works in terms of matching timetable to
planned hours. However, the timetabling staff could not confirm that the planned hours
from course setup is accurate from a curriculum planning perspective or that the
timetabled hours for staff are verified against the Curriculum Plan. We would expect a
timetabling system to be informed by a detailed curriculum plan but at the present time
there is not a comprehensive plan available in the College.
9.6.3          Once this process is completed and the planned and timetable hours
match, the timetables are published on the intranet and registers are setup in QLS. We
were informed that the registers that are setup are “high level” only and do not have a
form printed to enter actual attendance marks against, or that they were used in any
way to record marks electronically in the registers module. Good practise within a
college would require either the register to be marked electronically through direct input,
or a register printed, marked and input manually.
9.6.4        There appeared to be no consistent mechanism for transferring the
attendance marks back into the Student Record System. As a result, the College is
unable to perform any independent checks of actual attendance hours against the
planned and timetabled hours.
9.6.5        The following management reports are in place to support the timetable
process. Although we discussed the use of the reports and were shown where they

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were held on the system we did not see in the minutes of the SMT meetings evidence of
detailed use of the reports or that they had regularly been actioned by the recipients.

          •   Staff utilisation
          •   Room utilisation

          •   Timetabled hours against planned hours

          •   Registers without students
          •   Course without registers
Recommendations

46.   The College needs to ensure that the planned taught hours and timetabled
hours are taken from an effective curriculum planning process thus ensuring that
income and staff expenditure are correctly aligned. (Critical)

47.    The College needs to ensure that all attendance marks are recorded into
the student record system. (Critical)


9.7    Audit of MIS Data
9.7.1          Audit and data cleansing routines are handled within the MIS Support and
Audit function and are applicable to both FE and HE student data. Course data is
checked twice a year where the curriculum teams are issued with class lists and course
Information. All of these reports are required to be signed off by the designated
curriculum manager and returned to the MIS team. Where alterations are highlighted or
requested then the MIS team treat this as a “high priority”. However, we were informed
that the timescales attached to this could be up to a month before the alteration is made
within the student record system, which is down to scheduling of work and/or availability
of staff to undertake the work. There was no evidence that a validation process was
taking place from within MIS ensuring that the proposed alterations meet current
funding rules and regulations, comply with external audit compliance regulations, or that
an assessment of the implications on funding or DEL returns and statistics takes place.
There is a risk that changes not made promptly and without being assessed can result
in incorrect funding claims, either positively or negatively, impact on targets against
contracts or increase the potential for a failed audit.
Recommendations

48.    All proposed amendments/changes should be assessed by an MIS
specialist who has detailed knowledge of the funding and audit methodology and
can advise the senior management on the implications to the current contract.
(Critical)

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49.  Priority teams within MIS should be assigned to complete all valid
amendments within one week of receipt. (Non Critical)


9.7.2          FLU base validations are run following production of the FLU file. An
example of this report dated 12th November 2008 was supplied to us listing 27 validation
rules with 9,461 validation errors. Of these errors, 6,541 were learning aim specific and
relate to the National Database of Approved Qualifications (NDAQ).


Recommendations

50.    The College should review the curriculum planning process ensuring that
all courses have valid learning aims that meet the “NDAQ” criteria. (Critical)

51.    The College should review all existing courses and learning aims to be
rolled forward to 2009/10 to ensure that they are valid for “new starters” and also
meet the preceding recommendation. (Critical)


9.8   Management Information
9.8.1        At the time of the review the College had developed approximately 500
reports of which about 250 were classed as “active”. It is unclear as to whether all 500
can be viewed by academic and business support staff or whether only 250 of these
can be used.
9.8.2         When looking at the type and range of reports it shows that there are
multiple reports based on the same theme. This is probably as a result of different areas
of the College wanting to tailor reports precisely to their own needs.

9.8.3          The (XXXX) stated that they are currently
rationalising the number of reports based on the number of times that they are run. It is
envisaged by the department that this will significantly reduce the number of reports
available.
Recommendations

52.    The College needs to develop a small suite of reports that it needs in order
to run and understand its performance i.e.:

          •   Financial - internal monitoring against contract and budget

          •   Statistical- analysis of the student numbers and subsequent volume
              of enrolments in relation to the College performance targets


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          •   Curriculum – course-related          information,    Success,    Retention,
              Withdrawals and Transfers.

          •   Register - Analysis of registers, missing marks, attendance, lateness
              and staff utilisation statistics.

          •   Audit – exception reports to improve data quality and funding
              optimisation. (Critical)



9.8.4          The (XXXX) told us that as part of the
rationalisation process they are making extensive use of an Excel pivot table and
therefore removing the need by Curriculum and Support Staff to use existing reports.
Whilst, in theory, this gives the “end user” the flexibility to analyse large data sets
covering different themes, it does require intensive training and support for “end users”
to use and manipulate pivot tables. Data clinics are held by the MIS team to train staff in
the use of pivot tables. There is a high risk that this could be a long term commitment
for training and that staff who are not technically proficient may become frustrated and
fail to own and take responsibility for their data.
9.8.5         We are also aware that the College has the Crystal Reports reporting
system that overlaps with the pivot table information. College staff have also been
trained on this system but at the present time with the large number of reports available
to users, we have concerns that staff will find it difficult to determine which reports to
use for a particular purpose. This situation is further discussed in the Curriculum
Planning section of this report.
Recommendation

53.     The MIS team need to review the policy regarding the use of pivot tables as
a mechanism for providing management reports. The MIS team need to consider
the differing technical skills and capabilities of staff within the College to use
such data analysis tools and that this may hinder the strategy of getting more
staff to own and use the data effectively. The concept of “putting the customer
first” should be adopted, in this case the end user of the reports. (Critical)

In our discussions with the (XXXX) on 16 February 2009, he acknowledged the potential
benefits of the improvements that are being highlighted in this report and has already
instigated processes in some cases to address the issues raised here.




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10. Curriculum & Staffing

10.1   General Review
10.1.1        The change in funding system from SPURs to FLUs with effect from
2007/08 and the increasing focus on vocational courses has made it necessary for the
College to review and revise its curriculum offer. The need to not only reduce staff after
the merger but also to match the reduced number of staff and their personal skills to
those required by both the new funding regime and the new College has been a
considerable challenge. In our interviews with nine senior staff below Deputy Director
level we were told that redundancies were carried out purely on a voluntary basis and
as a consequence staff who had skills the College could use and would find difficult to
replace, had been allowed to leave.
10.1.2        It is our experience that academic staffing and curriculum planning are at
all times bound together and decisions on one or the other must be based on an overall
scientific assessment of a college’s curriculum offer and strategic direction. We have
also included sections on Reporting and Performance against Target for academic
areas as we feel that both of these are closely related to the College’s success in
developing a curriculum plan.
10.1.3        The draft Organisation Chart compiled on behalf of the Interim Director
and dated 10th October 2008, which was provided to us by the (XXXX)
is attached in Appendix III and is the structure we have relied upon
during our discussions and review.

10.2   Curriculum Planning
10.2.1       Whilst we accept that the College may have the elements of a curriculum
planning process contained in different systems, in a college the size of BMC we would
normally expect to see these brought together in a detailed evaluated curriculum plan
showing, as a minimum, the following information:

          •   Courses being offered
          •   FLUs being generated

          •   Taught hours (TH) to be delivered

                NB: Taught hours are the hours of direct contact between lecturers and
                students.

          •     Anticipated income by site/course/curriculum area as indicated in the
                example of a curriculum planning spreadsheet shown in Appendix IV




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In our discussions with the (XXXX) on 17 February 2009, he acknowledged this point and
informed us that development work is now underway to try to achieve such a combined
model.
10.2.2         This planning process would normally be led and compiled by an
individual or small team drawn mainly from senior curriculum managers but with a large
input from the College’s MIS and Finance sections who would normally contribute to the
raw data. Having established the raw data all areas of the curriculum would then be
involved in development and finalisation of the plan over the coming months.
10.2.3           This process would typically start after the current year’s intake had been
established i.e. around November, and continue through a series of refinements and
reviews to about February. At this point the curriculum offer for the next academic year
starting in September would be more or less fixed, typically being about 95% accurate
with flexibility for late adjustments.

10.2.4        In our discussions with the (XXXX) and (XXXX) we did not see evidence that
this process is in place but can see that certain limited reviews and discussion about the
curriculum do take place between managers, but not within the context of a
comprehensive College-wide and detailed plan. Our discussions with the (XXXX) and the
 (XXXX) confirmed that whilst data is
collected it is not used to contribute to a comprehensive curriculum plan. Whilst
discussing curriculum planning with Thematic Managers and the staff reporting to them,
we were shown examples of previously used curriculum planning spreadsheets. These
were not in use at present and some of the staff who had previously taken responsibility
for their compilation had left.
10.2.5        The need for a more detailed College-wide planning exercise was
recognised by the staff we talked to but we were unable to obtain evidence that this kind
of College-wide detailed planning had existed pre-merger at either College and
therefore no base was available on which to quickly build a suitable curriculum planning
tool post merger.
10.2.6         The situation has been made more difficult by the fact that the previous
funding methodology did not require the accuracy and timeliness of data that the FLUs
system needs. We understand that the SPURs funding system was based on data
which was two years old, therefore there was no pressure within the Colleges to
continuously monitor and understand either student recruitment, in anything but at an
overall level, or the staffing requirements to deliver a fairly static curriculum offer. The
change to the funding methodology and the need to focus on vocational courses
through the introduction of “Further Education Means Business” means continuous
monitoring of student numbers has now become essential to understanding and
influencing the College’s income and financial position. In our discussions with the
Interim Director and his Deputies it was evident that they now recognise the need for
detailed monitoring, but are only just beginning to put in place the reporting structure to
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support that requirement. We were shown a spreadsheet which was being developed
by the (XXXX) and (XXXX) which was to be used as a curriculum planning control
document. It did not contain all the information suggested at the start of this section.
We understand from later discussions with the (XXXX) that work is now underway to
develop the type of combined planning process to which we refer.
10.2.7        We have seen a further spreadsheet developed by the College shown to
us by the (XXXX) which calculates and
forecasts the number of FLUs and is clearly essential in understanding the College’s
present funding position. This spreadsheet, whilst calculating the FLUs, does not
provide any information on staffing requirements and neither does it link into, or reflect a
comprehensive curriculum plan. One of the problems that the College is experiencing is
that due to a change in the funding methodology, comparative student data is only
available for two previous years and that is a conversion/estimate. Therefore forecasting
and planning is more difficult. However this does not prevent compilation of informative
data for analysis.

10.2.8       There is also an Excel pivot table shown to us by the (XXXX)
 and provided by ANIC, a small extract of which is
attached as Appendix V, which gives very comprehensive funding and student data but,
as pointed out by the (XXXX) , it is complex to use and understand especially for users
with limited Excel skills. The (XXXX)
view is that a combination of the new funding methodology, lack of understanding of the
data and an error in the pivot table may have caused an initial overstatement of the
number of FLUs the College had achieved and as reported to DEL.
10.2.9        Difficulties in curriculum planning have been compounded by the
significant change in the ability of the College to fund the previously high level of leisure
courses which in the main did not lead to any kind of qualification. The (XXXX) estimates
that 9,000 enrolments were lost due to the update in policies reflected in the change in
funding methodology and the introduction of “FE Means Business”.

10.2.10       The (XXXX) told us his
analysis of the decline in funding led him to believe that in addition to the above, the
following had a direct effect on the decline on student numbers:

          •   The publicity surrounding redundancies and the industrial action by
              lecturers in not completing registers
          •   The College’s decision to increase and/or charge fees

          •   The introduction of the practise of charging students for exam fees

          •   The elimination of substantial discounts for the over 60s
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10.2.11        Discussions on the new funding methodology started with the colleges
during 2005 with DEL deciding that it would be implemented for the academic year
2007/08 with transitional arrangements for the next three years relating to leisure
courses. The Colleges’ experience was very similar to that in England when the funding
methodology changed bringing far more emphasis on employer engagement and
vocational courses at the expense of what might be termed “leisure & pleasure” courses
which did not have qualifications attached. In our experience, it is difficult for a college
to refocus and redirect its resources to cope with such a major shift and this appears to
have been the case with BMC where such a large proportion of its offer was non
vocational. Calculation of the exact proportion of “leisure & pleasure” type courses in
the total College’s offer is difficult to assess accurately, as this not only depends on data
quality but also definition of the type of course. However the (XXXX) estimated that out of
55,000 enrolments 25,000 were related to “leisure & pleasure” type enrolments.

It would be very challenging for any organisation to manage the reduction or change in
focus of such a large proportion of its business and it would need to be done with
careful planning over a period of time. We understand DEL had allowed Colleges three
years to achieve this change with further detailed guidelines on what proportion and
under what criteria these “leisure & pleasure” courses would be allowed in the future.
We were unable to find any evidence that such detailed planning had been carried out
by the College or that the details of such plans had been discussed at either Governors’
meetings or within the College’s SMT meetings.
DEL had ongoing discussions with all Colleges about its proposed changes and there
was a three year lead time to the full introduction of the required rebalancing of the
curriculum offer. We feel the College should have had time to manage downward the
leisure courses on offer and replace that income with other income streams had it taken
advantage of this three year lead time, however it chose to implement the change in a
much shorter timescale.
The lack of a comprehensive curriculum planning process would mean that the effects
of such a funding change could not be easily identified or modelled nor could the
financial viability of the new courses be assessed.
Although this section does not deal with the detailed running of the College’s MIS
system it is impossible to look at the issues discussed above without considering data
accuracy. From information contained in pre and post merger audit reports, Governors’
meetings minutes and the College’s SMT minutes, it is evident that there has been a
long history of failure to deliver on time and with reasonable accuracy various returns
and reports to DEL. This indicates, and is confirmed in the MIS section of this report,
that the College’s data has not been of consistent quality or accuracy to be used as a
contributor to a detailed curriculum planning process.




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Recommendations

54.   The College should establish a full curriculum plan drawing together the
key elements shown below:-

         •   Courses being offered

         •   FLUs being generated

         •   Taught hours (TH) to be delivered

         •   Anticipated income by course/curriculum area (Critical)

55.   An annual curriculum planning cycle and calendar should be established
which would;-

         •   Show a detailed timeline

         •   Draw together the above-mentioned elements

         •   Recognise the changing requirements of the FE sector

         •   Provide detailed information for the setting of part time staff budgets

         •   Run in conjunction with, and inform the Financial budget planning
             process

         •   Recognise the necessity to follow the DEL funding and negotiating
             timetable. (Critical)



56.   The College should establish clear leadership and responsibility for the
Curriculum Planning process which should encompass and be informed by the
following;-

         •   Senior curriculum leaders

         •   MIS department

         •   Finance

         •   External funding bodies

         •   The Governing Body (Critical)




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10.3   Reporting Academic Performance
10.3.1       As mentioned earlier one of the College’s main sources of student and
course information and data is an Excel pivot table developed by ANICAC in
conjunction with DEL to provide all Colleges with a standardised reporting facility.
10.3.2       The attached Appendix V, which is an extract from the Excel Pivot Table
for the complete year 2007/08, shows data held in the MIS system relating to hours for
students and courses and consists of 36,000 lines and 74 columns. Whilst it is
comprehensive it also underlines the difficulty experienced with data reports that allow a
large number of views and options.
10.3.3        There are nine columns showing totals of hours, none of which contain
clear information or explanation of what they are showing or the reason for being shown
and there are also a number of contradictions. There is further confusion surrounding
column P labelled “Duration” it would seem logical that this would be the product of
column N “weekly hours” multiplied by column O “No of weeks”, however in this case 17
x 34 = 578 not 603. There are over 9,000 instances where “Duration” does not equal
“weekly hours” multiplied by “No of weeks.” The next column “actual course hours”
shows 3,125.5. Even allowing for the course being full time, for even three years,
although one year is indicated, hours related to this course cannot be as high as
3,125.5. Further columns show other totals, none of which appear to be linked with the
first columns, but a key figure of “Taught hours” is left blank. This example is not unique
as there are over 300 lines containing an entry in actual course hours of greater than
1,400 and it would be rare that any full time course would have this level or greater
delivery hours associated with it.
10.3.4         This report cannot go into the detail of the contents of this massive
database but the concern here for the user is whether the data is in error or if the
difference is intentional and which of the 11 columns concerned with hours should be
used for a particular purpose. Unless great care is exercised when comparing
performance statistics across a series of courses or curriculum areas, it is easy to
compile misleading or erroneous data. We understand that there are further problems
in that not all the data emanates from the College with some being provided to them
and, therefore, they have no control over such data.
10.3.5         When working with this database we also found it slow and quite
technically difficult to use. We used a new very high specification, very powerful laptop
and found it necessary to turn off the calculation feature to speed up the compilation of
extracts from the pivot table. When interviewing staff at all levels in the College, many
found the pivot table confusing and difficult to use despite being given, in some cases,
more than one training session.
10.3.6        The College also uses Crystal Reports which provide an unlimited source
of variable reports but it does not have exactly the same source of information in all
fields as the Pivot Table. In our opinion, this is a recipe for confusion, particularly when

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the College has made available some 500 reports of which we understand about 250
are active to some degree. The (XXXX)
has informed us that the number of reports available via Crystal Reports will be reduced
considerably to enable consistency of information across the College.
10.3.7         Our concern is that even if a College-wide and detailed curriculum plan is
developed to introduce the control that the College needs over curriculum planning and
staffing, such a multiplicity of potentially conflicting reports and information would make
control and implementation, after the plan is drawn up, very difficult to deliver. If staff
do not have an easy, clear and efficient method of obtaining reports which are
standardised then, as the staff indicated to us is the case at present, control over the
academic aspects of the College’s performance will fall short of that necessary to
deliver effective control.
10.3.8          In order to assist in the delivery of the College’s planning and budgetary
targets it is also necessary to consider average class sizes as a measure of efficiency of
delivery and as a guide to viability. We feel this is a measure that needs to be used with
great care as rigid application of guidelines on minimum class sizes can lead to a loss of
income without a corresponding reduction in costs. There can also be a stifling of
development of new courses which may need time to develop and reach viability levels.
We understand the College policy on class size viability levels is as follows:
Essential Skills             7

Non Accredited Courses      16

All other courses           14
10.3.9         We are always concerned when colleges rigorously and mechanistically
apply class size levels and flexibility is not applied by senior management. These
figures should only be used as a guide as the circumstances relating to each course
should always be taken into account. Long term College plans should be considered as
should the particular needs of the learners; it is our experience that rigorous application
of these guidelines results in a decline in the scope and depth of a college’s curriculum
offer. We understand that in September 2008 the College decided not to run around
480 courses which had failed to reach its minimum class size number of 12. Although
we did not have the time within the scope of this report to be able to examine the detail
of the closures we feel that if the level was set at 12, and applied rigorously, the College
has certainly lost revenue and yet probably retained the costs.
10.3.10       It is also important that before any income is lost via closure that related
costs are also cut i.e. unless a member of staff allocated to teach a class can have their
hours redirected to another income earning source it may well be better to continue with
the (smaller) class. Without detailed budgets and a curriculum plan, it is difficult to see
how the College can evaluate and plan both its class sizes and accommodation
requirements.
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10.3.11       At the present time we are informed that the average class size for the
College is not available but statistics on Average Course Session Size (enrolments
including co-taught classes) are as follows:-



                   Average Courses Session Size for 2008/09
         L1 & Below                                  10.65
         L2                                          12.48
         L3                                          14.19
         Ext Reg                                     12.51
         Vocational                                  11.86
         ES                                          10.70
         PS                                          10.13


Recommendations

57.    The College should rationalise the MIS reporting system to:-

         •   Ensure the Pivot Table data has a higher level of reliability

         •   Reduce the number of reports available from Crystal Reports

         •   Investigate and eliminate data differences between the two reporting
             systems or agree which system will provide which data.

