Organisational Change and Development for Professional Services

AHEP’s consultants play a pivotal role in facilitating organisational change within higher education institutions, bringing specialised expertise to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability.

Which areas can our consultants help you with?

Target operating models

Reviews of PS functions: Faculty/School/Departmental, Governance

Development and implementation of strategy

Implementation of AHEP Professional Framework and related development for PS staff and services

Case Studies:

Post 92 University – Administrative Services Review

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We worked with a post-92 university to review the effectiveness of its administrative services, including considering organisational structures, operating model/business processes, Faculty/Central interface, and IT/digital enhancements. Key features included:

Working closely with the university on a comprehensive review design, to suit the institutional context and building on previous improvement work.

Expert input from a small team of AHEP consultants, with a depth of experience in Faculty administration, Registry and Admissions.

Extensive stakeholder consultation, including individual and group meetings – all conducted remotely.

A range of practical recommendations for improvement – immediate enhancements alongside medium/longer term options for the university.

A comprehensive written report including expert analysis and recommendations for change.

“This is a very insightful piece of work and will drive many of the changes that we need to make.”

Buckinghamshire New University – Development Framework for Professional Services Employees

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We worked with Buckinghamshire New University on a development framework for its Professional Services Employees (PSEs), setting out skills and behaviours to underpin recruitment and selection, performance management, and succession planning and talent management processes. Key features included:

Expert consulting input, drawing on AHEP’s strong track record in professional development.

Considerable stakeholder engagement, including a series of focus groups on campus with colleagues across the institution.

A flexible project timeline to suit the University’s requirements, including an interim report to support executive decision-making.

Practical ‘pick-up-and-use’ resources to facilitate effective implementation.

“What really worked well was the consultants flexibility and ability to with with us in understanding our requirements. Also the quick turnaround of work when required.

Meet the Consultants Specialising in Organisational Change and Development for Professional Services:

Sara Corcoran

About Sara

Sara has a public sector HR and Organisational Development background, with 20 years in Higher Education and more than a decade in the NHS. As Director of HR and OD at the University of Suffolk, Sara was a member of the senior executive group and attended the Board, playing a full part in the strategic leadership of the University.

Sara is energised to make the experience of work as good as it can be and she has a strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. Constants throughout her career have been the need to understand the wider stakeholder system, the need to support staff through change and the need to attend to team effectiveness, with a focus on interpersonal skills and communications. Sara holds a Masters in Strategic Training & Development and a Masters in Educational Research. She is a Fellow of the CIPD and Co-Chair of the Organisational Development in Higher Education Network. She is an EMCC accredited Coach.

Sophie Lovejoy

About Sophie

Sophie has worked in the HE sector since 1995, in roles spanning technical, research, teaching, and organisational learning and development. Her time as Director of Organisational Development for the 1994 Group saw her leading collaborative development programmes across 18 universities, and she has since worked across the whole spectrum of UK HEIs. Since leaving the University of Westminster in 2018, Sophie has worked with HE clients to deliver a variety of organisational development activities, including an Athena Swan silver award and a leadership programme for academics.

She is an ILM qualified coach, with a particular interest in working with those who are in early to mid career Professional Services roles, and has extensive experience of developing and facilitating workshops (whether courses or bespoke team interventions, both online and in person). Sophie also convenes the Organisational Development in Higher Education group.

Steve Smith

About Steve

Steve is a former Faculty Director of Operations at the University of Liverpool and has 18 years of senior leadership and management experience in HE following a 17 year career with Unilever. He has extensive experience and expertise in the design, planning, optimisation and management of a full range of professional services support for academics and students. This has incorporated detailed and widespread engagement with University planning processes and financial systems. Having also led a number of university wide projects, he is well positioned to advise on overall operational service design and efficiency, benchmarking, corporate governance processes, committee management and risk management. Steve has recently become a member of the AHEP Board of Trustees.

Vikki Goddard

About Vikki

Vikki Goddard became an independent consultant for the sector recently, having worked in Higher Education for almost thirty years, including as a Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, Director of Strategic Planning, and Director of Faculty Operations. Her last role was as Director of Operations for the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester, having previously held the same role in the Faculty of Humanities. She was responsible for the provision and performance of all Professional Services in the Faculties. Her previous roles include Registrar and COO at the University of Salford, and Director of Planning at the University of Liverpool. She is passionate about enabling people to achieve their potential, and has a particular commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Pete Quinn

About Pete

Pete’s focus is on devising realistic strategic and operational approaches in ever-evolving and challenging circumstances. He does this with people throughout organisations whether this be Senior management, faculty, professional support or student support practitioners as well as outreach and marketing teams. Pete is a certified Coach and Mentor with the Chartered Management Institute.