AMOSSHE business engagement policy

This policy has been created to act as a guide to enable AMOSSHE Executive members and staff to engagement with external companies, organisations and interested parties when discussing exchange of services or information that might have a monetary value or reputational risk. The purpose of this policy is to enable Executive members and AMOSSHE staff to take advantage of any reasonable opportunities that may arise, without the need to revert back to the Executive Committee for approval in every such case.

This policy is a guide only, and should be used to determine any potential objections that AMOSSHE members may have to working in collaboration with, or promoting, any such companies or organisations. After working through this policy, if there are any doubts about such a relationship, the Executive Committee will make a final majority decision.

Guiding questions for assessing engagement opportunities

When assessing engagement opportunities, AMOSSHE will consider these guiding questions:

  • Is there a benefit to the members of AMOSSHE, either direct or indirect, through this engagement? For example, will our working with an organisation increase the expertise or efficiency of AMOSSHE members in higher education, and is it consistent with AMOSSHE's values?
  • Is there a reasonable balance of benefits (with regard to the work undertaken by AMOSSHE compared to the benefit received)?
  • Is there a risk to AMOSSHE's reputation, or those of other affiliates or interested parties, by moving forward with this engagement opportunity?
  • Are there any current or future political / resource issues that need to be considered before taking up this opportunity?

Parameters of external relationships

As relationships develop and information is passed on to members, AMOSSHE needs to be clear about the nature of its business relationships with external partners. The statements below give a guide to the parameters of these relationships. However, due consideration needs to be given to every situation.

Parameters:

  • AMOSSHE will not directly endorse any product or service. Partners may advertise their services through AMOSSHE in accordance with an agreement that both parties have signed.
  • AMOSSHE can work with external partners / providers on specific areas. This work will not be on an exclusive basis, and AMOSSHE may invite other similar organisations to receive similar feedback or work with us in a similar way.
  • If a partner organisation has reported ethical, moral or business issues that would harm the reputation of AMOSSHE or its members, AMOSSHE will not enter into an agreement with them. This does not stop AMOSSHE from trying to positively influence the work of said organisations, but AMOSSHE would not be able to advertise or promote their services through traditional methods (for example newsletters, logos on the website).
  • If the actions of any organisation AMOSSHE works with are brought into disrepute in a way that may harm AMOSSHE’s reputation or that of its members or other partners, AMOSSHE may seek to break any agreements held with that organisation.
  • When assessing reputational harm, AMOSSHE needs to consider the impact on membership numbers, discussions and considerations taking place on mailing lists, and the evidence base used in its decision making. For example, some members may not like an organisation AMOSSHE is working with; however, if AMOSSHE understands these concerns but recognises an organisational benefit of doing so, AMOSSHE would look to progress the conversation. If there is evidence that the said organisation has acted in a way that has harmed individuals or the sector, and this is reported, then AMOSSHE would not seek to work with them.

Conclusion

AMOSSHE is in a unique position to influence the sector and engage with potential sponsor organisations whose expertise or services are utilised by a number of our members. AMOSSHE recognises that some relationships may be more challenging that others to some of our members, and this policy aims to clarify the process that will be employed when considering requests for sponsorship and partnership working.

If any member has a concern about any sponsor or relationship AMOSSHE has, they should bring this to the attention of the Executive Director and Vice Chair (Operations) in the first instance. If the concern cannot be resolved formally at this stage, it will be escalated to the Executive Committee to agree a final majority decision. 

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AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is a UK non-profit professional association. Company registration number 4778650.
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