         •   Agree a small number of relevant and understandable reports to be
             used across all curriculum areas from both reporting systems

         •   Use the standard reports as key control mechanisms at SMT and
             staff meetings

         •   Always ensure that performance against target is included in the
             reporting outputs.

         •   Regularly review performance against target at all levels and include
             the information in staff performance reviews.

         •   Instigate further training and assistance to staff using both reporting
             systems (Critical)




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10.4   Performance against Targets


                                                             DEL FUNDING PERFORMANCE AGAINST TARGET

                                                2007/08                                                               2008/09

                              ENROLMENTS                            FLUs                            ENROLMENTS                           FLUs


                  TARGET   DELIVERED   DIFFERENCE   TARGET    DELIVERED    DIFFERENCE   TARGET   DELIVERED   DIFFERENCE   TARGET   DELIVERED    DIFFERENCE

TOTAL             42,200     29,860      -12,340     7,540       6,436         -1104 32,823      21,194        -11,629    7,154       6,871          -283


L1 & Below        22,500     16,086        -6,414    1,230       1,031          -199 15,076         9,306        -5,770     956         661          -295
L2                 9,100      6,162        -2,938    2,116       1,612          -504     5,525      4,242        -1,283   1,827       1,748           -79
L3                10,600      7,612        -2,988    4,194       3,793          -401     8,522      5,953        -2,569   3,971       4,239           268
Ext Reg           24,950     19,479        -5,471    6,890       5,998          -892 20,573        12,848        -7,725   6,616       6,334          -282
Vocational        20,000     15,888        -4,112    5,906       5,101          -805 15,935        10,266        -5,669   5,200       5,523           323
Ess Skills         2,300      2,308            8       315         257           -58     3,700      1,693        -2,007     400         223          -177

Priority Skills    9,190      6,296       -2,89 4    2,057       1,450          -607     6,525      3,390        -3,135   1,364       1,523           159


Note:- The individual Sub -analysis include numbers from different sections and therefore do not add up to the total figures shown at the top of the
sheet.




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10.4.1        Without a comprehensive Curriculum Plan and a set of reports and
information that supports and informs on performance against that plan, and other DEL
performance criteria, performance against targets is difficult to measure. Whilst the
College is able to provide overall performance reports and has recently delivered the
FLU Data return to DEL, we found little evidence that an effective formal performance
reporting structure exists within curriculum areas and at SMT to closely monitor its
curriculum delivery. As the College does not have an agreed College wide financial and
curriculum budget based on student recruitment numbers, it does not have the ability to
set and monitor targets at a detailed level.
10.4.2        The final FLU return for 2007/08, submitted to DEL during November
2008, indicates the College has fallen behind its targets and allocation from DEL.
Enrolments reached 29,860 against an agreed target of 42,200 and this is reflected in
the FLU count which is 7,540, against 6,436 delivered. The current year’s comparative
figures for the period to mid November 2008 are not an accurate guide to full year’s
performance; however they do show that at that time the College was behind in its
targets in some areas. It should be noted though that in the Vocational Area and Level 3
the College has already exceeded its funding levels for this year and in the case of
Vocational delivery exceeded last year’s total as well.

10.4.3       We were informed by the (XXXX) and (XXXX)
 that the College recognise that there is a shortfall at the
present time against the targets set by DEL. The College intended to increase activity
post-Christmas to ensure the shortfall of 283 FLUs was made up, but we have concerns
that as the College has struggled to deliver funding totals in the past, this planned
expected activity may be difficult to deliver. Also, our experience with English colleges
suggests that not only can it be very difficult to deliver a large increase in students after
Christmas, but if it is to succeed, then careful and detailed planning is necessary. We
are not aware that such detailed plans exist at present.

10.5   Retention & Achievement
We have also found it difficult to come to conclusions regarding the College’s
performance in terms of retention, achievement and success rates particularly as there
is no Inspection data on which to reliably place conclusions. We understand all colleges
in Northern Ireland have been given a two years moratorium on inspection, because of
the college mergers.




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The overall retention and achievement figures made available to us are as follows:-
10.5.1 Retention statistics BIFHE and CCFHE combined



                            2006/07# 2007/08         2008/09*

               Full-time    79.11%      81.80%       94.05%

               Part-time    88.21%      89.57%       95.41%

               Overall      87.37%      88.67%       95.18%


                           * Mid year performance

                           # BIFHE figures only
10.5.2 Achievement Statistics

               2006/07     47%    Based on 60% return

               2007/08     60%     Impacted upon by industrial action
Because of the reasons given above, the recent merger and the effects of the industrial
action we do not feel there is a reliable and comparable data set which enables us to
comment on the College’s performance in these areas. However we would consider it
unlikely that the mid year performance shown for retention would be maintained to the
end of the year.



10.6   Academic Staffing Requirements
Staff costs represent the single largest area of expense in any College which therefore
emphasises the need to focus on all aspects of staff control in order to ensure costs are
kept to within budgeted and acceptable levels.

10.6.1 (XXXX) informed us that
the merged College’s initial focus was to reduce staffing across both sites. This was
effected by means of redundancies which were focused on the areas of curriculum
decline, which, according to data we have been given, accounted for 12 staff, and
voluntary redundancies accounting for 53, making 65 in total. This reduction was
identified as being essential to ensure that the merged College had an efficient and
affordable structure. However, we did not see evidence that this was based on detailed
scientific curriculum planning.

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10.6.2         In the past and in particular in the academic year 2007/08, the College
found it difficult to allocate shared staff costs between different curriculum areas. As a
result, for 2008/09, the (XXXX) decided to centralise all permanently-employed academic
staff costs. In most well-performing colleges control of these costs is usually carried out
at curriculum level, where the specialised knowledge of staffing requirements and
capabilities is held, we fail to see how successful control of these costs could be
achieved under this system. Additionally, curriculum managers are allowed the
discretion to engage additional part time staff without a requirement to investigate the
costs, utilisation and availability of their permanent staff first. This is compounded by the
fact that the College is unable to set accurate staffing budgets without a detailed
curriculum plan.
10.6.3        In our experience, in those colleges where staff cost control is successfully
implemented, the Curriculum Plan is used to inform and link to the timetabling and
rooming, again with a focus on controlling and maximising staff and other College
resources. Whilst both timetabling and rooming are currently carried out by the College,
without the links to a Curriculum Plan it is difficult to see how they can be completed
with the accuracy and timeliness required to be effective control measures.

10.6.4        During our discussions with the (XXXX)
  we were not given any evidence that detailed planning had been
completed on the academic staffs’ availability to deliver a set curriculum offer or that a
teaching skills assessment of individual lecturers had been carried out either pre or post
merger. It is acknowledged that there is considerable staff development activity within
the College, particularly in relation to academic staff. In discussions with staff at all
levels, we did not see clear evidence that the staff development activity was driven by
skills assessment. The lack of clarity on the skills of the staff in relation to the curriculum
requirement was also commented on during the KPMG internal audit report dated 14th
November 2006.
10.6.5           The 65 academic staff who left the College either prior to, or just after the
merger, were allowed to leave as individuals volunteered rather than as result of an
assessment by the College of its detailed teaching requirement. As previously
mentioned, there was no detailed curriculum plan showing required Taught Hours so
the College may well have released staff with skills it needed and those with less
relevant skills may have been retained. This was confirmed in our discussions with
some of the Programme Area Managers and Thematic Managers who did consider
skills which the College needed had been lost. This could be expected to lead to an
inability to fully utilise retained staff and result in an increased requirement for part time
staff who would bring with them up to date or missing skills to enable the College to
deliver its curriculum offer. The College’s ability to develop and reorganise the
curriculum could be hampered as it is left with staff with unsuitable skills. As a result,
additional part time staff would have to be engaged. This may well have contributed to
the College forecasting an overspend on its part time staff budget for 2008/09 which

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originally was forecast at £3 million and at the time of writing had been revised to £3.5
million. It is clear that control over expenditure in this area is proving challenging for the
College
10.6.6         We formed the opinion, following our discussions with the Deputy
Directors, that the issue surrounding staff remission from teaching duties was not fully
appreciated or closely monitored. Remission is time given to teaching staff for duties
other than teaching and reduces the amount of classroom teaching they undertake and
is consequently a hidden cost to a college. In our experience, this cost is not always
easily identified and remission given in one year for a specific purpose or project is often
not relinquished when that purpose/project is achieved. The cost is often carried over
needlessly from year to year and across the College builds up to a significant level and
results in a major contribution to poor staff utilisation. Control over remission is usually
very difficult unless it is done at Programme Area Manager level and according to a
strictly-applied policy where a clear understanding of the needs of a particular area is
fully understood. We found no evidence of this type of control at BMC.

10.6.7        We understand from the (XXXX)
 that large scale remission has been a problem for the whole sector but the
CCFHE/BIFHE merger enabled reductions to be achieved with 20 fully remitted
academic staff leaving the merged College. We received a spreadsheet from the (XXXX)
  showing the remission allowed in
specific circumstances by curriculum area. Whilst this could be undoubtedly of
assistance in improving staff efficiency and clarifying the rules, we feel that the issue is
still not being fully addressed. This spreadsheet is a list of remission by academic post
but not by individual lecturer, it is therefore a statement of where the College should be
rather than where it is. We have not seen any document which gives a complete and
comprehensive list of actual remission by individual staff member.
10.6.8          The comprehensive list of remission should be combined with a complete
academic staff list showing individual teaching hours available and split by department.
This would enable each curriculum area manager to assess the actual Taught Hours
availability from their staff taking into account remission and those on less than full time
contracts.
10.6.9        In our discussions with senior staff regarding staff hours, the focus was on
weekly teaching hours, usually 23, although in one case a Thematic Manager did claim
to have their staff on an annual hours basis. We feel staff availability should be viewed
throughout the whole year, for instance, an availability of say 23 hours per week x 36
weeks is a teaching load of 828 hours for the year. Late course start dates, early
finishes or course closures could result in large losses in available staff hours unless
they are viewed on an annualised basis. A change to annualised contracts was effected
in England a number of years ago where it was recognised that the annual control of
staff hours is essential to ensure that staff are used to the greatest efficiency and to


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ensure staff costs are tightly controlled. Without annual hours control it is inevitable that
there will be a level of unnecessary lost teaching time and therefore an associated,
unnecessary cost to the College. We acknowledge that this is an issue affecting all the
Colleges in Northern Ireland and not something which is purely within the remit of BMC
to change. However, in our discussions with the (XXXX) on 17 February 2009, he
advised us that the question of moving to an annualised hours basis is being discussed
at the moment by all Colleges as part of talks relating to the introduction of new
contracts.
10.6.10        We were unable to assess the total cost to the College of remission
without a full detailed analysis being available to us.

10.6.11       During our discussions with the (XXXX)
about the levels of remission, we were informed that changes to previous
levels of remission are strongly resisted by the staff union representatives and,
therefore, understand that this may be preventing the College from achieving the
reductions that are required.
10.6.12    Whilst the staffing structure we have been given for academic activities is
clear and easily understood, we have reservations regarding the division of
responsibilities between the (XXXX) . We feel that a single
head over the whole area would ensure greater co-ordination and inter- departmental
co-operation and would be especially relevant in relation to advancing employer
engagement. When talking to PAMs and Thematic Managers it was noted that in some
cases individual departments retained their direct contacts with employers without
reference to the (XXXX) . We did not
find any evidence of interdepartmental conflict but feel, that unless there is good long
term co-operation between areas of the College, employers could find themselves
dealing with more than one individual and with two College departments which are in
competition with each other to recruit learners. Our experience of the Further Education
sector indicates that a single Deputy Director of Curriculum is more likely to be able to
avoid such issues.
10.6.13        We also have reservations about the role of the Thematic Managers within
the structure, as included within their job description, is a cross-College responsibility for
their area of specialisation and a requirement to advise and assist with curriculum
issues and developments in other departments. For instance the (XXXX)
 has full time students within her area and the (XXXX) has part time students within their area.
As there are both curriculum-based and student method of attendance-based variations
within theses areas there is a need for close co-operation. We did not find any indication
that this cross-college responsibility was not working and there was clearly enthusiasm
from within the staff to make it work. However, we feel that as the structure is still very
new and relatively untried, problems which we have encountered in the past with such


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cross-college structures may yet emerge. In this case the College may find that it does
not encounter problems of conflict across curriculum areas because the structure has
rather more clarity than those of a similar type attempted in the past, but we feel this will
require a great deal of staff organisation, effort and co-operation and commitment to
make it work.

In our discussions with the Deputy Directors in February 2009, we were made aware by
both the (XXXX) and the (XXXX) of their reservations about the effectiveness of the cross-
college role mentioned here. However, the (XXXX) felt that the new structure was
working well.
Recommendations

58.  A comprehensive academic staff list should be drawn up by department
showing the following;-

          •   Contracted teaching hours

          •   Remission – actual from all sources

          •   Net hours available

          •   Pay including all on costs

          •   Department and or curriculum area

          •   Site

          •   Name of staff member

          •   Consider moving to annualised hours for teaching staff (Critical)


10.7   Support Staffing
10.7.1          There has been a rationalisation of support staff brought about by the
merger particularly at a senior level especially where there was clear duplication of
responsibilities. For instance, the merged College did not need two Directors of
Finance. However we understand from discussions with the Interim Director that this
structure has still to be finalised, with the following important positions either still to be
filled or confirmed in the structure.

          •   Staff reporting to the(XXXX)


          •   Staff reporting to the(XXXX) .


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          •   Staff in several parts of the structure reporting to (XXXX)

          •   Staff reporting to the (XXXX)

          •   We also noted there were two key positions held by temporary appointees
              within the Finance department.

In our discussions with the (XXXX) on 17 February 2009, she told us that she felt
business support staffing required further review and would probably need to be
reduced.
10.7.2       The Organisation Chart we were given was marked “DRAFT” and we were
informed by the Interim Director that he was still considering what the final structure
might be. We noted that within this draft structure there were four Deputy Directors.
Two of whom, the (XXXX) and the (XXXX) looked after purely administrative functions,
whilst the (XXXX) had a mixed portfolio of administrative and academic responsibilities.
The fourth, the (XXXX) , was purely academic in his responsibilities. The chart is shown in
Appendix III.
 We would suggest that the role definitions of the four Deputy Directors should be re-
examined to provide a clearer split between curriculum delivery and resourcing. We
return to this issue in Section 12.



