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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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Executive summary


1. This monitoring framework will be operated by HEFCE and is intended to satisfy Government that ‘relevant higher education bodies’ (RHEBs) are fulfilling their duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the Act) to have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism (the Prevent duty).

Key points

Reporting requirements and timetable

2. The Act requires all RHEBs to provide HEFCE with any information we may require for the purposes of monitoring their compliance with the Prevent duty. This framework sets out how we will gather information to demonstrate compliance.

3. The Government has asked us to quickly establish that RHEBs have appropriate policies, procedures or arrangements in place to enable them to deliver the Prevent duty and that these are robust and ‘active’. In other words, through our monitoring framework we must satisfy ourselves that the policies, procedures or arrangements appear to be fit for purpose before we can monitor their active implementation and effectiveness. This means that we are asking for more detailed information in the initial assessment phase, but will require less in subsequent years.

4. Table 1 summarises the reporting requirements and submission dates for each of the four main types of RHEB.

Table 1: Timetable for reporting to HEFCE

Type of submission

HEFCE-funded providers

Alternative providers with specific course designation

Other providers

Autonomous colleges

Phase 1 – Initial assessment

Preliminary self-assessment by accountable officer or proprietor

22 January 2016


Detailed material including data returns

1 April 2016

1 June 2016

1 August 2016

1 August 2016

Phase 2 – Ongoing monitoring

Annual report from governing body or proprietor

1 December 2016

1 February 2017

1 February 2017

1 December 2016

Full documentation (5-yearly cycle)

1st sample

1 March 2017

1st sample

1 May 2017

1st sample

1 July 2017

1st sample

1 March 2017

And annually thereafter

Ad hoc reporting of any serious incidents throughout the year

  • From 18 September 2015 for all relevant bodies.

5. Further details on the reporting requirements are provided in Section 3.

Higher education bodies that are subject to the Prevent duty

6. The terms ‘relevant higher education bodies’, ‘relevant bodies’ and ‘RHEBs’ refer to a range of different institutions that provide higher education in England. In all cases, the Act refers to the governing body or proprietor as having ultimate responsibility. For monitoring purposes, we have identified four distinct groups of relevant body:

  • Higher education providers that are funded directly by HEFCE
  • Alternative providers with specific course designation
  • Other providers that offer higher education to more than 250 students
  • The autonomous colleges, schools and halls of the Universities of Cambridge, Durham and Oxford.

7. Schools, sixth form colleges, students’ unions and student societies are not RHEBs; the position of further education colleges is considered in paragraph 19.

8. Further details are provided in Section 2 and Annex A.

Prevent duty guidance

9. This monitoring framework is linked closely to the two sets of statutory guidance which should be read alongside this document and considered when implementing the duty:

  • Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (which includes general guidance for bodies in all sectors covered by the duty)
  • Prevent Duty Guidance: for higher education institutions in England and Wales.

A summary of the relevant sections of the statutory guidance is set out at Annex B.

How HEFCE will discharge its role

10. The duty applies to a wide range of providers with very different institutional structures and cultures. RHEBs are responsible for assessing Prevent-related risks in their own context and deciding on appropriate and proportionate actions in response to their assessment of those risks. HEFCE will assess whether the action plans, policies and processes set out by each RHEB take account of the topics covered in both sets of statutory guidance and are sufficient to respond to the issues identified in their own risk assessments. We will provide feedback to individual institutions and to the higher education sector as a whole.

11. We will report periodically to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the outcomes of our assessments in line with the monitoring cycle, as well as where necessary on an ad hoc basis. We will regularly publish reports on compliance at a sector-wide level. Data and information used for reporting publicly will be anonymised and will not include information at an individual institutional level. 

Date: 30 November 2015

Ref: HEFCE 2015/32

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Governance, Administration, Student services, Information technology, Security, Chaplaincy, Students’ unions, Higher education policy, Counter-terrorism policy

Enquiries should be directed to:

HEFCE Prevent team, email