Introducing Professional Services Together

For colleagues in administrative and professional roles in departments, divisions, and services, the themes of Professional Services Together are not new. You already collaborate all year long - joint degrees, joint appointments, and joint research projects are only some of the most obvious examples of this. You already understand the power of continuous improvement and teamwork in ensuring the best possible outcomes for academics and students. Professional Services Together provides some more tools and support to help you think through how to make your work easier and better whilst offering common approaches to make working with others easier.


Several initiatives to help support the development of staff and the effective delivery of services were underway in early 2020 (e.g., the Focus Programme and Focus on People), but were slowed due to the pandemic.  During the pandemic, colleagues across all parts of Oxford collaborated to an unprecedented degree in the face of extraordinary challenges. Since early 2022, we have been building on the successes of existing initiatives to continue working more collaboratively.


One of the great strengths of Oxford is its devolved nature. Local administrative and professional teams are immensely successful at responding to the priorities of academics and students. However, with daily juggles, it can be difficult to share ideas across departments. Sometimes, we reinvent wheels trying to solve issues that another department has already solved. And developing our careers across the University can feel confusing.  There is also sometimes a perception that the central administration struggles to meet the needs of divisions and departments, and to prioritise limited resources in accordance with their needs.

Our ambition

We want Oxford’s professional services colleagues to support Oxford’s core mission of education and research as one – even more – joined-up community, focusing on: 

  • 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 areas of activity:

  1. Professional Services Together Programme​: a framework of ​projects, tools and resources that enable professional services teams and individuals to make things better throughout the University​

  2. Individual service reviews​: a rolling series of focused, structured reviews aimed at streamlining and enhancing the way we deliver services end to end across Oxford – using Focus methodologies

  3. 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 any future changes that might be needed​

Our principles

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

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Professional Services Together video

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Contact us

The Professional Services Together team:

University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD

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