10.8 Correct staffing level for the College
10.8.1         Because we were unable to obtain a detailed Curriculum Plan, a complete
list of teaching staff with net hours after remission, or a final Organisation Chart, we
were unable to calculate an ideal staffing complement for the College. In our
discussions with the (XXXX) on 16 February 2009, he gave us a list of the College’s full
current staffing complement. However, whilst this represents the staff the College
currently has, it does not necessarily represent the staffing the College should have.
This would come from detailed scrutiny of the above-mentioned documents including a
detailed curriculum plan.
We feel the College needs to re-examine this structure to ensure it will work as
efficiently as possible because as has previously been discussed, in our opinion there
are areas of potential conflict. For instance, the separation of MIS led by the (XXXX)
 from Business Services and Finance can
lead to inefficient use of resources across those three key administrative departments.
A potential conflict might also arise between the services offered by the (XXXX)
. The (XXXX) has been
allocated responsibility for the College’s work-based offer where the student
programmes will be delivered after consultation with employers, and in many cases off-
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site. Where these programmes are delivered on-site there is always potential for conflict
between the areas run by the (XXXX) and the (XXXX) as both will be contacting
employers in an effort to recruit students. The split of Deputy Director responsibilities
across these areas will require careful monitoring if the College is to avoid these
potential conflicts.
10.8.3       In our experience, in those colleges that have a sustainable future and
offer the best quality provision for their students the responsibility for both Quality
Assurance and Quality Improvement are clearly defined and separated. Under the draft
Organisation Chart both quality improvement and quality assurance are the
responsibility of the (XXXX) who works for the (XXXX)
. To have both quality assurance and improvement under the same line
management is not normally considered good practice as the objective and independent
view required to obtain the assurance of good quality is likely to be lacking.
10.8.4       The introduction of Thematic Managers is a clear attempt to ensure that
the College focuses on each of the major academic and income generating areas in
which it operates. This structure is different from that found in the majority of colleges
which normally focus on a structure based on broadly subject lines and which has clear
reporting responsibilities. Whilst we are unable to comment on the potential
effectiveness of the structure contained in the draft organisation chart, the College
needs to ensure that there are clear reporting lines and it is able to handle delivery of
courses across the Thematic Structure.
10.8.5         The overall staff costs as a percentage of income in the 2007/08 financial
accounts is 73%. In English colleges the accepted sector benchmark is around 65 –
68%. Whilst accepting that conditions and practices in Northern Ireland are different,
this would still indicate that a reduction in staff costs should be possible. Bearing in mind
that the College annually spends some £39 million on staffing, each 1% saving would
be substantial. The (XXXX) has provided
us with figures showing the College made 65 redundancies at the end of that year which
indicates that some work has taken place to bring costs into line. The latest draft budget
indicates an expected percentage of 67%. As this is a draft figure and the College is
known to have difficulties in controlling its staff costs, as evidenced by the forecast
overrun in part time staff costs discussed earlier, and its income is seen as vulnerable,
the actual percentage is likely to be higher. We saw no evidence in the budget process
that any control mechanisms are being applied to monitor and control staff costs.
10.8.6         As the College moves towards a greater level of employer engagement
relating to the guidance and policies contained in the document “FE Means Business” it
will require a reduction in teaching staff requirements. This is because it will earn more
of its income off-site with work place assessors rather than by teaching on its own
premises in the traditional manner. It should be noted that income from employer-led
work place delivery will have staff costs relating to that provision lower than traditional

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teaching staff costs. This might be expected to reduce the overall staff cost percentage
required to make the College viable.
10.8.7         This shift in teaching staff requirements has also to be reflected in the
premises which the College intends to use in the future. As the staff based inside the
College changes so does the size, style and layout of its teaching facilities which means
there has to be a longer term plan to correctly manage this transition. As we have
pointed out there is no detailed College wide curriculum planning process and without it
we cannot see how the College can assess its teaching and support staff requirements.
Without this staffing information and related detailed planning we feel it is difficult for the
College to plan for short term changes and to asses the viability and suitability of any
large infrastructure changes it may be contemplating.

10.8.8         We were informed by the (XXXX) that the development of the new structure
was held back by the College due to the prolonged discussion with DEL over whether it
or DEL should be responsible for paying the redundancy and enhanced pension costs
of the staff that would leave. It could be argued, however that the development of the
new structure was needed on efficiency grounds and could have carried on even though
such discussion was taking place.
Recommendations

59.   The College should complete the staffing structure as quickly as possible
ensuring:-

          •   There are clear reporting lines

          •   Staff holding management positions hold relevant qualifications and
              proven experience

          •   Senior positions have a coherent portfolio of responsibilities

          •   A College wide audit of staff skills and experience which is linked to
              comprehensive staff development programme

          •   The division of roles between Deputy Directors is re-examined

          •   Responsibilities for quality improvement and quality assurance are
              given to separate Deputy Directors. (Critical)




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11.    Governance and Accountability


11.1    Introduction
11.1.1        This section of the report responds to the requirement in the Terms of
Reference to ‘review the adequacy and effectiveness of the College’s governance and
accountability arrangements’. It is set in the context of the roles and responsibilities of
the Governing Body, as defined in the Instrument of Government and Articles of
Government of the College, the DEL Guide for Governors of Further Education
Colleges, and best practice in college governance.
11.1.2        In carrying out this review, we considered the challenges faced by the
Governing Body in pursuing its role, and in particular its remit in relation to providing
strategic oversight of the College’s activities. We also considered the Governing Body’s
relationships with others, including senior management in the college.
11.1.3      In conducting this aspect of the assignment, we reviewed Governing Body
agendas, minutes and papers and conducted a range of interviews with:
          •    Eight governors (each of whom received a pre-visit questionnaire);
          •    Senior members of the College staff;

          • (XXXX) ; and

          •    The official in DEL with responsibility for policy in relation to FE corporate
               governance.
11.1.4       It is important to record that in the course of the discussions with
Governors and senior staff, there were frequent references to the major issues with
which they were confronted during 2007/08. These included:

          •    The merger of BIFHE and CCFHE
          •    Industrial action by teaching staff

          •    Proposals for new build capital projects

          •    Delays in the formation of the Governing Body

          •    The protracted absence of the Director (XXXX)

          •    The resignation of the Chair of the Governing Body

          •    A range of financial problems




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11.2   Background
11.2.1        In September 2005 the Minister with responsibility for Employment and
Learning announced major changes to the size and structure of the FE sector in
Northern Ireland. These developments were part of an extensive programme to
implement “Further Education Means Business”, the Departmental strategy aimed at
radically changing the face and direction of further education in Northern Ireland. One
major element was the merger of the management units of the existing 16 FE colleges
to form 6 larger college units.

11.2.2         As a result, BMC came into existence on 1 August 2007 following the
amalgamation of BIFHE and CCFHE as part of the major restructuring of the FE Sector
in Northern Ireland. As part of the merger process, new governing bodies were
appointed for each college. The composition and membership of the governing bodies
of further education colleges is set out in Schedule 3 of the Further Education (Northern
Ireland) Order 1997 and is broadly split into two i.e. those members selected through
open public competition as organised by the Department and those whose membership
is subject to an election or nomination process.
11.2.3        Those members appointed directly by the Department, through the open
public competition, i.e. the Chair and those members appointed under the business
industry and professional category, were, with one exception, all appointed prior to
college amalgamation and took up post on 1 August 2007. The exception was one
candidate for whom there was a short delay in the POCVA checking process but he was
duly cleared and appointed on 13 August 2007.
11.2.4        DEL does not have direct control over the process relating to the
remaining appointments. With the exception of the Education & Library Board’s
nominees, the process to appoint these members, i.e. the Director, the staff and student
members and any co-optees, is in the hands of the Governing Body. In this regard, it is
important to note two factors: firstly, that the governing body could not commence these
processes until after it had been formally constituted and secondly, the average 6-8
week delay resulting from the need to conduct a POCVA check prior to appointment.
The Director (who was already POCVA checked) was formally appointed to the
governing body on 25 September 2007 and the staff and student members followed on
22 November 2007.
11.2.5       The final members within the governing body of BMC are the two co-
optees. Co-option does not sit easily with current best practice with regard to public
appointments and only two of the six colleges have exercised this power. Details on
proposed co-optees were received by the Department on 2 September 2008 and,
following AccessNI checking (the successor arrangements to POCVA), were appointed
separately by the Department on 27 November 2008 and 3 December 2008.




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We are aware that DEL provided an induction training programme for Governors. This
along with the detailed Guide for Governors were designed to provide support and
development.



11.3   The Governing Body – Fulfilment of Responsibilities
11.3.1         The Articles of Government for the College describe the Governing Body’s
responsibilities as ‘securing the efficient and effective management of college activities
and property’. The document also points out that the Governing Body may delegate to
an appropriate committee of the Governing Body or the Director such responsibilities as
would be more expedient for the efficient organisation of college business and activities.
11.3.2       However, The Articles of Government also state that the Governing Body
may not delegate the following responsibilities:
       Determining the mission of the College and the strategic oversight of its
       activities and for maintaining its general character.
          •   The effective use of resources, the solvency of the College and for
              safeguarding its assets.
          •   Approving annual estimates of income and expenditure.

          •   The appointment, discipline, conduct,        grievance,   suspension and
              dismissal of senior staff.
          •   The setting of the pay and conditions of service of senior staff, other than
              to a body established for the purposes of negotiating the pay and
              conditions of service of senior staff on behalf of colleges generally.
          •   Approving a framework for the pay and conditions of service of staff, other
              than senior staff, and arranging for the negotiation of such with the
              recognised representatives of such staff.
          •   Approving the arrangements for the appointment, promotion, discipline,
              conduct and grievance of staff, other than senior staff.

          •   Ensuring there is an efficient and effective appraisal system operating in
              the College.


11.3.3       It was clear from the discussions with Governors that it was their
perception that the delay in appointing a full complement of Governors had an adverse
impact on the Governing Body’s ability to perform its functions by:




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          •   Restricting Governor development (the Articles of Government state that
              individual Governors should be given the required information and
              adequate opportunities to acquire and update the knowledge and skills
              required to enable them to perform effectively as a member of the
              Governing Body of the College).. There was no reference to the DEL
              induction training programme.
      Constraining membership of Committees at a time when major issues were
      being addressed.
          •   Generating a sense of a continuing state of flux within the Governing Body
              inhibiting the development of the Governing Body as a group.


11.3.4.       The committee structure established by the Governing Body comprises:

          •   A Resources Committee, with responsibility for determining or advising the
              Governing Body on matters relating to the estimates, budget and
              presentation of the accounts of the College and other such matters as the
              Governing Body may from time to time remit to it.

          •   An Audit Committee, with responsibility for investigating any activity within
              its terms of reference and providing a channel of communication from the
              college's auditors, which are not controlled by college management. In
              particular, the Committee should ensure that the internal control systems,
              including audit activities, of the College are monitored actively,
              independently and objectively in order to:-
      Promote and ensure high standards of propriety, accountability and financial
      management within the College;
          •   Improve the quality of financial reporting by reviewing internal and external
              financial statements on behalf of the Governing Body;

          •   Promote a financial climate of financial discipline and control which will
              help to reduce the opportunity for financial mismanagement;
          •   Improve where necessary, the effectiveness of the College's internal
              controls and mechanisms for achieving value for money and the extent to
              which these comply with requirements set down by the Department;
          •   Reinforce the independence and effectiveness of the internal audit
              function and underpin the objectivity and independence of the external
              auditors;
          •   Advise on the reliability of the College's information systems;




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          •   Provide a sounding board for College management on issues of concern
              in relation to the college's internal control systems; and

          •   Contribute to the maintenance or increasing of public confidence in the
              quality of the College's corporate governance and management.

          •    An Education Committee, with responsibility for overseeing College
              curricular provision, especially the nature, quality and performance of the
              provision and the extent to which it meets the needs of the community the
              college seeks to serve.

11.4 Points Raised In Discussions
11.4.1        In discussions, some Governors felt that the remit of the Resources
Committee was too broad to allow an adequate focus on issues of financial
pressure, industrial relations, capital development and merger implementation.
Senior staff and Governors expressed the view that there was a disproportionate
emphasis in 07/08 on the work of this Committee at the expense of the Education
Committee.
11.4.2       It also emerged that whilst Governors were presented with work plans for
the years 2007/08 and 2008/09 these were not formally approved by either the Board or
committees. It is good practice for the work of Governing Bodies and their Committees
to be planned for the year ahead to ensure an appropriate focus on their functions.
11.4.3     The following additional observations stem from the documents reviewed
and comments made in discussions:
          •   The agendas for Governing Body meetings do not appear to address an
              appropriate corporate agenda for a college and, significantly, the minutes
              do not clearly record decisions of the Governing Body. For example, there
              is no record of the Governing Body receiving and considering the College
              management accounts on a regular basis (notwithstanding the
              deliberations of the Resources Committee).
          •   It seems from the published Governing Body agendas and the comments
              of interviewees that minutes and papers were regularly ‘tabled’. Tabling of
              papers is the practice whereby reports, papers and/or minutes are brought
              to the meeting and circulated in support of an item for consideration. The
              practice of tabling minutes and papers inhibits effective governance
              because it does not allow Governors sufficient time to read and analyse
              the information prior to discussion. The practice stems from a belief by
              managers that Governors should have access to the most up to date
              information and prior circulation would not facilitate such an arrangement.
          •   There are matters within some minutes of meetings, (such as paper
              07/08/124) which included detailed reference to the ‘status of the Director’.


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             These were recorded in the version of the minutes which would be
             available to the public. Such matters should more appropriately be
             classified as ‘confidential’ and therefore not available to the public. It is not
             clear whether the Governing Body was advised to deem such items as
             ‘confidential’. The use of the term ‘in committee’ by the (XXXX)
              in the minutes is unhelpful as it does not properly express
             the purpose for limiting access to the record of confidential matters (either
             for business or personal reasons).

         •   The minutes do not always present a clear account of discussions held
             and decisions taken by the Governing Body. One example relates to
             paper 07/08/122 which refers to the appointment of an internal audit
             service without providing any further details or recording how the matter
             was resolved. Another example relates to the absence of any Governing
             Body record of the approval of the estimates of income and expenditure
             for 2008/09.
         •   Some Governors stated that they felt there was not enough time at
             Governing Body meetings for strategic thinking and discussion. However,
             it would seem that the Governing Body’s agendas were not structured to
             provide the opportunity to address strategic planning and monitoring.

         •   Some Governors reported that reports to the Governing Body contained
             an inappropriate level of detail but lacked sufficient analysis and clarity of
             recommendation to facilitate Governing Body discussion and decision
             making.

         •   In spite of the Governing Body’s responsibility to ‘determine the mission of
             the College and the strategic oversight of its activities and for maintaining
             its general character’ it does not appear to have maintained strategic
             oversight of the College since its formation. In particular, the Governing
             Body has not had the opportunity to contribute to the development of and
             monitor a corporate or annual business plans. Some Governors and
             senior staff described the Governing Body’s performance as “reactive”
             rather than “strategic”. The Interim Director told us that in February 2009
             the Governing Body was consulted on and approved the College
             Development Plan for 2009-10.
         •   In all the discussions, there was no reference by Governors or staff to an
             agreed model of governance, agreed values of governance, achievement
             of a corporate vision through governance, rigorous scrutiny by Governors.




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11.5   Governing Body Relations with Others
11.5.1        Some Governors expressed the view that the Governing Body was distant
from the student body and that there was only liaison with senior management at
Governing Body or Committee meetings. In the latter context, there was no process for
linking senior management objectives to Governing Body priorities through a
performance management or organisational development scheme aimed at achieving
coherent college leadership.
11.5.2         Although the Articles of Government state that the Governing body has
responsibility for ensuring that there is an ‘efficient and effective appraisal system
operating in the College, there is no evidence of the Governing Body performing any
role in relation to the operation of a performance management scheme for senior staff.
We return to this issue in Section 12.
11.5.3        In a similar vein, there is no performance management scheme in place
for the Secretary to the Governing Body and no systematic process for reporting of the
performance of the Secretary to the Governing Body to the Governing Body.
11.5.4         For their part, senior staff felt that there were issues of confidence
between them and the Governors which created an unhealthy atmosphere. They felt
unsure of the expectations of the Governors and the uncertainty this created was
particularly acute at a time when there was no substantive Director.



11.6   Way Forward
11.6.1        The comments and observations above appear to portray the performance
of the Governing Body in a negative light. However, they should be seen against the
backcloth of a number of significant challenges faced by the College, including the
protracted absence of the Director In addition, the discussions with the Governors
conveyed a strong sense of commitment to put things right and Governors generally felt
there was now in place within the Governing body an appropriate blend of skills and
expertise to help it move forward.
11.6.2           To capitalise on the obvious commitment and energy within the Governing
Body, we have outlined below a series of actions designed to help it continue to develop
its performance as an effective corporate body. These actions take account of and
address the issues that have come to light in the course of our review. If accepted, the
actions could be incorporated into a set of objectives which the Governing Body should
set itself for the year ahead aimed at ensuring that it is performing its key functions.
Recommendations

60.    Performing the Functions of Governance



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         •   The Governing Body should collectively agree how it proposes to
             perform its functions and which functions should be delegated to
             Committees, taking account of the actions proposed below.

         •   The Governing Body should agree the demarcation of
             responsibilities between it and senior management in the College.
             (Critical)

61.   Providing Strategic Direction to the College

         •   The Governing Body should work together to agree a clear mission
             statement and strategic direction for the College which convey the
             organisation’s purpose, aims and how it will achieve those aims.
             This should be communicated to staff and stakeholders and should
             inform all the college’s planning processes.

         •   Business and financial planning processes should be closely aligned
             and guided by the strategic direction given by the Governing Body.

         •   Annual Business Plans should be approved by the Governing Body
             who should also ensure that they are in harmony with the strategic
             direction set by the College Development Plan. (Critical)

62.   Ensuring the effective use of resources

         •   The agenda for Governing Body meetings should be structured
             around matters relating to performance and achievement against
             targets (both financial and other), and achieving quality and value for
             money in the delivery of services.

         •   The Governing Body must agree how quality and value for money
             are to be defined and measured.

         •   Minutes of Governing Body meetings must clearly articulate matters
             discussed and decisions taken.

         •   Papers should be provided to Governors in sufficient time prior to
             meetings to allow adequate consideration.

         •   Governors should challenge the content of papers, particularly
             where it appears ambiguous or complex.

         •   The Governing Body should specify the format of those reports,
             particularly financial reports that are submitted on a regular basis by
             senior management.




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         •   The full Governing Body should ratify the minutes of its Committees.
             (Non Critical)



63.   Safeguarding the College’s Assets

In light of the above, the adequacy of audit plans should be considered.
(Non Critical)

64.   Annual Reporting

         •   The Governing Body should ensure that it can satisfy itself, and
             make a statement accordingly, that it complies with the relevant
             standards and codes of Corporate Governance. For this purpose, the
             Governing Body might use the template provided by the Independent
             Commission on Good Governance in Public Services.

         •   In the context of the above, the Governing Body should complete a
             training needs analysis and commission a development programme
             for Governors. The Governing Body should also ensure that
             appropriate induction processes are in place for new appointees.
              (Non Critical)



65.   Responsibilities as Employer

         •   The Governing Body should ensure that appropriate performance
             management systems (incorporating performance appraisal) are in
             place and in operation in for all College staff and for the Clerk to the
             Governing Body.

         •   The Governing Body should ensure that all appropriate HR
             management systems are in place in the college, including
             disciplinary, grievance and promotion procedures.
             (Critical)



66.   Engaging Stakeholders

The Governing Body should agree the range and type of issues on which it
welcomes feedback from stakeholders, including student, local employers, local
councils, schools and other educational establishments and ensure that
appropriate structures and processes are in place to secure that feedback. (Non
Critical)


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67.   Engaging with Staff

The Governors should consider aligning themselves to individual curriculum
delivery units in order to strengthen the bond between Governors and staff and to
enable them to gain an insight into the daily workings of the College. (Non
Critical)`




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12.    Performance of the Senior Management Team

12.1    Introduction
As part of the review we were required to:

          •   Consider the performance of the organisation, including the Senior
              Management Team (SMT) in fulfilling their individual responsibilities with
              regard to ensuring the efficient financial management of the College

          • In making recommendations that will improve the economy and efficiency
            of the College and the effectiveness of the College’s management and
            operations, focus on the capacity of the organisation, including the SMT to
            address the issues set out in the review.

