About Professional Services Together

Our professional services aspire to operate to the highest standards and are essential for the delivery of Oxford’s activities and ambitions. They support all elements of the University’s mission of education and research and are successful at responding to the priorities of academics and students.  

However, we know that across Oxford professional services staff are struggling with growing demand and burden. We all understand that this is not sustainable and recognise that there are opportunities to improve the way we work together and support and develop our people.  

One of the strengths of Oxford is its devolved structure but it can also slow us down.  For professional services staff this can make it difficult to take a collective view about how to address issues facing us all, and it is hard to collaborate across boundaries to share best practice and solve common challenges, leading to frustration, confusion, and sometimes reinventing wheels trying to solve issues that another department has already solved. 

Professional Services Together is the programme to improve how professional services work across Oxford – making things better for everyone in support of the University's academic mission. It brings us together around a collective ambition for how we work, and it provides a strategic direction and structured pathways for considering and making positive changes that embed our shared principles of collaboration, quality and people.  

It makes things better and easier for everyone: Professional Services Together sponsors initiatives that benefit us all and equips and empowers you to make things better in your area by providing a range of tools and solutions and the ability to collaborate across boundaries to share best practice and solve common challenges.  

Professional Services Together strengthens the shared identity of professional services staff across Oxford and regularly recognises and celebrates the value professional services bring to the University.    

By investing in your development and equipping you to succeed in your role and career at Oxford, Professional Services Together helps professional services staff to thrive. 

Our ambition for how we work 

We want Oxford’s professional services colleagues to work together and perform at the highest standards in support of Oxford’s core mission of education and research, according to shared principles that put people, quality and collaboration at the heart of everything we do: 

  • People:  
    We nurture, develop and respect our people, celebrate success and are respected for our highly professional approach. 

  • Collaboration:  
    We work together as one proactive, confident, inclusive, and effective team that collaborates across the University. 

  • Quality:  
    We are committed to understanding the needs of all parts of the University and aim to continually improve quality and efficiency of our services.

What it involves 

We aim to achieve our ambitions through following three broad, interconnected areas of activity: 

  1. People and change programme: A framework of enabling actions, tools and resources aimed at strengthening our professional services and promoting a culture that empowers teams and individuals to make positive change, aligned with our shared principles and strategic direction. The programme is structured around our priority work areas of Oxford-wide Careers, developing leaders, professional communities, effective planning and service delivery – read the priority projects and initiatives page for more information.  

  1. Individual service reviews: structured reviews of any scale and level aimed at streamlining and enhancing the way we deliver services end to end across Oxford – using Focus methodologies – led locally or by Focus 

  1. Strategic Review: a strategic review of Oxford’s professional services model overall – considering the strengths and weaknesses of the current model, and setting a strategic direction for how our services should be delivered  

How we live our principles 

We’ve published a set of principles, designed to help professional services colleagues to make decisions and guide their work.  

Professional Services Together

Contact us

The Professional Services Together team:


University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD