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Operation of the Committee for Chairs & Readerships: Principles and Protocol

(Appendix 3)

In the conduct of its business the Committee for Chairs and Readerships (CCR) observes the principles established by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, namely

  • - Selflessness
  • - Integrity
  • - Objectivity
  • - Accountability
  • - Openness
  • - Honesty
  • - Leadership

The role of members of the CCR is to receive information and recommendations from Faculties, assess and make a decision on the merits of individual cases, with reference to the Promotions Criteria (HR/854), in a fair and consistent manner.

Inevitably, there are times when members of the Committee have either a particular interest in or knowledge of the work of some candidates. This situation could in some instances constitute a conflict of interest and could create an advantage (or disadvantage) for the candidate under consideration. Because of the wide variety of circumstances from which this kind of situation could stem, no attempt has been made to develop a definition. Suffice to say that the connection could be professional or personal and that the degree of interest could range from significant to trivial. Common sense will indicate when an interest is sufficient to merit declaration.

In order to avoid actual unfairness or the perception of unfairness, the Committee has adopted the protocol described in the following paragraph.

Protocol

At each meeting the Chair will remind members of the protocol to be observed.

Unless otherwise stated, discussions within and all papers seen by the Committee relating to individual cases, are confidential to the Committee. It is practice for decisions to be embargoed until a date approved by the Chair.

Members must declare a conflict of interest before discussion of any case in which they have an interest. Members who are referees for or in the same Department as the candidate must draw this particular information to the attention of the Committee.

Members of the Committee will have different levels of familiarity with the cases under consideration; so as to avoid the possibility of advantaging one candidate above another, members will not act as advocate for a case.

The Committee Secretary will be normally be responsible for seeking information and clarification on matters identified by the Committee. The Committee will, where appropriate, give feedback and career guidance to candidates through a member nominated by it.

It is possible that a member of the Committee may have information not included in the case papers, which can cast extra light upon the submission. This is regarded as legitimate and desirable, however the Committee shall bear in mind the possible advantage/disadvantage this confers upon a candidate, when weighing all the evidence before it.

The Chair and members of the Committee have a responsibility to challenge matters which they deem inappropriate.

The decision of the Committee is a collective one. In a truly exceptional case, the Committee may find itself unable, despite the best efforts of the Chair, to reach a unanimous decision. Members may then register dissenting opinions. However each member of the Committee is bound by the Committee’s decision and by the rules of confidentiality.

Whilst this protocol was developed for the Central CCR it is intended that the spirit of the document should also inform the operation of each Faculty CCR.

(David Owen)
Review Date Sept 2014

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