The SMT was defined in our Terms of Reference as comprising the College’s Director
and Deputy Directors.
12.2    Our Approach

We had access to a range of documentation provided by BMC which included:
          •   Individual Job Descriptions

          •   Key control information supplied to us by the Deputy Directors

          •   Minutes of Governing Body and SMT meetings
In addition we set up interviews with the permanent members of the SMT.

When we commenced our review the College was being led by (XXXX) as
Interim Director. The post of permanent Director had been vacated by the previous post
holder (XXXX) due to (XXXX) and we were aware that discussions were
underway about (XXXX) We invited(XXXX) to attend an interview with us
but he declined and it was suggested that he might respond in writing to our questions.
We considered the merits or otherwise of pursuing such an approach. We eventually
decided not to. It is our view that an exchange of correspondence on complex issues is
an unsatisfactory substitute for a spontaneous face to face discussion. We were
subsequently advised that (XXXX) had been
granted

Our inability to discuss the issues that have emerged in this review with (XXXX) , who
was the Director and Accounting Officer of BMC for the initial 19 months of its
existence, renders it impossible for us to make any assessment of his performance in
discharging his responsibilities as the key member of the SMT.
Our review, therefore, was limited to considering the performance and capacity of the
four permanent Deputy Directors. We met the individuals on a number of occasions and

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concluded this part of the review with a series of structured interviews with each of them
in which we raised the key issues to have emerged from the review. We wish to record
their willing and active cooperation with the review.
12.3       Organisation Structure and Timeline

The two former Colleges BIFHE and CCFHE merged on 1 August 2007. The SMT
structure is set out in Figure 1. The current organisation chart for the College is at
Appendix III
Figure 1
                         College Senior Management Team

                                       Director




         Deputy              Deputy                Deputy               Deputy
         Director            Director              Director             Director
       Curriculum           Curriculum             Learner              Business
       Programmes            Services              Services             Services

Prior to the merger, all the members of the SMT, with one exception, held senior
executive positions within BIFHE. The Deputy Director Learner Services came from a
senior position within CCFHE. Four of the five members of the new team therefore had
experience of working together before the merger as part of a College SMT and all of
the team had years of experience at senior level in the FE sector.
The timeline of senior appointments in BMC (Figure 2) demonstrates the considerable
turnover in the holders of the key positions of Chair of the Governing Body (3 changes)
and Director of BMC (3 changes) since the College came into being. This turnover,
coupled with the range of contextual issues (described elsewhere in this report),
provided a very challenging operating environment for the organisation and the
College’s SMT.
Figure 2
Senior Appointments Timeline

 1 August 2007          BMC comes into existence with merger of BIFHE and CCFHE
                        The SMT comprised:
                                  Director Designate(XXXX) – designated by DEL
                                  as Accounting Officer
                                  Deputy Director Curriculum Programmes(XXXX)

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                                   Deputy Director Curriculum Services(XXXX)
                                   Deputy Director Learner Services(XXXX)
                                   Deputy Director Business Services ((XXXX)
 14 September 2007      (XXXX) appointed as Director
 14 January 2008      Director(XXXX) commences period of absence (XXXX)
 20 February 2008      (XXXX) (then Deputy Director Curriculum Programmes)
                      appointed as Acting Director – designated by DEL as Accounting
                      Officer on 29 February 2008
 25 June 2008         Chair of Governing Body (XXXX) resigns
 30 June 2008         At Governing Body meeting, Vice Chair agrees to act as Interim Chair
 21 July 2008         (XXXX) acts as Interim Director
 28 August 2008       At Governing Body meeting: (XXXX)
                      is elected to act as Interim Chair
                      (XXXX) appointed as Interim Director – designated by
                      DEL as Accounting Officer on 7 October 2008
 28 October 2008      DEL formally appoints (XXXX) as Acting Chair of Governing
                      Body
 31 October 2008       Director (XXXX) retires (XXXX)



12.4   Job Descriptions
The Job Descriptions for the Director and Deputy Directors are included at Appendix VI.
Their individual responsibilities are:


12.4.1 Director and Accounting Officer

The Director’s job design is expressed in the form of a statement of responsibilities in
his Contract of Employment. The statement derives from the College’s Articles of
Government and is reinforced by DEL’s Financial Memorandum, the Director’s formal
designation as Accounting Officer of the College by the Permanent Secretary of DEL
and by Circular DAO (DFP 8/01) ‘The Responsibilities of an Accounting Officer’. These
documents underline the pivotal role played by the Director in any FE College.



12.4.2 Deputy Director Curriculum Programmes (DDCP) –(XXXX)

The DDCP is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient strategic and
operational management of the area of Curriculum Programmes in order to realise the
vision, mission and objectives of BMC. In addition he is required to establish and
review systems of internal control through a process of risk management and audit. The
DDCP is strategically responsible for the following:

         • The ongoing review of BMC’s curriculum provision.
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         •   The development of the articulation of BMC’s provision with schools and
             universities.

         •   The implementation of systems which ensure the high quality of BMC’s
             curriculum.

         •   The processes which develop and implement innovation in the delivery of
             the curriculum.
         •   The implementation of policies within Departments and Centres



12.4.3 Deputy Director Curriculum Services (DDCS) – (XXXX)

The DDCS is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient strategic and
operational management of the area of Curriculum Services in order to realise the
vision, mission and objectives of BMC. In addition she is required to establish and
review systems of internal control through a process of risk management and audit. The
DDCS is strategically responsible for the following:

         •   The ongoing review of BMC’s curriculum development.
         •   The Quality Improvement Service for the curriculum including the devising
             and implementation of a curriculum led staff development plan.

         •   The initiatives which ensure the relevance of BMC’s curriculum to the
             needs of industry and the communities served by the Institute.

         •   Leading BMC’s relationship with outside agencies such as the Education
             and Training Inspectorate (ETI) and awarding bodies and to ensure
             compliance with external quality standards.

         •   The ongoing delivery and review of Community Provision.

         •   Leading any special curriculum projects that may arise.
         •   The implementation of policies within Departments and Centres.



12.4.4 Deputy Director Learner Services (DDLS) – (XXXX)

The DDLS is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient strategic and
operational management of the area of Learner Services in order to realise the vision,
mission and objectives of BMC. In addition he is required to establish and review
systems of internal control through a process of risk management and audit. The DDLS
is strategically responsible for the following:

         •   Learning & Teaching Resources

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          •   Customer & Admission Services

          •   Student Services

          •   Estates and Facilities Management Services
          •   The implementation of policies within Departments and Centres.

12.4.5 Deputy Director Business Services (DDBS) – (XXXX)

The DDBS is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient strategic and
operational management for the area of Business Services in order to realise the vision,
mission and objectives of BMC. In addition he is required to establish and review
systems of internal control through a process of risk management and audit. The DDBS
is strategically responsible for:

          •   The financial services provision of BMC

          •   Corporate Administration and its effective delivery
          •   Human Resource Development.

          •   Business and Systems Processes, to ensure that BMC’s strategic aims
              are underpinned by applications, processes and systems which operate at
              optimum effectiveness and efficiency.

          •   Leading Business Services in the delivery of change management
              innovation programmes.
We noted that the Job Descriptions provided for Deputy Directors were dated February
2007. Our fieldwork established that these were in need of review as aspects of the jobs
had changed in varying degrees both in content and in emphasis. We comment
elsewhere on the need for the interface between various SMT posts e.g. DDCP and
DDCS to be re-examined. This could best be done in the context of a review of the
optimum top management structure for BMC as soon as possible after the arrival of the
permanent Director.
Recommendation
68.   Job Descriptions for Deputy Directors should be reviewed and updated in
the context of a review of the optimum top management structure for the College
as soon as possible after the arrival of the permanent Director. (Critical)




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12.5   Performance Appraisal of SMT members

Article 6h of the College’s Articles of Government states the Governing Body is
responsible for ‘ensuring there is an efficient and effective appraisal system operating in
the College’.

DEL’s Guide for Governors of Further Education Colleges’ states in section 9.6 -
‘Arrangements for the appraisal of the Principal (Director) will be set out in his or her
contract’. Clause 4 of the former Director’s Contract dated 20th September 2007 States -
‘The Principal and Chief Executive will be required to participate in a scheme approved
by the Governing Body’. Similar provisions exist in the contracts for the Deputy
Directors. The Northern Ireland Audit Office has suggested in its Report on Governance
and Financial Management in Colleges of Further Education 1999 that appraisals
should be formal and regular.
We are aware that the former Chair and former Director (and subsequently the Acting
Director) had monthly business meetings and it is possible that these included
discussion of the Director’s performance. We have not seen any records of those
meetings and we do not consider that those arrangements constitute participating in an
approved appraisal scheme.

We were told that the former Director had indicated to SMT members that he wished to
explore the implementation of a 360° appraisal scheme. However, the restructuring
process and his subsequent departure from the College delayed further development.
We have confirmed in our discussions with Deputy Directors that no formal performance
appraisals under a scheme approved by the Governing Body have taken place since
the inception of BMC. They point to a range of informal discussions on objectives with
the Director and a number have introduced self assessment as an aid to their own
performance measurement. We are concerned at the lack of formal performance
appraisal of the College’s SMT.

The absence of any approved scheme of performance appraisal of SMT members
represents a major difficulty for the Review Team in terms of assessing, on the basis of
an objective assessment of past performance, the capacity of the Deputy Directors to
address the issues and recommendations of this review.
Recommendation

69.   The Governing Body should approve as soon as possible a performance
appraisal scheme for the College’s Director and Deputy Directors and ensure that
the scheme is fully implemented. (Critical)




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12.6   Performance Appraisal of other College Staff

In addition to the Governing Body’s overall responsibility to ensure an effective and
efficient performance appraisal system is operating in BMC, the Director is responsible
for the arrangements for the appraisal of staff other than senior staff (Article 7g of the
College’s Articles of Government).

We reviewed the performance appraisal schemes applicable to Teaching Staff
[Performance Review & Professional Development (Appraisal)] and Non-Teaching Staff.
We were informed that both schemes had been negotiated at regional level with
recognised trade unions and each FE College was expected to adhere to the schemes.
We were informed that due to the regional industrial action by recognised academic
trade unions the Teaching Staff scheme had been boycotted by lecturing staff for the
last 2 years. We were also advised that the academic scheme for 2008/09 had not been
triggered due to a regional agreement by College Governing Body Chairs and Directors
not to impose any breach of contract action while the regional industrial action
campaign was being facilitated by the Labour Relations Agency. Therefore BMC could
not impose re-engagement by lecturing staff at this time. We were also told that as part
of the ongoing negotiated settlement of the regional industrial action, management side
had proposed a new appraisal scheme for lecturers.
No figures were available for non-teaching staff appraisals in 2007/08 due to
restructuring. We were told that the Employee Development Service has provided
requested training in the scheme for some newly appointed non-teaching managers in
the restructured support department. The (XXXX) informed us that he had initiated
appraisals with his staff with a target date for completion of May 2009.
Recommendation
70     The College should institute a process of regular performance monitoring
and appraisal for teaching staff as soon as the industrial relations situation
permits. The scheme for non-teaching staff should be re-energised and the SMT
should take a direct interest in the completion of appraisals and the results
arising. (Critical)


12.7   Financial Management of the College – SMT Responsibilities

The SMT has key responsibilities in relation to the management of the College’s
finances both individually and collectively. These are detailed below.
12.7.1 The Director and Accounting Officer




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The role and responsibilities of the Director in relation to the financial management of
the College are outlined in the Articles of Government of the College. The main financial
requirements are:
          •   the day to day organisation, direction and management of the College and
              leadership of the staff;

          •   the preparation of annual estimates of income and expenditure, for
              consideration and approval by the Governing Body, and for the overall
              management of the budget and other resources within the estimates
              approved by the Governing Body; and
          •   the maintenance of proper accounts and records subject to any guidance
              from the Department or requirements of statutory authorities, and the
              making available of such data as may be required to the Governing Body,
              the Department or other appropriate statutory body.

Additionally, Section 17 of the Financial Memorandum between DEL and the College
specifies a number of key responsibilities of any FE College Principal:
       “The Principal shall be formally designated Accounting Officer for the College by
       the Accounting Officer of the Department and shall be responsible and
       accountable to Parliament, for the proper stewardship of expenditure by the
       Governing Body from grants and monies obtained from sources other than the
       Department in accordance with the terms of this Memorandum”.

       “In particular, the Principal shall be responsible for ensuring that the College
       maintains, to the satisfaction of the Department, an appropriate system of
       financial management which should take account of any advice issued by the
       Department. He should ensure that there are adequate procedures, controls and
       structures within the College which conform to the requirements of propriety and
       of economical, efficient and effective financial management.”

The responsibilities of an Accounting Officer are clearly set out in the formal designation
letter from DEL:
      “The responsibilities of the Governing Body and the Principal are set out in the
      Further Education (NI) Order 1977 and the Financial Memorandum. The
      constitution of the Governing Body and the conduct of the Institute are set out in
      the Instruments and Articles of Government. Within this framework the Principal
      is required to take primary responsibility of the public finances for which he is
      answerable; for the keeping of proper accounts; for prudent and economical
      administration; for the avoidance of waste and extravagance; and for the effective
      and efficient use of all available resources”.




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The financial management responsibilities of the Director and Accounting Officer are
therefore unequivocal and the Director’s pivotal role in the financial management of the
College is clear. It is inevitable that the absence of a permanent Director for a protracted
period would have an unsettling effect on the SMT as whole and impose additional
pressures on the Acting Director and Accounting Officer and in particular, the(XXXX)
given his responsibilities in relation to financial services provision in BMC.
12.7.2 Deputy Directors

The Deputy Directors also had responsibility for strategic planning, financial
management and control issues within BMC. Their Job Descriptions required each post
holder to establish and review systems of internal control through a process of risk
management and audit. They also provided for the following corporate responsibilities:

          •   To make a major contribution as part of the Directorate to the
              development, implementation and review of strategic policies and strategic
              planning.

          •   As a member of the Directorate, to assist in the preparation of the
              Corporate Plan, the associated Strategic and Operational Plans and the
              Annual Report.

          •   To strategically develop, implement and regularly review policies in
              accordance with the Corporate Plan.

          •   To assist the Director and Chief Executive in supporting the functions and
              responsibilities of the Governing Body.


12.8   Financial Management Systems in BMC

Our report reveals a number of weaknesses in financial management and management
accounting in BMC. In summary these are:

          •   The late development of an acceptable budget for 2008-09

          •   The late production of management accounts
          •   Significant levels of old debt and questions of recoverability

          •   Bank reconciliations not produced on a regular basis

          •   Constantly changing financial forecasts
          •   Audit issues not being pursued quickly

          •   Accuracy of accrual of purchase invoices

          •   Incorrect classification of capital items as revenue


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In the following sections we seek to assess the performance of the SMT both as a team
and as individuals against this backcloth of deficiencies.
12.9   The Performance and Capacity of the SMT as a team.

The general consensus of the Deputy Directors in our final discussions with them was
that the SMT had performed well following the former Director’s absence on leave and
had shown leadership in the face of the contextual challenges outlined elsewhere in this
report. They believed that they had a clear focus and understanding of DEL’s priorities.
Reference was made to a number of achievements e.g. introducing the new
organisational structure and reshaping the curriculum to meet the new policy
requirements. However, there was a minority view that there had been insufficient
attention to the core business in terms of failure to systematically monitor quality,
performance manage and market during prolonged industrial action. All agreed,
however, that continued corporate effort was needed to enhance stakeholder
confidence in the key areas of financial management and the provision of sound
management information.
In relation to governance we were told that senior staff felt there were issues of
confidence between them and the Governors which created an unhealthy atmosphere.
They felt unsure of the expectations of the Governors and the uncertainty this created
was particularly acute at a time when there was no substantive Director.

We have already referred to the state of flux in the top positions in the organisation and
we consider that the resulting impact on corporate management should not be
underestimated. In our view the SMT, whilst demonstrating best efforts and teamwork,
did suffer from the absence of a permanent Director in the areas of building, motivating,
guiding and supporting the team and maintaining a network of key contacts outside the
College. Considerable challenges did exist but we have been told that not all of these
were unique to BMC. We consider that the SMT may have been too easily deflected
from taking direct responsibility for some issues e.g. pushing ahead with corporate
restructuring at an earlier date because that made good sense for the College; putting in
place senior management controls over the engagement of part-time staff. The facts
remain that an unforeseen and substantial revenue deficit emerged for 2007-08 and the
financial and management information processes were inadequate in a number of
respects leading to the commissioning of this review by DEL. The SMT is the top
management team in BMC and must collectively be regarded as responsible for this
unsatisfactory outcome.

It is our view that the appointment of a permanent and competent Director will be crucial
to the eventual success of any recovery plan for the College. That individual will have to
possess strong leadership qualities, relevant experience of senior management in a
challenging environment and the ability to pull together the disparate threads of the
College whilst undertaking major capital investment on two high profile sites in Belfast.
Early investment in reviewing the top management structure, introducing fresh job


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descriptions, establishing a performance management and appraisal culture and
building a cohesive team would enhance the existing capacity of the SMT. This result
must be achieved at the same time as delivering tangible improvements in financial and
operational performance and in reporting.

