Bribery and Fraud

Information for academic, administrative and support staff

Bribery and fraud are criminal offences under UK law and under the criminal codes of many other countries. They are activities that divert money and resources towards the personal gain of a few, often to the cost and detriment of the many. Globally they hinder growth of the legitimate economy, and act as a barrier to efficient and effective governance; their presence can also aggravate insecurity and potential conflict.

Within the context of the University’s undertakings, its use of public funds, and objectives for the advancement of learning for the wider benefit, such unethical activities clearly cannot be sanctioned or supported. In addition to ethical concerns, the incidence of bribery or fraud could have wide-reaching and practical implications that directly affect the primary work of departments and research groups.

Anti-Bribery training and case studies

The following PDF provides a very short briefing on UK legislation and the corresponding University policies for all members of staff:

Bribery: essential reading (466kb)

Additional, more specialised guidance is provided for those working in areas that are considered to be higher-risk, and face-to-face training sessions are scheduled as required. 

A number of case studies from different parts of the University are also available.

Anti-Bribery Policy

The University's Anti-Bribery Policy (for all staff and associated persons).

Anti-Fraud Policy

The University's Anti-Fraud Policy (for all staff and associated persons).


In a recent news update, the British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG) noted that ‘over the last few months there have been a number of alerts circulated by BUFDG members about Executive impersonation fraud, whereby a fraudster uses clever email tricks to send an email to the finance department – purporting to be from a university leader (normally a V-C, FD, or similar) – requesting a payment. Enough of these have been doing the rounds (not just in HE) to gain the attention of the Government Internal Audit Agency. It has produced a useful briefing, which provides context, detection and protection tips, and more': A4 briefing on executive impersonation fraud (244kb)

Further information can also be found on the University’s Information Security website.

Reporting suspected cases of bribery or fraud

The procedure for reporting suspected cases of bribery or fraud can be found at the end of both the Anti-Bribery and Anti-Fraud Policies.

The University also has a Public Interest Disclosure (Whistle-blowing) Code of Practice.

Further information


Definitions and interpretations of terms 

For additional information about some of the terms used in the policies, please refer to the page on definitions and interpretations of terms.


General advice and queries

Staff and students are encouraged to raise initial queries or requests for guidance on matters relating to bribery or fraud with departmental administrators in the first instance. If you have a query that cannot be dealt with by your departmental administrator, then contact the Council Secretariat Compliance Team by telephone or e-mail at:


Risk toolkit for departments

The aim of this toolkit is to enable departments to consider and assess the risk of bribery and fraud occurring within their activities. It may be used in whole or in part and consists of the following elements:

  • consideration of the ‘why’, the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of bribery and fraud;
  • activity analysis;
  • relationship analysis;
  • risk assessment;
  • due diligence;
  • warning signs – indicators of potential corruption.

Bribery and Fraud Risk Awareness Toolkit (1,393kb)

Bribery and Fraud Risk Awareness Toolkit (668kb)


External guidance

The following links may provide useful additional information in considering bribery and fraud risk within the University: