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Audit & Risk Committee: terms of reference


No fewer than 3 and not more than 5 Members comprising:

4 Governors  who are not members of Finance Committee
1 independent member with recent and relevant experience in areas relevant to the Committee's remit, eg finance, accounting, auditing, IT, risk.

Period of Office:

The members of the Committee shall serve for a period of three years, and are eligible for re election.  Membership shall cease on expiry of the member's term of office on the Governing Body.


The Committee will normally meet four times per year.  Additional meetings may be called by the Chair of the Committee as required.


Three members.

Terms of Reference:

1. To investigate any activity within the Committee's terms of reference.  The Committee is authorised to seek any information it requires from any employee, and all employees are directed to co-operate with any request made by the Committee.

2.  To recommend to the Governing Body the appointment of the external auditors and consider and advise the Governing Body on the audit fee, the pre-approval by the Audit & Risk Committee of any non-audit services by the external auditors and any questions of resignation or dismissal of the external auditors.

3. To discuss if necessary with the external auditors, before the audit begins, the nature and scope of the audit.

4. To discuss with the external auditors areas of focus and any significant matters arising from the audit, including a review of the management letter incorporating management responses.

5. To consider and advise the Governing Body on the appointment and terms of engagement of the internal audit service, the audit fee, the provision of any non-audit services by the internal auditors and any questions of resignation or dismissal of the internal auditors.

6. To review the internal auditors' audit risk assessment and strategy and programme, to consider major findings of internal audit investigations and managements' response; and promote co-ordination between the internal and external auditors.  The Committee will make recommendations to the Governing Body to ensure that the resources made available for internal audit are sufficient to meet the University's needs.

7. To monitor the implementation of agreed audit-based recommendations from whatever source.

8. To ensure that all significant losses have been properly investigated and that the internal and external auditors, and where appropriate the Office for Students, have been informed.

9. To oversee the University's policy on fraud and irregularity and public interest disclosure, including being notified of any action taken under these policies.

10. To satisfy itself that satisfactory arrangements are in place to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness (value for money).

11. To receive any relevant reports from the Office for Students and other organisations.

12.  To monitor annually the performance and effectiveness of external and internal auditors including matters affecting their objectivity and to make recommendations to the Governing Body concerning their re-appointment, where appropriate.

13. To agree the University's accounting policies

14. To consider the annual financial statements in the presence of the external auditors, including the auditor's formal opinion, the statement of members' responsibilities and the statement of internal control in accordance with the Office for Students' Accounts Directions and subsequently recommend to the Governing Body*.

15. To keep under review the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance arrangements.  This would include review of the external auditors' management letter, the internal auditors' reports and recommendations and management responses and the internal auditors' annual report.

16. With respect to risk:

  • To consider the Corporate Risk Register and risk map to report to the Governing Body that the executive's assessment of key strategic risks is appropriate and in line with Governing Body's appetite for risk;
  • To report to the Governing Body that controls and plans to mitigate risks are appropriate;
  • To receive presentations on the University's significant strategic risks and their management;
  • To consider new and emerging risks and report on them to the Governing Body;
  • To review annually the University's risk management framework (Statement of Risk Appetite, Risk Management Policy and Risk Management Guidance) and recommend any changes to the Governing Body.

17. To submit an annual report to the Governing Body and the Vice-Chancellor as the Accountable Officer, summarising the activity for the year.  It will give the committee's opinion on the adequacy and effectiveness of the University's arrangements for the following; risk register, control and governance (including the accuracy of the statement of internal control); economy, efficiency and effectiveness (value for money).  The audit and risk committee annual report should normally be submitted to the Governing Body before the members' responsibility statement in the annual financial statements is signed.

18. To review any returns required by the Office for Students in relation to compliance with the Prevent statutory duty and confirm the integrity of institutional quality arrangements prior to recommendation to the Governing Body for approval.

19. To review the University's annual Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for recommendation to the Governing Body for approval.

20. To receive an annual report on the University's expenditure on legal services.

21. To review the effectiveness of the Committee from time to time.

22. To obtain outside legal or other independent professional advice and to secure the attendance of non-members with relevant experience and expertise if it considers this necessary, normally in consultation with the Vice-Chancellor and/or Chair of the Governing Body, within such limits of expenditure as may be specified by the Governing Body. 

All references to the University mean the University of Greenwich and any subsidiary Companies it has formed save regarding the subsidiary companies' financial statements

Approved by the Governing Body: 15 October 2018.