As our review was coming to an end we were advised that the recruitment process for a
permanent Director had commenced and that the Governing Body’s intention is to have
an appointee in place by August/September 2009. We were also advised that the
Governing Body had arranged for the current Interim Director to remain in place until
then.
Recommendation
71.   The Governing Body should complete the arrangements for                          the
appointment of a permanent Director for BMC as soon as possible. (Critical)


12.10 The Performance and Capacity of individual SMT members

We now consider the performance and capacity of the individual SMT members. In
reviews of this nature it is usual for the Review Team to have access to performance
appraisal documentation to establish individual contribution to the work of the
organisation. As reported earlier such documentation was not available within BMC and
this presents us with difficulty in completing this part of our review. We therefore asked
each of the Deputy Directors at our final interview with them to give us a personal
assessment of their contribution to the College indicating what had gone well and not so
well and what obstacles they faced in making improvements in their area of
responsibility. Their responses are given below, along with our own assessment.



12.10.1 Deputy Director Curriculum Programmes (DDCP) – (XXXX)

i(XXXX) is an experienced FE senior manager who has operated at most levels in this
environment. He has a clear view and understanding of the College’s relationships with
its external partnerships. He led the organisational restructuring in BMC. He was
entrusted by the Governors and DEL with undertaking the temporary role of Acting
Director during the former Director’s recent absence until the appointment of an Interim
Director. All the members of the SMT consider that the team functioned well during that
time.

At our meeting, (XXXX) felt unable to give us a personal assessment of his
contribution to BMC having been so advised by his Trade Union representative. He said
there was an agreed appraisal system in place for all Deputy Directors which was a
confidential exercise between him and his line manager. He added that he and his TU
representative believed that an agreed formal process is the correct place for staff

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appraisal. (XXXX) did say at the end of our meeting that it was implicit from his
responses to earlier questions that he felt he had made a positive contribution to the
work of the College in a challenging set of circumstances.
Our review has led us to form the opinion that internal curriculum planning could be
improved. (XXXX) did acknowledge that a comprehensive approach on the lines we
were suggesting could be of assistance. The new DEL funding regime will certainly
benefit those colleges who have access to focussed, timely curriculum planning and
control information and a clear view of actual performance against plan.

We would expect the DDCP to take a leading role in determining the nature and
presentation of curriculum planning and control systems and information. In discussing
this with (XXXX) it is clear that systems have developed which are not user-friendly to
many of his staff. An example of this is the pivot tables which are held out to curriculum
management as the means for them to obtain information. Pivot tables are very
complex and anyone lacking relatively high-level IT skills could be expected to
experience difficulties with them. We feel that more user-friendly systems should be
developed.

The College currently has available some five hundred management information
reports, a number which we would regard as extreme. In our opinion this could be due
to the lack of management intervention to specify and drive an effective and smaller
suite of management reports. We would expect the DDCP to take the initiative in this
respect.
Another area in which we would expect this post holder to have a direct involvement to
ensure that the College performance is maximised is in the area of staff deployment and
utilisation. We found a number of weaknesses here including a lack of useful
information relating to staff remission and the College using timetables to monitor staff
utilisation.

Based upon our experience of advising other FE Colleges, control of staff utilisation is a
key element of controlling staff costs i.e. ensuring that curriculum-based personnel
deliver the productive hours for which they are paid. The College currently has a
practice of basing staff utilisation statistics on timetabled hours. In our experience,
timetables can easily and quickly become at variance with actual practice in any college
due to changes that occur throughout the year that are not subsequently correctly
recorded. A more reliable record of actual activity is attendance registers which record
actual activity rather than planned activity. Registers are also the records which
determine funding payments to the College.

It is our opinion that (XXXX) has demonstrated competence in leadership and change
management in his time with BMC but there is more to do as part of the College’s
recovery plan. Given his undoubted experience in curriculum management, we believe
the DDCP would benefit from exposure to best practice in curriculum planning and

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control elsewhere. He is already planning some benchmarking visits to other Colleges.
We feel that with a more focussed approach to new methods of operation in his
specialist area that (XXXX) has the capacity to play a full part in moving the College
forward.


12.10.2 Deputy Director Curriculum Services (DDCS) –(XXXX)

 (XXXX) volunteered an assessment of her contribution to BMC. She felt she had
demonstrated leadership and delivered results in relation to quality and
learner/customer focus – the College had received commendation from ETI. She had
worked hard at communications inside and outside the College and had helped focus
the curriculum on the new ‘Further Education Means Business’ world. She considered
she had a good interface with employers. She wanted to see a strong teaching college
known for its best practice standards. She recognised that the financial difficulties of the
College had to be brought under control.

It has become clear to us during the course of our review that (XXXX) is a very
experienced further education manager who has undertaken a number of different roles
in colleges. Her in-depth knowledge of FE has impressed us and we agree that she has
been at the forefront of developing the College’s interface with business.
The issues we have raised in relation to the DDCP are equally relevant to her as they
share a similar role in relation to curriculum delivery. (XXXX) told us that planning
processes were in place and had to be in relation to negotiations with DEL. She did
accept however that the type of combined curriculum plan we had suggested was not
available and would be beneficial. We consider she is open to benefitting from exposure
to best practice on curriculum planning and delivery in other locations.

(XXXX) spoke with clarity about the impact of the new organisation structure and
outlined changes she felt were needed e.g. there was scope for efficiencies in the
restructuring of the Training Organisations and there should be a fresh look at support
staff numbers. Her own department was not what she had expected. She feels that the
organisation structure should be clear, understandable and support the core business
and agreed that a detailed review is needed.
We take the view that the College’s new organisation structure does not provide
sufficient clarity on some matters e.g. the responsibilities for curriculum between the two
Deputy Directors involved. Another example of this is Quality Assurance which is the
responsibility of (XXXX) who also directs certain of the College’s curriculum delivery
functions. In our opinion this could hinder objectivity in the QA function. (XXXX)
acknowledges the issue but feels this could be resolved if she had her full senior team
in post.

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We consider that (XXXX) has demonstrated an ability to take on new challenges with
success. She has clear views on the educational role to be played by BMC in the future.
She undoubtedly has the capacity to continue to be a key member of the College’s SMT
in taking the College forward.



12.10.3 Deputy Director Learner Services (DDLS) – (XXXX)

 (XXXX) joined BMC from CCFHE at merger. He has a number of years FE experience
at a senior level and we have been impressed by his pro-active approach to his role. He
has a very diverse role ranging from Estates and Facilities to Management Information
Systems. Having occupied this position in a new, much larger College for 19 months, he
is inevitably still developing in his role.

 (XXXX) volunteered an assessment of his contribution to BMC. He had been involved in
developing the vision for the whole College, including the restructuring of the two former
Colleges into a more efficient and effective unit. He had led on determining the
corporate aims mission statement in conjunction with staff and governors. He was
engaged in enhancing and developing the Strategic Objectives for the College and his
Directorate. He told us of his work on identifying financial efficiencies and in
restructuring and modernising the Estates, Facilities Management and Capital function.
The DDLS also referred to his work on rebranding and marketing of the new College for
schools, parents and employers. He said he was committed to quality and enhancing
the MIS system. He considered he had demonstrated effective and efficient
management of his Directorate.

(XXXX) recognised that he faced difficulties due to the slowness of implementation of his
proposed Directorate structure together with financial constraints and the need for
accurate information. Obstacles included the need for finance to resource the key areas
in his Directorate and the absence of clear, accurate, timely and robust data for
operational and strategic planning.
The DDLS is aware of the expectations for significant improvements in two important
areas. Our review of the College’s Estates Strategy was hampered by a lack of
information. We are aware that the College is planning a number of accommodation
changes, not least of which is its involvement in the Titanic Quarter. We have made a
number of recommendations in Section 8. (XXXX) did not demur from our conclusions.
He outlined the significant impact arising from the loss of four senior managers and said
he wanted to see a curriculum-led estates strategy.

Our review of MIS has identified a number of process and information provision issues
that are reported in Section 9. (XXXX) said he recognised that with MIS he was dealing
in confidence and this needed to be at a higher level with stakeholders.

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(XXXX) has shown commitment, enthusiasm and application to his task. He has the
necessary experience and skills to continue to develop his role in the College and SMT.
He adopts a strategic and whole College approach. However, he will be judged by his
success in dealing with the deficiencies on MIS and in developing a robust estates
strategy. Due to the very diverse nature of his role, the DDLS should ensure he has the
necessary specialist input in those key areas of Estates and MIS to help him make the
improvements expected by the College and stakeholders.



12.10.4 Deputy Director Business Services (DDBS) – (XXXX)

(XXXX) has been the senior professional accountant in BMC since its inception. He
felt unable to give us a personal assessment of his performance for the same reasons
advanced by (XXXX) . He did however indicate at the end of our meeting that it was
implicit in his responses that he felt he had made a positive contribution to the work of
the College in a challenging set of circumstances.

He also indicated at our meeting that he felt the credibility of his Finance Team had
been damaged in their work on the College’s 2007-08 Annual Accounts. He told us of
his action to effect improvements for the future including dealing with some difficult staff
issues and the setting of Operational Plans and targets for the Head of Finance. He also
said that the Finance Department is currently running below permanent staff
complement and is using agency staff to cover gaps.

Our report highlights a number of serious deficiencies in financial management and
controls within the organisation. (XXXX) offered a robust response to a number of our
findings at our final meeting.

It is our opinion however, based upon our experience of dealing with (XXXX)
throughout the period of our review that we consider he adopts a view of his role that is
too task-orientated and shows insufficient strategic vision. One example of this was the
decision to change banks at a time when the College was already implementing a new
accounting system and coping with a merger. A further example was the decision at that
time to completely restructure the coding system for transactions, which led to many
unforeseen difficulties. We also view the decision to centralise the recording of
permanent staff costs, which we are told was done to make accounting easier, to have
been at the expense of control. The inherent weaknesses of the DDBS’ approach may
not have been so apparent during (XXXX) tenure since he was qualified as an
accountant and was also, from what we have been told, a strategic thinker.

(XXXX) position as DDBS carries onerous responsibilities in relation to the
successful financial management of a major FE college. The post clearly requires
strategic leadership skills combined with a sound understanding of the intricacies and
complexities of FE finance. Given the developments in the period under review, the post
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through the merger process, and subsequently through the transition to a new
accounting system.

Our review highlights a number of issues that suggest to us that the day to day financial
management of the College could have been handled much better. It might be,
however, that the turbulence created by the combined effect of these changes
generated pressures which, in turn resulted in some flawed decisions. A period of
relative stability could afford (XXXX) and his team the opportunity to address the
issues raised in this review and set matters back on course.

It is our view however that the finance function under (XXXX) control has a number
of serious weaknesses to address and is presently constrained in its capacity to
effectively deal with the issues being faced by the College and the recommendations of
this review. Whilst there have been identified shortcomings and skills gaps within the
finance team, the DDBS is ultimately accountable to the Director and Accounting Officer
and to the Governing Body for the failings in the performance of the Finance
Department. The capacity constraints must be addressed immediately.
Recommendation
72. The Governing Body must address the capacity constraints in the
College’s Finance Department led by the DDBS. (Critical)




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13.      Summary of Recommendations for Improvement



                                                                                                                                 Non
Section Rec No                                         Recommendation                                             Critical
                                                                                                                               Critical
                                    Financial Position and Projected Performance Analysis
                    A Recovery Plan should be prepared to review all operating aspects of the College with
6.1.14        1                                                                                                      X
                    a view to achieving future financial stability.
                                            Audit Compliance and Financial Controls
7.4.1         2     Debtors need to be pursued for payment on an ongoing basis                                                    X
                    A monthly report should be made available identifying the level of debt outstanding that
7.4.1         3                                                                                                                   X
                    is 60 days, 90 days and over 120 days overdue
                    DEL should be contacted on a timely basis to determine when any outstanding monies
7.4.2         4                                                                                                                   X
                    due are likely to be paid.
                    Business administration staff need to be fully trained in the use of Agresso and advised
7.4.3         5     on the implications of their actions to ensure that the accruals taken from the system are                    X
                    accurate and to enable the system to be used to its optimum effectiveness.
                    The discipline of compiling bank reconciliations on a monthly basis is critical to the
                    production of accurate monthly/statutory accounts. These need to continue to be                 X
7.4.4         6
                    prepared with outstanding issues being dealt with prior to finalising the monthly/statutory
                    accounts.
                    The number of bank accounts should be kept to a level appropriate to ensure maximum                           X
7.4.4         7
                    efficiency of operation whilst complying with audit regulations.
                    The College should ensure that supplier reconciliations are undertaken on a regular                           X
7.4.5         8
                    basis, ideally monthly
                    A monthly reconciliation of debtors needs to be undertaken with older debts being
7.4.6         9     reviewed and appropriate provisions for non collection being provided within the                 X
                    accounts.




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                                                                                                                                Non
Section Rec No                                        Recommendation                                             Critical
                                                                                                                              Critical
                  The schedule of creditors needs to be produced at the appropriate point on a monthly              X
7.4.7      10
                  basis and reconciled to the general ledger.
                  Finance need to continuously review the ‘pending invoices’ to ensure that they are kept                        X
7.4.8      11
                  within manageable levels.
                  Debtor balances included in the accounts need to be carefully vetted to ensure that they
7.4.9      12     can be substantiated and reconciled to the general ledger control account on a monthly            X
                  basis.
                  Monthly management accounts need to include appropriate adjustments for timing                    X
7.4.10     13
                  differences in respect of income.
                  EU Project income should continue to be reconciled on a monthly basis to reflect the                           X
7.4.11     14
                  accurate level of income in the monthly/annual accounts.
                  Regular checks should be made to ensure that the appropriate level of interest on bank
7.4.12     15                                                                                                                    X
                  placements is being correctly included in the monthly/annual accounts.
                  A policy should be agreed to review the position relating to Millfield reversionary interest
7.4.13     16                                                                                                                    X
                  on a regular basis e.g. every 5 years.
                  The College should continue to provide an appropriate amount for teachers’ salaries in
7.4.14     17                                                                                                       X
                  the management accounts until the level of increase is agreed and implemented.
                  A monthly review of income and expenditure in respect of Additional Support Funds
7.4.15     18     should be undertaken and an appropriate adjustment included in the management                     X
                  accounts.
7.4.17     19     Capital Grants Release should be reconciled on a monthly basis.                                                X
                  The Accounting Procedures document should be updated to include appropriately
7.5.1      20     robust procedures in respect of credit cards including the countersigning of the credit                        X
                  card invoice/payment.
                  Section 2 of the College’s accounting procedures should be reviewed and amended as
7.5.1      21                                                                                                       X
                  appropriate to ensure that a more rigorous procedure is implemented.
                  The College should take immediate steps to analyse its staffing costs by curriculum
7.5.3      22                                                                                                       X
                  area and compare these with its curriculum delivery requirements.



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                                                                                                                              Non
Section Rec No                                       Recommendation                                            Critical
                                                                                                                            Critical
                  The College should revert back to charging permanent staff costs to individual
7.5.3      23                                                                                                                  X
                  departments as soon as is practically possible.
                  The College should develop and implement a process for controlling temporary staffing
7.5.3      24                                                                                                     X
                  costs
                  The College should review the format of the management accounts.
                     • with a view to focussing on the aspects that are critical.
7.5.3      25        • to ensure that they are presented so as to be relevant to the various different            X
                        users.

                  The College should review its budgeting process with a view to producing more
7.5.3      26                                                                                                     X
                  accurate figures in advance of the start of each year in terms of likely outcome.
                                                            Estates
                  Estates Data - The College should establish a SMART action plan which seeks to
                  address the information requirement as described in items 1 to 3 at the beginning of this
                  section as soon as possible. This action plan should be presented to governors with
8          27                                                                                                     X
                  clear actions, responsibilities, accountabilities together with a programme of actions and
                  delivery dates; the report to Governors should also include approximate costs to collate
                  the Estate Data. This information is vital in establishing a meaningful estate strategy.
                  Estates Strategy – The College should undertake an analysis and review of
                  management decision making processes in line with the Office of Government
8          28                                                                                                     X
                  Commerce’s Achieving Excellence Guidance and implement the findings of this
                  analysis.
                  Estates Strategy - The College should develop and produce an action plan and detailed
                  programme (with SMART objectives) with a view to producing master plan options
                  leading to a preferred option. The master plan option analysis must consider the
8          29                                                                                                     X
                  information generated from the review of existing estate. The option analysis must also
                  consider the College’s educational Business Case, to include new demographic data,
                  growth analyses, curricular demand and analyses, etc. in generating appropriate estate




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                                                                                                                            Non
Section Rec No                                      Recommendation                                           Critical
                                                                                                                          Critical
                  and delivery options. These options must demonstrate estate efficiencies such as space
                  management, utilisation, improved running costs, greater estate management
                  efficiencies, etc.
                  Estates Management Structure – Undertake a detailed analysis of the existing estates
8          30                                                                                                   X
                  structure in order to produce data for comparison and benchmarking.
                  Estates Management Structure – Undertake a detailed analysis of the existing staff in
8          31                                                                                                                X
                  terms of capabilities, roles and responsibilities, experience, etc.
                  Estates Management Structure - Following the above analysis, establish a system for
8          32                                                                                                                X
                  performance management, training, support, contingency planning, etc.
                  Estates Management Structure – Undertake a needs analysis to identify and understand
                  the roles, staff numbers, etc. required to efficiently and effectively manage the estate
8          33                                                                                                                X
                  and to understand the external support required in order to successfully deliver an
                  Estates Strategy, if required.
                  Estates Management Structure - Undertake a benchmarking exercise in order to better
8          34                                                                                                                X
                  understand how exemplar colleges efficiently and effectively manage their estates.
                  Estates Management Structure - Re-evaluate the proposed structure, based on the
8          35     above actions and submit a recommendation together with implementation process on                          X
                  the findings of the above to the Governing Body.
                  Estates Management Structure - The results of the above process will give an efficient
                  and effective estates management strategy up to the current post merger position.
8          36     Future changes in the estate will obviously require a similar undertaking to ensure that                   X
                  these efficiencies are maintained. Future changes to the structure should be
                  considered as part of the Master Planning exercise and review of option appraisals.
                                               Management Information System
                  The College should implement a business process review as part of the MIS Strategy to
                  identify the following:
9.2.4      37                                                                                                   X
                             • Strengths and weaknesses in the data collection process.
                             • Review of the software systems used



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                                                                                                                         Non
Section Rec No                                      Recommendation                                       Critical
                                                                                                                       Critical
                           •   Review the current operational structure

                  The College needs to implement a registers project to evaluate how it will deliver the
                  following:
                             • A clear process for handling registers
                             • Registers that are generated from the Student Record System for all
9.4.2
           38                    courses and events being run in the College.                                X
                             • A process to collect and issue registers on a daily basis to lecturing staff
                                 across all sites and record the attendance marks in QLS.
                             • A review of the technology available to record attendance marks across all
                                 sites. This may require a mix of approaches and should consider the costs
                                 relating to staffing, technology and resources.
                  The College should define the process and flow charts for capturing and recording all
9.5.2      39     enquiries across sites, to include those received directly with academic staff as a result              X
                  of informal discussions with potential students.
                  The College should ensure that all enquiries processed to the mail merge stage are
9.5.2      40                                                                                                             X
                  flagged accordingly in the Enquiries module.
                  The College should implement exception reports to identify enquiries that have not been
9.5.2      41                                                                                                             X
                  processed to the mail merge stage.
                  The College should ensure that all areas involved in the applications process update the
9.5.4      42                                                                                                             X
                  applications module at each stage of the process.
                  Implement exception reports at each stage of the process to track and monitor
9.5.4      43                                                                                                             X
                  applications
9.5.4      44     Implement a report to show conversion rates from applications to enrolments                             X
                  The College should consider implementing a business process review of the Enquiries
9.5.4      45     and Applications functions and evaluate any benefits that could be obtained from           X
                  centralisation.
9.6        46     The College needs to ensure that the planned taught hours and timetabled hours are         X



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                                                                                                                                  Non
Section Rec No                                          Recommendation                                          Critical
                                                                                                                                Critical
                  taken from an effective curriculum planning process thus ensuring that income and staff
                  expenditure are correctly aligned.
                  The College needs to ensure that all attendance marks are recorded into the student
9.6        47                                                                                                         X
                  record system.
                  All proposed amendments/changes should be assessed by an MIS specialist who has
9.7.1      48     detailed knowledge of the funding and audit methodology and can advise the senior                   X
                  management on the implications to the current contract.
                  Priority teams within MIS should be assigned to complete all valid amendments within
9.7.1      49                                                                                                                      X
                  one week of receipt.
                  The College should review the curriculum planning process ensuring that all courses
9.7.2      50                                                                                                         X
                  have valid learning aims that meet the “NDAQ” criteria.
                  The College should review all existing courses and learning aims to be rolled forward to
9.7.2      51     2009/10 to ensure that they are valid for “new starters” and also meet the preceding                X
                  recommendation.

