The Audit Process - Universities UK

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					Management of Student Housing
     The Audit Approach
      UUK/Guild HE Annual Meeting
•   Introduction                      •   Scoring system/use of results

•   Internal Audit                    •   Overall Impressions – to date

•   Management of Student Housing     •   Areas of good practice
    and Internal Audit                    identified

•   Principal Audit Objectives        •   Areas for improvement

•   Documents provided by UUK/Guild   •   Going Forward
                                      •   Comments on the Code
•   Detailed Audit Objectives
                                      •   Conclusions and questions
•   Methodology

Richard Bott
• Bristol based, London born. Fellow of the ICAEW and member of the
   HEFCE audit liaison group.
• Internal audit partner for 6 HE institutions and two Colleges
• External audit partner for 3 HE institutions
• The Chair of the firm’s National Education Focus Group.

Laura Hallez
• Internal Audit Manager – South Coast
• Already completed two reviews
Introduction - Mazars

•   10th largest audit firm in the UK. 111 partners and over 1100 staff in 18 offices
•   Unique international partnership in over 55 countries worldwide
•   Higher education
     –   Internal audit
     –   External audit
     –   Risk management services
     –   Grant audits
     –   Taxation
     –   Human resources
     –   Marketing and branding
•    Further education
•    Other education related bodies
•    Schools
Internal Audit

• The IIA definition of Internal Audit is:

    “Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting
    activity designed to add value and improve an organisation's operations.
    It helps an organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing a
    systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the
    effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.”

•   Necessary evil
•   Here to help, not hinder
•   Adequacy and effectiveness of systems and controls
•   Informed by risk
Management of Student Housing
and internal audit
•   Housing Act 2004

     – Act introduced system of licensing for multiple occupancy houses
     – HE/FE managed or controlled establishments may be excepted provided managed in
       conformity with approved code of practice

•   Hence, the UUK/Guild HE Code of Practice

•   Requires that internal audit include the establishment’s management of its
    student accommodation in relation to the Code within audit scope

•   A full audit every 3 years, lighter touch in between

•   Results reported annually to Audit Committee and UUK/Guild HE
Audit Objectives

• Two principal audit objectives. To assess whether:

   – The University is in compliance with the mandatory elements of the

   – The University follows good management practice in respect of its
     student housing, in accordance with the aspirational elements of the

   Enshrined in 7 detailed objectives
Documents provided by
UUK/Guild HE
•   Terms of reference
     – Useful guide
     – Scoring system

•   Auditor Checklist
     – Clear link between the Code and the checklist
     – 100 questions, but they are only guidance
     – Difficult to establish the mandatory and aspirational elements from the
Detailed Audit Objectives
Detailed Objective               Description
The institution’s student        Auditors must consider arrangements to ensure the Institution’s
accommodation meets              student accommodation and its contents is compliant with
relevant health and safety       relevant health and safety standards and procedures.
standards and procedures.
                                 Auditors will perform compliance testing to confirm the
                                 effectiveness of the controls in place.
The institution maintains        Auditor's will consider arrangements for the maintenance of and
and repairs student              repair to student accommodation. They will review arrangements
accommodation to an              for monitoring the condition of assets and perform compliance
appropriate standard.            testing to confirm the effectiveness of the controls in place.
The institution fulfils its      Auditors will consider how the institution reviews whether
environmental responsibilities   environmental responsibilities in respect of student
in respect of student            accommodation are fulfilled and perform compliance testing to
accommodation.                   confirm the effectiveness of the controls in place.
Student accommodation not        Auditors will review the agreements the institution has with the
directly managed and             landlords of those student residences which are not directly
controlled by the institution    managed and controlled by the College.
are operated in accordance       They will consider and compliance check the institutions
with relevant statutory          processes to confirm that statutory requirements are complied
requirements                     with.
Detailed Audit Objectives (contd)
Detailed Objective                Description

The institution has               Auditors will review how the institution informs students of
established and properly          their responsibilities as tenants and consider through
discharged contractual            compliance testing whether contractual responsibilities have
responsibilities as a landlord.   been properly discharged.

Support services for students     Auditors will review the support services that can be
in the institutions registered    accessed by students and consider the adequacy of the
accommodation are in line         arrangements in place to provide these where needed.
with the CoP
Anti-social behaviour and         We will review the institutions' policy with regard to
disciplinary problems at the      student behaviour, and gain an understanding of processes
establishment(s) are fully        in place to communicate this to the student body.
                                  Through discussion with key officers auditors will ascertain
                                  whether issues have arisen in this area and understand the
                                  process with which these were dealt.

• Draft auditor checklist
• Sample based on campus location(s) and size
• Interviews with accommodation office staff, residence managers,
  student representatives
• Examination of documents, e.g.
    – Fire safety assessments
    – Terms of Residency
• Examination of residences, e.g.
    – Window stops
    – Adequate signage
• Clearance with relevant institutional contact
• Report to University (Audit Committee)
• University report to UUK
Scoring System/Use of results

• Requirement included in draft terms of reference issued by UUK/Guild
  HE, but
• Yet to be developed
• Scoring system:
    – Balanced Scorecard approach?
    – Prioritise between must have/aspirational elements (e.g. emergency
      procedures vs snow and ice clearance timetable)
    – Different levels of compliance – say 0 to 3
• Database of notable practice
• Quality assurance process essential to enable comparison
• Assist universities and auditors in their assessments
Overall Impressions – to date

• 5 completed to date

• Good awareness of requirements

• Good preparation by University staff

• Responsive to recommendations

• Willing to change policies as a result of the code and the audit
  (Transport Plans, Health Emergency Procedure Plans)

• Full compliance/mandatory compliance
Areas of good practice identified

• Detailed self-assessments
• Ensuring compliance of residences not directly controlled by institution:
    – Completing a self-assessment in conjunction with the management company
    – Retaining copies of fire safety assessments and other vital documents held
      by the management company
    – Up to date checklist detailing all relevant documents held by the
      management company and their location
    – Quarterly meetings with the management company to monitor compliance
      with the code.
• Good environmental policies in place for recycling and transport
Areas for improvement

•   User instructions for electrical appliances supplied by the University

•   Recycling initiatives where the local authority does not provide a free

•   Snow and ice clearance policies

•   Complaints procedure and referral to UUK Code Management

•   Ensuring all residences that are required to be signed up to the code
    are monitored effectively
Going Forward

• Audit can take between 4 to 8 days

• Total time depends on scope, size etc

• Not a mere box ticking process

• Prior preparation vital

    – Complete a self-assessment of compliance for all residences
    – Have a file prepared of all supporting evidence
    – Ensure management companies are aware of code and audit process
Comments on the Code

• Student complaints and the UUK Code Management Committee –
  reporting line not clear

• Clarification in the code of mandatory elements

• Non-mandatory or aspirational – any difference?

• Reporting instances of non-mandatory non-compliance. Is this a breach
  of the code?

• Notifiable diseases – what are they

• Annual or tri-annual audit?
Conclusions and questions

• Code is a detailed document providing adequate guidance (just needs
  clarification in places)

• Documents provided by UUK CoP have bee useful

• Universities have been proactive in implementing the code

• A rational approach to audit

• Several areas of good practice identified

• Good response to audit from Universities
Conclusions and questions

Over to you……

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