                        •   The College needs to develop a small suite of reports that it needs in order to run and
                            understand its performance i.e.:

                        •   Financial - internal monitoring against contract and budget

                        •   Statistical- analysis of the student numbers and subsequent volume of enrolments in
9.8.3      52               relation to the College performance targets                                         X

                        •   Curriculum – course-related information, Success, Retention, Withdrawals and
                            Transfers.
                        •   Register - Analysis of registers, missing marks, attendance, lateness and staff
                            utilisation statistics.
                        •   Audit – exception reports to improve data quality and funding optimisation.




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                                                                                                                             Non
Section Rec No                                      Recommendation                                            Critical
                                                                                                                           Critical
                  The MIS team need to review the policy regarding the use of pivot tables as a
                  mechanism for providing management reports. The MIS team need to consider the
                  differing technical skills and capabilities of staff within the College to use such data
9.8.5      53                                                                                                    X
                  analysis tools and that this may hinder the strategy of getting more staff to own and use
                  the data effectively. The concept of “putting the customer first” should be adopted, in
                  this case the end user of the reports.
                                                   Curriculum and Staffing
                  The College should establish a full curriculum plan drawing together the key elements
                  shown below;-
                             • Courses being offered
10.2.19    54                                                                                                    X
                             • FLUs being generated
                             • Taught hours (TH) to be delivered
                             • Anticipated income by course/curriculum area
                  An annual curriculum planning cycle and calendar should be established which would;-
                             • Show a detailed timeline
                             • Draw together the elements in 10.5.1 and 10.5.2 above
                             • Recognise the changing requirements of the FE sector
10.2.19    55                                                                                                    X
                             • Provide detailed information for the setting of part time staff budgets
                             • Run in conjunction with, and inform the Financial budget planning process
                             • Recognise the necessity to follow the DEL funding and negotiating
                                timetable.
                  The College should establish clear leadership and responsibility for the Curriculum
                  Planning process which should encompass and be informed by the following;-
                             • Senior curriculum leaders
10.2.19    56                                                                                                    X
                             • MIS department
                             • Finance
                             • External funding bodies




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                                                                                                                            Non
Section Rec No                                      Recommendation                                           Critical
                                                                                                                          Critical
                              • The Governing Body
                  The College should rationalise the MIS reporting system to:-
                              • Ensure the Pivot Table data has a higher level of reliability
                              • Reduce the number of reports available from Crystal Reports
                              • Investigate and eliminate data differences between the two reporting
                                systems or agree which system will provide which data.
                              • Agree a small number of relevant and understandable reports to be used
                                across all curriculum areas from both reporting systems
10.3.11    57                 • Use the standard reports as key control mechanisms at SMT and staff             X
                                meetings
                              • Always ensure that performance against target is included in the reporting
                                outputs.
                              • Regularly review performance against target at all levels and include the
                                information in staff performance reviews.
                              • Instigate further training and assistance to staff using both reporting
                                systems
                  A comprehensive academic staff list should be drawn up by department showing the
                  following;-
                              • Contracted teaching hours
                              • Remission – actual from all sources
                              • Net hours available
10.6.13    58                                                                                                   X
                              • Pay including all on costs
                              • Department and or curriculum area
                              • Site
                              • Name of staff member
                              • Consider moving to annualised hours for teaching staff
10.8.8     59     The College should complete the staffing structure as quickly as possible ensuring:-          X




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                                                                                                                              Non
Section Rec No                                       Recommendation                                            Critical
                                                                                                                            Critical
                            •  There are clear reporting lines
                            •  Staff holding management positions hold relevant qualifications and
                               proven experience
                            • Senior positions have a coherent portfolio of responsibilities
                            • A College wide audit of staff skills and experience which is linked to
                               comprehensive staff development programme
                            • The division of roles between Deputy Directors is re-examined
                            • Responsibilities for quality improvement and quality assurance are given
                               to separate Deputy Directors.
                                               Governance and Accountability
                  Performing the Functions of Governance
                            • The Governing Body should collectively agree how it proposes to perform
                               its functions and which functions should be delegated to Committees,
11         60                                                                                                     X
                               taking account of the actions proposed below.
                            • The Governing Body should agree the demarcation of responsibilities
                               between it and senior management in the College.
                  Providing Strategic Direction to the College
                            • The Governing Body should work together to agree a clear mission
                                statement and strategic direction for the College which convey the
                                organisation’s purpose, aims and how it will achieve those aims. This
                                should be communicated to staff and stakeholders and should inform all
11         61                   the college’s planning processes.                                                 X
                            • Business and financial planning processes should be closely aligned and
                                guided by the strategic direction given by the Governing Body.
                            • Annual Business Plans should be approved by the Governing Body who
                                should also ensure that they are in harmony with the strategic direction set
                                by the college development Plan.
           62     Ensuring the effective use of resources                                                                      X



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                                                                                                                                  Non
Section Rec No                                        Recommendation                                               Critical
                                                                                                                                Critical
                            •     The agenda for Governing Body meetings should be structured around
                                  matters relating to performance and achievement against targets (both
                                  financial and other), and achieving quality and value for money in the
                                  delivery of services.
                               • The Governing Body must agree how quality and value for money are to
                                  be defined and measured.
                               • Minutes of Governing Body meetings must clearly articulate matters
                                  discussed and decisions taken.
                               • Papers should be provided to Governors in sufficient time prior to
                                  meetings to allow adequate consideration.
                               • Governors should challenge the content of papers, particularly where it
                                  appears ambiguous or complex.
                               • The Governing Body should specify the format of those reports,
                                  particularly financial reports that are submitted on a regular basis by senior
                                  management.
                               • The full Governing Body should ratify the minutes of its Committees.
  11       63     In light of the above, the adequacy of audit plans should be considered.                                         X
  11       64     Annual Reporting
                               • The Governing Body should ensure that it can satisfy itself, and make a
                                  statement accordingly, that it complies with the relevant standards and
                                  codes of Corporate Governance. For this purpose, the Governing Body
                                  might use the template provided by the Independent Commission on Good
                                  Governance in Public Services.                                                                   X

                            •   In the context of the above, the Governing Body should complete a
                                training needs analysis and commission a development programme for
                                Governors. The Governing Body should also ensure that appropriate
                                induction processes are in place for new appointees.



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                                                                                                                              Non
Section Rec No                                       Recommendation                                            Critical
                                                                                                                            Critical

  11       65     Responsibilities as Employer
                           • The Governing Body should ensure that appropriate performance
                                management systems (incorporating performance appraisal) are in place
                                and in operation in for all College staff and for the Clerk to the Governing
                                Body.                                                                             X
                           • The Governing Body should ensure that all appropriate HR management
                                systems are in place in the college, including disciplinary, grievance and
                                promotion procedures.

  11       66     Engaging Stakeholders
                  The Governing Body should agree the range and type of issues on which it welcomes
                  feedback from stakeholders, including student, local employers, local councils, schools                      X
                  and other educational establishments and ensure that appropriate structures and
                  processes are in place to secure that feedback
  11       67     Engaging with Staff
                  The Governors should consider aligning themselves to individual curriculum delivery
                                                                                                                               X
                  units in order to strengthen the bond between Governors and staff and to enable them
                  to gain an insight into the daily workings of the College.
                                                   Senior Management Team
  12       68     Job Descriptions for Deputy Directors should be reviewed and updated in the context of
                  a review of the optimum top management structure for the College as soon as possible            X
                  after the arrival of the permanent Director.
  12       69     The Governing Body should approve as soon as possible a performance appraisal
                  scheme for the College’s Director and Deputy Directors and ensure that the scheme is            X
                  fully implemented
  12       70
                  The College should institute a process of regular performance monitoring and appraisal for X
                  teaching staff as soon as the industrial relations situation permits. The scheme for non



BMC Efficiency Review                                                                                                 110
                                                                                         MCA Cooper Associates


                                                                                                                       Non
Section Rec No                                   Recommendation                                       Critical
                                                                                                                     Critical
                  teaching staff should be re-energised and the SMT should take a direct interest in the
                  completion of appraisals and the results arising.

  12       71     The Governing Body should complete the arrangements for the appointment of a
                                                                                                           X
                  permanent Director for BMC as soon as possible.
  12       72
                  The Governing Body must address the capacity constraints in the College’s Finance
                  Department led by the DDBS.                                                              X




BMC Efficiency Review                                                                                          111
                                                    MCA Cooper Associates




List of Appendices

   I        Financial Forecast and Historic Performance
   II       Estates Information Request List and Document Availability
   III      Draft Organisation Charts
   IV       Example of Curriculum Planning Spreadsheet
   V        Pivot Table Extract
   VI       Job descriptions
   VII      List of Meetings with Staff
   VIII     Terms of Reference




BMC Efficiency Review
                                                     MCA Cooper Associates


Appendix


I      Financial Forecast and Historic Performance




BMC Efficiency Review
BELFAST METROPOLITAN COLLEGE
SCHEDULE of FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE                                                                                 APPENDIX I



                                                                 2005/06           2006/07                 2007/08                 2008/09
                                                                  Actual            Actual            Budget     Actual            Forecast
                                                                   £k                £k                 £k         £k                 £k
Income
DEL grants                                                          44,125            43,185            43,193      43,978           41,305
Education contracts                                                  3,249             3,873             5,271       4,087            4,155
Tuition fees and charges                                             5,915             6,717             7,616       7,812            8,129
Other grant income                                                   1,516               654               313         570            1,407
Other operating income                                               1,423             1,120             1,153       1,036              633
Investment income                                                      622               612               423         582              100

Total Income                                                        56,850            56,161            57,969      58,065           55,729

Expenditure
Staff costs                                                         36,464            39,732            39,278      38,894           37,521
Other operating expenses                                            20,215            17,548            16,352      17,798           20,259
Depreciation                                                         2,004             1,962             1,772       2,337            2,264
Interest payable                                                        85                30                 0           0                0

Total Expenditure                                                   58,768            59,272            57,402      59,029           60,044

Surplus/(Deficit) on Continuing Operations                         (1,918)            (3,111)               567       (964)          (4,315)

(Profit)/Loss on Disposal of Assets                                      0                 0                  0         (11)              0
Exceptional Re-Structuring Costs                                       707             1,326                465       4,917               0

Surplus/(Deficit)                                                  (2,625)            (4,437)               102     (5,870)          (4,315)

Historical Cost Depreciation Reduction                                 964               964                964       1,217           1,217

Historical Costs Surplus/(Deficit)                                 (1,661)            (3,473)             1,066     (4,653)          (3,098)


Note:

1. Figures for 2005/06 and 2006/07 are based on the combination of BIFHE and CIFHE.
2. The actual figure for 2007/08 reflects the latest figures included in the draft statutory accounts and are subject to change.
                                                    MCA Cooper Associates


Appendix



II     Estates Information Request List and Document Availability




BMC Efficiency Review
                                                                    Appendix II


Information Request

In order to begin the evaluation of the documentation and processes of BMC
a schedule of required information was produced and issued to the College
prior to the start of the work. Belfast Metropolitan College issued a response
to the information schedule on the 30th and 31st October by issuing 15
documents; these documents were issued with the colleges commentary
describing the overview of the data and current position. The college
Overview dated 30th October describes the documents issued together with
the ‘College Action Plan’ describing the key points relating to the requested
information.

1.0 Strategy
1.1     Copy of the College Estates Strategy
1.2     Copy of the College Development Plan
1.3     Copy performance measurement tool (s)
1.4     Copy of capital investment appraisals
1.5     Coy of the management structure including external consultants
utilised in the preparation of the property strategy

2.0 Estate Data
2.1     Schedule of accommodation by building, including Gross Internal Area
(in line with the RICS method of measurement), Gross external area (in line
with DEL guidance) room designations, areas and all net spaces
2.2     Room utilisation study
2.3     Schedule of ownership, leases, licences, restrictions etc
2.4     Schedule of valuations including alternative use valuations
2.5     Schedule of condition including type 2 asbestos schedule and
accessibility for DDA
2.6     Schedule of fitness for purpose
2.7     Schedule of running costs
2.8     Copy of the College Planned Preventative Maintenance schedule
(PPM) + a copy of the College Maintenance Investment Plan (MIP)
2.9     Copy of the tender evaluation reports for the use of external
consultants

3.0 Operational
3.1    Copy of the estates and facilities management structure (at all levels)
3.2    Details of the management structure for the preparation and agreement
of capital and revenue expenditure, including names, qualifications,
experience
3.3    Details of the management process to deliver the strategic property
plan including performance reviews/monitoring, succession planning,
contingency arrangements etc




                                                                            -1-
                                                                       Appendix II


Questions/discussion points issued to the College

In addition to the review of the college data a site visit and interview with the
College(XXXX) took place on the 12th November 2008; at this
meeting the College were issued with a series of questions/discussion points
to clarify and inform the report. A copy of the questions and points discussed
with the College are highlighted below

College Development Plan (CDP)/Estates Development Plan (EDP)
the guidance asks for the proposed capital and estimated recurrent
expenditure; has this been issued?

Does the College have evidence of how the estates objectives support the
strategic and academic objectives?

How has the College assessed the overall space needs in line with the CDP
to determine the extent of new building or facilities required? How many
students are at the college and what are the projections?

How has the College evaluated the options in order to make the
recommendation of the preferred options stated in the EDS

The EDS makes reference to ‘some of the worst educational facilities and
buildings in Western Europe’ and the initial concentration to replace the two
city centre campuses – Does the College have details to support this and
what information is available to support the need/business driver to replace
the city centre buildings?

What documentation is available which demonstrate that the Brunswick Street
replacement would give better value under a PPP/PFI

How have the space needs of BMC and the individual curricula been
translated into the new building?

What research was undertaken in terms of post code analysis, demographics,
travel patterns, etc to determine curricula locations and synergies

The EDP makes reference to projects which ‘contribute to the college’s
strategic plan’ – can BMS give specific examples of the link with the strategic
plan?

Can the College provide the economic appraisals referred to within the EDP?

The College have provided a schedule of accommodation (document 9) could
the college give an overview of the calculations (no formulas are included in
the spreadsheet) and summarise how this has been linked into the
assessment of future space needs?

BMC Estates and facilities



                                                                              -2-
                                                                      Appendix II


Has the College undertaken a capability and capacity review of the existing
staff?

Has the college reviewed the skill set and experience of existing staff and in
line with the future College needs?

Has the department benchmarked the staffing needs across the FE sector?
What form of needs analysis has been undertaken to determine the new
structure

What process are in place for succession planning, contingency planning,
performance reviews etc?

What methods of appraisals and evaluations are in place both in terms of
capital projects and day to day FM/estates?

What is the process to determine the need for external consultancy support to
ensure appropriate skills, experience and capacity?

What estate data information is available in terms of, functionality, physical
condition, values etc, indications on information supplied to date is a large
information gap, how is this being addressed?

The college have provided the service levels for the PPP/PFI how are these
being monitored/recorded measured

What documentation is available to demonstrate the proportion of estate cost
based on income is within realistic levels, benchmarking data on staffing,
maintenance, running costs, facilities management etc?




                                                                             -3-
                                                                                      Appendix II


 Estates Gap Analysis

 The following table gives a simple over view of the college data and process
 in line with the DEL guidance and fundamental requirements of FE Estates
 Management:

Item No       Question arising from the review/identification of gaps
                                                                                       Yes            No
            Does the College Development Plan (CDP) include a
   1        statement of Capital expenditure and estimate of
            recurrent expenditure and income
            Does the CDP provide information to the Governors
            which supports strategic decision making e.g. resource
   2        allocation and Capital expenditure together with an
            agreed management structure for the implementation of
            the preferred option
            Does the CDP and Estates strategy consider and link
   3
            the existing and projected enrolments (FLU’s)
            Does the Estates strategy and CDP give specific
   4        evidence on how the estate will support the strategic
            and academic objectives
            Does the College understand the efficiencies of its
            estate such as space management, running costs,
   5
            maintenance costs, fitness for purpose, physical
            condition
            Does the College understand the extent of it
   6        accommodation, liabilities and risk associated with its
            Estate
   7        Has the College produced an action plan

            Has the implications of the existing estate been linked
   8
            and factored into a College site wide master plan
            Has the College developed, produced and considered
            master plan options centred around the student
   9
            numbers, learning experience and efficiencies of running
            the estate
            Has the College developed the benchmarking with
  10        Glasgow and Nottingham; does the college have a
            benchmarking process to demonstrate efficiencies
            Does the college understand the alternative use values
  11        of the land and properties and have these been
            considered in the development of BMC master plan
            Has the College developed a SMART analysis for the
  12
            delivery of the College Estate strategy
 NB as most of the documents issued are undated it is assumed that the College Development Plan and
 Estates Development Strategy considers phase 1 and 2 of the DEL 07/08 – 09/70 CDP guidance




                                                                                               -4-
                                                                       Appendix II



 The following table gives a simple over view of the college data requested and
 provide as part of the Estates review:

Item      Information Required                    Information received
 Ref
1.1  Copy of the College Estates            Appendix 2 of the College
     Strategy                               Development plan and a draft estate
                                            strategy update dated April 2008
1.2   Copy of the College Development       College Development Plan (undated)
      Plan
1.3   Copy performance measurement          No Information provided
      tool (s)
1.4   Copy of capital investment            Capital Investment Appraisals which
      appraisals                            support the option analysis leading
                                            to the preferred option and the
                                            estates strategy not provide
1.5   Coy of the management structure       No information provide which
      including external consultants        supports the analysis of capability,
      utilised in the preparation of the    capacity etc to determine skills gaps
      property strategy                     leading to the need for external
                                            consultants.
2.1   Schedule of accommodation by          Information not available.
      building, including Gross Internal    A small amount of information was
      Area (in line with the RICS method    provided but is inconsistent.
      of measurement), Gross external       Information can not support an
      area (in line with DEL guidance)      Estate Strategy
      room designations, areas and all
      net spaces
2.2   Room utilisation study                Not available
2.3   Schedule of ownership, leases,        Not available
      licences, restrictions etc
2.4   Schedule of valuations including      Not available, land value for
      alternative use valuations            depreciation issued
2.5   Schedule of condition including       Some condition survey information
      type 2 asbestos schedule and          issue but incomplete; Statutory
      accessibility for DDA                 requirements unclear
2.6   Schedule of fitness for purpose       Not available
2.7   Schedule of running costs             Incomplete and information unclear
2.8   Copy of the College Planned           PPM for Castlereagh issued but this
      Preventative Maintenance schedule     is not robust or detailed enough to
      (PPM) + a copy of the College         inform the estate strategy, other
      Maintenance Investment Plan           PPM and MIP are not available.
      (MIP)
2.9   Copy of the tender evaluation         Information insufficient
      reports for the use of external
      consultants



                                                                              -5-
                                                                     Appendix II



3.1   Copy of the estates and facilities   New organogram issued
      management structure (at all
      levels)
3.2   Details of the management            PEP issued for Springvale project.
      structure for the preparation and    Details of roles (OGC) issued, no
      agreement of capital and revenue     information or details on skill set
      expenditure, including names,        responsibilities, accountabilities etc
      qualifications, experience
3.3   Details of the management process    Not available
      to deliver the strategic property
      plan including performance
      reviews/monitoring, succession
      planning, contingency
      arrangements etc




                                                                            -6-
                                   MCA Cooper Associates


Appendix



III    Draft Organisation Charts




BMC Efficiency Review
                                                                                                           Appendix IIIa




                         Organisational Chart of the Restructured Belfast Metropolitan College




                        Governing
                          Body
                                                                                 Director



                      Directorate
                                                         DD                DD                 DD                DD
                                                      Curriculum        Curriculum          Learner           Business
                                                     Programmes          Services           Services          Services
                  Curriculum Thematic
                       Managers
                   Heads of Support                  5 Thematic         1 Thematic           3 HoDs               2 HoDs
                      Departments                    Managers            Manager


              Curriculum Programme Areas
                                                   17 Programme    1Programme        Curriculum
              Support Department Services                                                              Support
                                                       Areas          Area            Services
                                                                                                       Services



[Type text]
                                                    MCA Cooper Associates


Appendix



IV     Example of Curriculum Planning Spreadsheet




BMC Efficiency Review
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Appendix IV

                                                                                                                                  AN EXTRACT FROM AN ENGLISH FURTHER EDUCATION SECTOR COLLEGES CURRICULUM PLANNING SPREADSHEET




                                                                                                                                                                   FUNDING YEAR 2008/09                                                                         LSC funding Only                       All other funding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          KEYBOA                                                                                                 Planned Learner numbers all funding




                                                                                                                                     College Course Code from
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          RD                                                                                                   types. For LSC funding show the number




                                                                                         Main Course (M) or other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                ONLY USE                                        Base rate adjusted for                  Do not include
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ENTRY                                                                                                 who are expected to continue to attend
                                                                                                                                                                                                                THE DROP                                          the LSC Provider                     exams, materials,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NOT                                                                                                               after 6 weeks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOWN LIST                                              Factor                             outings etc




                                                           COST WEIGHTING
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ALLOWE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LSC Base Rate
                                             QUALIFICATI                                                                                                             College Course Title from CP                         D
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                19+           19+ LSC




                                                                                                                    Franchise F
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               14-16       16-18
               MANAGER
               THEMATIC




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         16-18 Remitt 19+ Co-                                     Employer /



                                                                            SFL & Full
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Co-
                                             ON CODE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Funding         Funding 16- 18    19+                                                Students                 main        main        19+          19+ Co-

                                                           FACTOR


                                                                            Level 2/3
                               Location




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Value  ed    funded funded                                Full cost
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Category         Source Value £ Value £                                                Fee £                qualificati qualificati remitted       funded
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           £   Value Value students                                    £
       PAM




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                on          on




                                                                                         (A)




                                                                                                                                     CP
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 £             Fee £
                                                                                                                                                                                                       TOTALS                                                                                                                       -         100        192             53

    CWEE     CWFD         CRC             10003253               1.00                    A                                         1K2548                       1L6921:KS Comms L2 (Siemens)                    Full Cost       Fee Income                          -       -        -                      -            225                       15
    CWEE     CWFD         CRC             10003071               1.00                    A                                         1K4090                       1L6921:KS AON L2 (Siemens)                      Full Cost       Fee Income                          -       -        -                      -            150                       15
    CWEE     CWFD         OS              10060388               1.60 FL2                A                            F            1L0209                       NVQ in Plant Operations                         NVQs            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851    688                                                                               1
    CWEE     CWFD         OS              10060388               1.60 FL2                A                            F            1L0210                       NVQ in Plant Operations                         NVQs            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851    688                                                                               2
    CWBI     CWFD         OS              10057006               1.00 FL3                A                                         1L2778                       Management NVQ Level 3 EDI                      NVQs            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851    197                                                                               4
    CWSI     CWFD         CRC             10053621               1.30                    A                                         1L1117                       Hospitality & Catering: Food Prep NVQ 1         NVQs            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851    688             -            -                                                    1
    CWSI     CWFD         CRC             10032447               1.30 FL2                A                                         1L1132                       Hairdressing NVQ Level 2 PT 2nd Year            NVQs            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851   1,363            -            -                          1                        13
    CWSI     CWFD         CRC             10032435               1.30                    A                                         1L1133                       Hairdressing NVQ Level 1 PT 1st Year            NVQs            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851   1,363            -            -                          1                        12
    CPPE     CPRE         CRC             10040043               1.00                    A                                         1K9713                       1L9197 : Princes Trust Term 2 - WWO             LSC FE          LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851         79         -                                       9          9
    CPPE     CPRE         OS              10013246               1.40                    A                                         1L0001                       1L3937 : Return to Learn - Lit L1               LSC FE          LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851         26         -                                                  6
    CPSL     CPRE         CRC             10051314               1.40                    A                                         1L0975                       ESOL SfL E3 S&L Sem 2 PT UCLES CRC              ESOL            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851    295                                                                9              1
    CPSL     CPRE         CRC             10013210               1.40                    A                                         1L1233                       Skills for Life Literacy L1 (C&G)               SKL             LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851                                                                       60
    CPSL     CPRE         CRC             10051326               1.40                    A                                         1L9590                       ESOL SfL L2 Full Cert PT UCLES CRC              ESOL            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851    590                                                                8              1
    AVEN     AVOC         CRC             CMISC001               1.00                    A                                         1T6588                       1L5216 : Tutorial                               Tutorial        LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851     -              -                                       4          3              3
    AVL1     AVOC         CRC             10003265               1.40                    A                                         1K9706                       1L3991 : KS Comms Level 1                       KS and Enrichment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LSC              2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851     94             -                                      23
    AVL3     AVOC         CRC             10003241               1.00                    A                                         1K0856                       2L9108 : Comms Level 3 BND Yr 2                 LSC FE         LSC              2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851     94             -                                       8          3
    AS13     ASIX         AWD             00260031               1.00                    A                                         1A0479                       GCE A2 Level History                            LSC FE          LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851     -              -                                      24                         1
    AS13     ASIX         AWD             ZVOC0012                 -                     A                                         2B2193                       Int Baccalaureate English                       LSC FE          LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851     -              -
    CHEF     CHED         CRC             ZVOC0010                 -                     A                                         1L0846                       HEFC: Art A                                     HEFCE           Fee Income                          -       -        -       -              -            -                                 -
    CHEF     CHED         CRC             50027189               1.30 FL3                A                                         1L5377                       Art & Design Foundation Studies FT              LSC FE          LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851     -              -            -                                 -                  9
    CHEF     CHED         CRC             00243517                 -                     A                                         1L5986                       (HE) Fine Art Foundation Degree PT Yr1          HEFCE           Fee Income                          -       -        -       -             750         3,848                                   12
    CHNS     CHED         CRC             ZVOC0006                 -                     A                                         1L2570                       (HE) FD Computing                               HEFCE           Fee Income                          -       -        -       -            2,070        5,745                               -
    CHNS     CHED         CRC             10024463               1.12                    A                                         1L2872                       Certificate in Counselling Skills L3            LSC FE          LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851    700             -                                                  20
    CHEF     CHED         CRC             ZVOC0010                                       A                                         1L1264                       HEFC: Toolbox A                                 Choose from list Auto update                        -       -        -                                                  -      -               31            2
    CHEF     CHED         CRC             ZVOC0010                                       A                                         1L1290                       HEFC: Toolbox B                                 Choose from list Auto update                        -       -        -                                                  -      -               31            2
    CWHS     CWFD         AWDM            10047931                                       A                                         1L9067                       NVQ in Health & Social Care Level 3             NVQs            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851     688                                        -      -           -             -
    CWBI     CWFD         OS              10057006               1.30                    A                                         2L2704                       Management NVQ Level 3 EDI                      NVQs            LSC             2,860   2,775     3,009   3,219    1,851     197                                        -      -           -                 1
ONLY ADD LINES ABOVE THIS PINK LINE
                                                                                                                                                                CURRICULUM AREA TOTAL                                                                                                                                               -         100        192             53
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Appendix IV

                                                                          AN EXTRACT FROM AN ENGLISH FURTHER EDUCATION SECTOR COLLEGES CURRICULUM PLANNING SPREADSHEET




                                                                 17.25                                                                                                                                                    LSC income                                   Fee Generation




                                                                                                                                                                  Total Contact Hours (Lecturer
                                                                                                                                External & Internal Verifiers &
                                      SLN Factor for main
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Total




                                                                group size
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             19+




                                                                             Intended Staff GLH main
                                        course inc all                                                                                                                                                                                  19+ Co-                                                                Total Income by Age Group




                                                                Average
                                                                                                                                                                                                             16 - 18       Remitted                                 All other                                                                     Income
                                         Additionality                                                                                                                                                                                  funded




                                                                                                                                Classroom support
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Fee




                                                                                                           Intended Staff GLH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     course
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        19+ LSC




                                                                →




                                                                                                                                                                  and supervised)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fees       All other    All 14 - 16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Co-funded
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    charged      income        income




                                                                                                           additionslity
                                                                                                                                                                                                            All course All course All course            Fees £
                           16 - 18                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  direct to
Main Qualification                                                                                                                                                                                         income inc income inc income inc
                         additional    16-18       19+                                                                                                                                                                                                              students                                 14 - 16      16-18       19+           £




                                                                 Groups




                                                                             course
      GLH                                                                                                                                                                                                  additionalit additionalit additionalit




                                                                 No. of
                          ity GLH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 y           y            y

                                                                        20       3,005                               -                          -                          3,005                               38,652        39,089      88,826           38,690        9,000      51,801            -            -       38,652     227,406      266,058

                    45                         -          -         1                               45                   -                                                                            45            -             -           -               -            -          3,375              -            -        -        3,375           3,375
                    30                         -          -         1                               30                   -                                                                            30            -             -           -               -            -          2,250              -            -        -        2,250           2,250
                520             -          1.16          1.16       0                           -                        -                                                                        -                 -             -         2,139            688           -            -                -            -        -        2,827           2,827
                520             -          1.16          1.16       0                           -                        -                                                                        -                 -             -         4,278           1,376          -            -                -            -        -        5,654           5,654
                    17          -          0.04          0.04                                   -                        -                                                                        -                 -             -          280             786           -            -                -            -        -        1,066           1,066
                140             -          0.31          0.31       1                         140                        -                                                                  140                     -             -          576             688           -            -                -            -        -        1,264           1,264
                520             -          1.16          1.16       1                         520                        -                                                                  520                   3,477           -        27,805          17,717          -            -                -            -      3,477     45,522        48,999
                455             -          1.01          1.01       1                         455                        -                                                                  455                   3,042           -        22,458          16,354          -            -                -            -      3,042     38,812        41,854
                    30                     0.07          0.07       1                               30                   -                                                                            30          1,805         1,931         -               -            -            -                -            -      1,805      1,931           3,737
                    10                     0.02          0.02       1                               10                   -                                                                            10            -            429          -               -            -            -                -            -        -            429          429
                113             -          0.25          0.25       1                         113                        -                                                                  113                     -           7,243        463             295           -            -                -            -        -        8,000           8,000
                                               -          -                                     -                        -                                                                        -                 -             -           -               -            -            -                -            -        -            -             -
                225             -          0.50          0.50       1                         225                        -                                                                  225                     -          12,876        925             590           -            -                -            -        -       14,391        14,391
                    36                     0.08          0.08       1                               36                   -                                                                            36           963           773         444              -            -            -                -            -       963       1,217           2,180
                 36                        0.08          0.08       1                              36                    -                                                                        36              5,536          -            -               -            -            -                -            -      5,536          -           5,536
                 18                        0.04          0.04       1                              18                    -                                                                        18                963          386          -               -            -            -                -            -        963          386         1,349
                143             -          0.32          0.32       1                         143                        -                                                                  143                  22,866           -          586              -            -            -                -            -     22,866          586      23,452
                                -              -          -                                     -                        -                                                                        -                 -             -           -               -            -            -                -            -        -            -             -
                -               -              -          -                                     -                        -                                                                        -                 -             -           -               -            -            -                -            -        -            -             -
                779             -          1.73          1.73       1                         779                        -                                                                  779                     -             -        28,837             -            -            -                -            -        -       28,837        28,837
                    61          -              -          -         1                               61                   -                                                                            61            -             -           -               -          9,000       46,176              -            -        -       55,176        55,176
                248             -              -          -         1                         248                        -                                                                  248                     -             -           -               -            -            -                -            -        -            -             -
                108             -          0.24          0.24       1                         108                        -                                                                  108                     -          15,451         -               -            -            -                -            -        -       15,451        15,451
                -               -              -          -         1                           -                        -                                                                        -                 -             -           -               -            -            -                -            -        -            -             -
                -               -              -          -         1                           -                        -                                                                        -                 -             -           -               -            -            -                -            -        -            -             -
                125             -          0.28          0.28       0                           -                        -                                                                        -                 -             -           -               -            -            -                -            -        -            -             -
                    9           -          0.02          0.02       1                                  9                 -                                                                            9             -             -               35         197           -            -                -            -        -            232          232


                                                                        20       3,005                               -                          -                          3,005                               38,652        39,089      88,826           38,690        9,000      51,801            -            -       38,652     227,406      266,058
                             MCA Cooper Associates


Appendix



V      Pivot Table Extract




BMC Efficiency Review
                                                                                                                                                                                        Appendix V



                                              AN EXAMPLE OF PIVOT TABLE ANALYSIS OF TEACHING AND STUDENT HOURS RETAINED IN THE DATABASE



                            F                            K        L       M         N     O         P         Q          R          S          T          U         V          W           AH
                        Course Title                   Length    Units   FESR     Weekly No of   Duration   Actual     Actual    Notional   Notional    Total    Eligible   Total FLU     Guided
                                                                          Yr      Hours Weeks               Course    Student    Course     Student    Student    FLU        Hours       Learning
                                                                                                            Hours       Hrs       Hours       Hrs       Hours    Hours                    Hours
  1
9945                                                            1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5     592.50          0          0       593        593        593                0
14007                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   1       17    34        603    3125.5     142.00          0          0       142          0          0                0
15769                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5     590.25          0          0       590        590        590                0
16426                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5     592.50          0          0       593        593        593                0
23578                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5     589.50          0          0       590        590        590                0
25413                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5      51.00          0          0        51          0          0                0
26801                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5     592.50          0          0       593        593        593                0
28828                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5     592.50          0          0       593        593        593                0
28930                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5     589.50          0          0       590        590        590                0
29748                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5        -            0          0         0          0          0                0
31351                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5     596.50          0          0       597        597        597                0
32963                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   0       17    34        603    3125.5     592.50          0          0       593        593        593                0
35992                                                           1
        Certificate In Foundation Studies(Teaching(Primary & Secondary) 4
                                                                        QUB   1       17    34        603    3125.5     195.25          0          0       195        195        195                0
                          MCA Cooper Associates


Appendix



VI     Job descriptions




BMC Efficiency Review
                                                                         Appendix VI




                           DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Belfast                 CURRICULUM PROGRAMMES
Metropolitan                     JOB DESCRIPTION
College


                  DIRECTOR & CHIEF EXECUTIVE
RESPONSIBLE TO:

                  As a member of Belfast Metropolitan College’s Directorate,
SUMMARY OF        the post holder will be responsible for identifying,
POST:             establishing and articulating the vision for the strategic area
                  of Curriculum Delivery. This role will be accomplished
                  through effectively managing significant and key strategic
                  responsibilities, to ensure that Belfast Metropolitan College’s
                  corporate aims and objectives are achieved. The post holder
                  will also act as ambassador for Belfast Metropolitan College
                  in external representations/ partnerships in order to extend
                  the sphere of influence. The post holder will also hold
                  responsibility for the strategic leadership and management
                  of a number of Heads of Department.
Salary Grade

DIRECTORATE
                  [G2, Scale 23]
RESPONSIBILITES

                     To make a major contribution as part of the Directorate to
                     the development, implementation and review of strategic
                     policies and strategic planning.

                     As a member of the Directorate assist in the preparation
                     of the Corporate Plan, the associated Strategic and
                     Operational Plans and the Annual Report.

                     To liaise closely with the other Deputy Directors in
                     relation to the development, implementation and review
                     of an effective curriculum policy and services in support
                     of the Curriculum and to ensure financial procedures and
                                                                           Appendix VI




                       budgets fully    support    the   area   of   Curriculum
                       Programmes.

                       To strategically develop, implement and regularly review
                       policies in accordance with the Corporate Plan.

                       To assist the Director and Chief Executive in supporting
                       the functions and responsibilities of the Governing Body.

                       To deputise for and or represent the Director and Chief
                       Executive as required.

                       To act as an ambassador and represent Belfast
                       Metropolitan College at community, regional, national
                       and international levels and to promote strategic
                       collaboration with local economic and social partners.

                       As a member of the Directorate ensure collaboration,
                       promote co-operation and inspire trust.

KEY STRATEGIC      The Deputy Director will be responsible for ensuring the
                   effective and efficient strategic and operational management
RESPONSIBILITIES   of the area of Curriculum Programmes in order to realise the
FOR CURRICULUM     vision, mission and objectives of Belfast Metropolitan
PROGRAMMES         College. In addition the post holder will establish and review
                   systems of internal control through a process of risk
                   management and audit.

                   The Deputy Director will be strategically responsible for the
                   following:

                   •   The ongoing review of Belfast Metropolitan College's
                       curriculum provision.

                   •   The development of the articulation of Belfast
                       Metropolitan College’s provision with schools and
                       universities.

                   •   The implementation of systems which ensure the high
                       quality of Belfast Metropolitan College's curriculum.

                   •   The processes which develop and implement innovation
                       in the delivery of the curriculum.

                   •   The implementation of policies within Departments and
                       Centres.
                                                                         Appendix VI




LEADERSHIP AND The Deputy Director will assume responsibility for the
STRATEGIC  LINE strategic line management of a number of Heads of
MANAGEMENT      Department and the staff.

                     1. To develop and lead high performance teams to ensure
                        the efficient realisation of the Corporate Plan and
                        operational policies and objectives.

                     2. To ensure that the responsibilities of management are
                        defined   clearly,     delegated     appropriately and
                        implemented efficiently and effectively.

                     3. To regularly review the organisational structure of
                        Curriculum Programmes to ensure that all employees are
                        effectively and efficiently deployed.

                     4. To ensure that communication is effective within areas of
                        responsibility and in all areas of liaison within Belfast
                        Metropolitan College.

                     5. To establish, implement and monitor targets and
                        objectives.

                     6. To ensure there is a commitment to excellence in
                        performance and management.


                     Note:No job description can cover every issue
                          which may arise within this post at various
                          times and the postholder is expected to carry
                          out other duties which are broadly consistent
                          with those contained in this document.

February 2007
                                                                        Appendix VIa




Belfast                       DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Metropolitan                CURRICULUM SERVICES
College
                                 JOB DESCRIPTION


                  DIRECTOR & CHIEF EXECUTIVE
RESPONSIBLE TO:

                  As a member of Belfast Metropolitan College’s Directorate,
SUMMARY OF        the post holder will be responsible for identifying,
POST:             establishing and articulating the vision for the strategic area
                  of Curriculum Services. This role will be accomplished
                  through effectively managing significant and key strategic
                  responsibilities, to ensure that Belfast Metropolitan College’s
                  corporate aims and objectives are achieved. The post holder
                  will also act as ambassador for Belfast Metropolitan College
                  in external representations/ partnerships in order to extend
                  the sphere of influence. The post holder will also hold
                  responsibility for the strategic leadership and management
                  of a number of Heads of Department.



Salary Grade      [G2, Scale 23]

DIRECTORATE          To make a major contribution as part of the Directorate to
RESPONSIBILITES      the development, implementation and review of strategic
                     policies and strategic planning.

                     As a member of the Directorate assist in the preparation
                     of the Corporate Plan, the associated Strategic and
                     Operational Plans and the Annual Report.

                     To liaise closely with the other Deputy Directors in
                     relations to the development, implementation and review
                     of an effective curriculum policy and services in support
                     of the curriculum and to ensure that financial procedures
                     and budgets fully support the area of Curriculum
                                                                        Appendix VIa




                       Services.

                       To strategically develop, implement and regularly review
                       policies in accordance with the Corporate Plan.

                       To assist the Director and Chief Executive in supporting
                       the functions and responsibilities of the Governing Body.

                       To deputise for and or represent the Director and Chief
                       Executive as required.

                       To act as an ambassador and represent Belfast
                       Metropolitan College at community, regional, national
                       and international levels and to promote strategic
                       collaboration with local economic and social partners.

                       As a member of the Directorate ensure collaboration,
                       promote co-operation and inspire trust.


KEY STRATEGIC
RESPONSIBILITIES   The Deputy Director will be responsible for ensuring the
FOR CURRICULUM     effective and efficient strategic and operational management
SERVICES           of the area of Curriculum Services in order to realise the
                   vision, mission and objectives of Belfast Metropolitan
                   College. In addition the post holder will establish and review
                   systems of internal control through a process of risk
                   management and audit.

                   The Deputy Director will be strategically responsible for the
                   following:

                   •   The ongoing review of Belfast Metropolitan College’s
                       curriculum development’

                   •   The Quality Improvement service for the Curriculum
                       including the devising and implementation of a
                       curriculum led staff development plan.

                   •   The initiatives which ensure the relevance of Belfast
                       Metropolitan College’s curriculum to the needs of
                       industry and the communities served by the Institute.

                   •   To lead Belfast Metropolitan College’s relationship with
                       outside agencies such as the Education and Training
                       Inspectorate (ETI) and awarding bodies and to ensure
                                                                           Appendix VIa




                          compliance with external quality standards.

                     •    The ongoing delivery and review of Community
                          Provision.

                     •    To lead any special curriculum projects that may arise.

                     •    The implementation of policies within Departments and
                          Centres.

LEADERSHIP AND The Deputy Director will assume responsibility for the
STRATEGIC  LINE strategic line management of a number of Heads of
MANAGEMENT      Department and the staff.

                     1. To develop and lead high performance teams to ensure
                        the efficient realisation of the Corporate Plan and
                        operational policies and objectives.

                     2. To ensure that the responsibilities of management are
                        defined   clearly,     delegated     appropriately and
                        implemented efficiently and effectively.

                     3. To regularly review the organisational structure of
                        Curriculum Services to ensure that all employees are
                        effectively and efficiently deployed.

                     4. To ensure that communication is effective within areas of
                        responsibility and in all areas of liaison within Belfast
                        Metropolitan College.

                     5. To establish, implement and monitor targets and
                        objectives.

                     6. To ensure there is a commitment to excellence in
                        performance and management.


                          Note:No job description can cover every issue
                         which may arise within this post at various times
                         and the postholder is expected to carry out other
                          duties which are broadly consistent with those
                                   contained in this document.
February 2007
                                                                        Appendix VIb




Belfast                         DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Metropolitan                   LEARNER SERVICES
College
                                 JOB DESCRIPTION


                  DIRECTOR & CHIEF EXECUTIVE
RESPONSIBLE TO:

                  As a member of Belfast Metropolitan College’s Directorate,
SUMMARY OF        the post holder will be responsible for identifying,
POST:             establishing and articulating the vision for the strategic area
                  of Learner Services. This role will be accomplished through
                  effectively managing significant and key strategic
                  responsibilities, to ensure that Belfast Metropolitan College’s
                  corporate aims and objectives are achieved. The post holder
                  will also act as ambassador for Belfast Metropolitan College
                  in external representations/ partnerships in order to extend
                  the sphere of influence. The post holder will also hold
                  responsibility for the strategic leadership and management
                  of a number of Heads of Department.


Salary Grade      Subject to approval, G2, Scale 23
                     To make a major contribution as part of the Directorate to
DIRECTORATE          the development, implementation and review of strategic
RESPONSIBILITES      policies and strategic planning.

                     As a member of the Directorate assist in the preparation
                     of the Corporate Plan, the associated Strategic and
                     Operational Plans and the Annual Report.

                     To liaise closely with the other Deputy Directors in
                     relations to the development, implementation and review
                     of an effective curriculum policy and services in support
                     of the curriculum and to ensure that financial procedures
                     and budgets fully support the area of Learner Services.

                     To strategically develop, implement and regularly review
                     policies in accordance with the Corporate Plan.
                                                                         Appendix VIb




                       To assist the Director and Chief Executive in supporting
                       the functions and responsibilities of the Governing Body.

                       To deputise for and or represent the Director and Chief
                       Executive as required.

                       To act as an ambassador and represent Belfast
                       Metropolitan College at community, regional, national
                       and international levels and to promote strategic
                       collaboration with local economic and social partners.

                       As a member of the Directorate ensure collaboration,
                       promote co-operation and inspire trust.




KEY STRATEGIC      The Deputy Director will be responsible for ensuring the
RESPONSIBILITIES   effective and efficient strategic and operational management
FOR LEARNER        of the area of Learner Services in order to realise the vision,
SERVICES           mission and objectives of Belfast Metropolitan College. In
                   addition the post holder will establish and review systems of
                   internal control through a process of risk management and
                   audit.

                   The Deputy Director will be strategically responsible for the
                   following:

                   •   The area of Learning & Teaching Resources

                   •   The area of Customer & Admission Services

                   •   The area of Student Services

                   •   To area of Estates and Facilities Management Services
                       in all relevant areas

                   •   To lead the implementation of policies within
                       Departments and Centres.
                                                                        Appendix VIb




LEADERSHIP AND The Deputy Director will assume responsibility for the
STRATEGIC  LINE strategic line management of a number of Heads of
                Department and the staff.
MANAGEMENT
                     1. To develop and lead high performance teams to ensure
                        the efficient realisation of the Corporate Plan and
                        operational policies and objectives.

                     2. To ensure that the responsibilities of management are
                        defined   clearly,     delegated     appropriately and
                        implemented efficiently and effectively.

                     3. To regularly review the organisational structure of
                        Learner Services to ensure that all employees are
                        effectively and efficiently deployed.

                     4. To ensure that communication is effective within areas of
                        responsibility and in all areas of liaison within Belfast
                        Metropolitan College.

                     5. To establish, implement and monitor targets and
                        objectives.

                     6. To ensure there is a commitment to excellence in
                        performance and management.


                        Note:No job description can cover every issue
                       which may arise within this post at various times
                       and the postholder is expected to carry out other
                        duties which are broadly consistent with those
                                 contained in this document.
February 2007
                                                                        Appendix VIc




                                DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Belfast                        BUSINESS SERVICES
Metropolitan
College
                                 JOB DESCRIPTION


RESPONSIBLE TO:
                  DIRECTOR &CHIEF EXECUTIVE

SUMMARY OF        As a member of Belfast Metropolitan College’s Directorate,
                  the post holder will be responsible for identifying,
POST:             establishing and articulating the vision for the strategic area
                  of Business Services. This role will be accomplished
                  through effectively managing significant and key strategic
                  responsibilities to ensure that Belfast Metropolitan College’s
                  corporate aims and objectives are achieved. The post holder
                  will also act as ambassador for Belfast Metropolitan College
                  in external representations/ partnerships in order to extend
                  the sphere of influence. The post holder will also hold
                  responsibility for the strategic leadership and management
                  of a number of Heads of Departments.
Salary Grade
                  Subject to approval, G2, Scale 23

DIRECTORATE
                     To make a major contribution as part of the Directorate to
RESPONSIBILITES      the development, implementation and review of strategic
                     policies and strategic planning.

                     As a member of the Directorate assist in the preparation
                     of the Corporate Plan, the associated Strategic and
                     Operational Plans and the Annual Report.

                     To liaise closely with the other Deputy Directors to
                     ensure that area of Business Services fully supports the
                     areas of Curriculum Programmes, Curriculum Services
                     and Learner Services.

                     To strategically develop, implement and regularly review
                                                                        Appendix VIc




                      policies in accordance with the Corporate Plan.

                      To assist the Director and Chief Executive in supporting
                      the functions and responsibilities of the Governing Body.

                      To deputise for and or represent the Director and Chief
                      Executive as required.

                      To act as an ambassador and represent Belfast
                      Metropolitan College at community, regional, national
                      and international levels and to promote strategic
                      collaboration with local economic and social partners.

                      As a member of the Directorate ensure collaboration,
                      promote co-operation and inspire trust.

KEY STRATEGIC
RESPONSIBILITIES   The Deputy Director will be responsible for ensuring the
                   effective and efficient strategic and operational management
FOR BUSINESS       for the area of Business Services in order to realise the
SERVICES:          vision, mission and objectives of Belfast Metropolitan
                   College. In addition the post holder will establish and review
                   systems of internal control through a process of risk
                   management and audit.

                   The Deputy Director will be strategically responsible for the
                   following:

                      The Financial Services provision of Belfast Metropolitan
                      College.

                      The functional area of Corporate Administration and
                      ensure effective delivery of the same

                      The area of Human Resource Development.

                      The area of Business and Systems Processes, to ensure
                      that Belfast Metropolitan College’s strategic aims are
                      underpinned by applications, processes and systems
                      which operate at optimum effectiveness and efficiency.

                      To lead Business Services in the delivery of change
                      management innovation programmes.



LEADERSHIP AND
                                                                        Appendix VIc




STRATEGIC  LINE The Deputy Director will assume responsibility for the
MANAGEMENT      strategic line management of a number of Heads of
                     Department and the staff.


                     1. To develop and lead high performance teams to ensure
                        the efficient realisation of the Corporate Plan and
                        operational policies and objectives.

                     2. To ensure that the responsibilities of management are
                        defined   clearly,     delegated     appropriately and
                        implemented efficiently and effectively.

                     3. To regularly review the organisational structure of
                        Business Services to ensure that all employees are
                        effectively and efficiently deployed.

                     4. To ensure that communication is effective within areas of
                        responsibility and in all areas of liaison within Belfast
                        Metropolitan College.

                     5. To establish, implement and monitor targets and
                        objectives.

                     6. To ensure there is a commitment to excellence in
                        performance and management.




                        Note:No job description can cover every issue
                       which may arise within this post at various times
                       and the postholder is expected to carry out other
                        duties which are broadly consistent with those
                                 contained in this document.


February 2007
         VId
Appendix VIe
Appendix VIe
                                         MCA Cooper Associates


Appendix



VII        List of Meetings with Staff




BMC Efficiency Review
                                MCA Cooper Associates




Appendix



VIII       Terms of Reference




BMC Efficiency Review
                                                                                         Appendix VIII



Terms of Reference
The Review must:
   •   Examine the management and operations of Belfast Metropolitan College
       (including Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education and Castlereagh
       College);
   •   Establish the exact financial position of the College;
   •   Identify the causes of the current and projected deficits;
   •   Review the adequacy and effectiveness of all financial controls in place and
       identify any inadequacies, including the reasons for any failures in the current
       arrangements, taking into account KPMG report findings;
   •   Review staffing levels (part time and full time academic staff and other
       support staff) in light of student enrolments, curriculum provision and demand
       from local business and the community;
   •   Review the adequacy and effectiveness of the college estate strategy;
   •   Review the arrangements in place to ensure congruency between corporate
       planning, curriculum planning, estate planning and financial planning;
   •   Investigate the adequacy of the College’s Management Information System;
   •   Review the adequacy of the College’s audit procedures as prescribed by the
       Financial Memorandum;
   •   Review the adequacy and effectiveness of the College’s governance and
       accountability arrangements;
   •   Consider the performance of the organisation, including the Senior
       Management Team*, in fulfilling their individual responsibilities with regard
       to ensuring the efficient financial management of the College;
   •   Clarify the College’s relationship with its primary stakeholder and funder, the
       Department; and
   •   Include, within the scope of the review, any other issues identified by the
       Steering Group, comprising DEL and College representatives, that will
       oversee the review.
                                                                                         Appendix VIII



Outcomes
The review team should make recommendations which will improve the College’s
economy and efficiency and the effectiveness of its management and operations. In
particular, the recommendations must focus on:
       Making improvements in the economy and efficiency of the operation and
       management of the College that are necessary to eliminate current and future
       deficits and restore it to sound financial health within a reasonable period of
       time;
       Ensuring governance and accountability arrangements are in line with
       requirements;
       Ensuring sound financial and operational control systems and procedures are
       established and maintained within the College; and
       The capacity of the organisation, including the Senior Management Team* to
       address the issues set out in the review.
* - the Senior Management Team comprises the Director and Deputy Directors.
                        MCA Cooper Associates




BMC Efficiency Review

				
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