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This circular letter gives more detail about the submission process for the preliminary self-assessment returns which are due by 22 January 2016.

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

Prevent duty monitoring: Preliminary self-assessment returns

1. On 30 November we wrote to the heads of all relevant higher education bodies (RHEBs) to draw attention to the publication of the final version of HEFCE’s Prevent duty monitoring framework (HEFCE 2015/32). This circular letter gives more detail about the submission process for the preliminary self-assessment returns which are due by 22 January 2016.

2. You will recall that the monitoring framework requires all RHEBs to assess themselves against the statutory guidance on implementing the Prevent duty using the following five-point scale:

A       Arrangements, including documented policies and procedures, are in place and have been reviewed and updated as necessary to reflect the statutory Prevent guidance. Where appropriate, they have been formally approved. They are active.

B       Arrangements, including documented policies and procedures, are in place, but need to be reviewed against the statutory Prevent duty guidance, updated as necessary and, where appropriate, formally approved.

C       Arrangements, including documented policies and procedures, are in preparation.

D       Arrangements, including documented policies and procedures, have not been prepared yet.

E       This factor does not apply, so arrangements are not in place. (We expect every organisation to explain briefly why this is the case.)

3. The assessment should reflect the extent to which each RHEB has addressed the statutory Prevent guidance by the beginning of January 2016. It is an assessment at a particular point in time and we expect it to provide an accurate reflection of the current level of compliance with the duty.

4. Both the statutory guidance and the monitoring framework emphasise that the Prevent duty should be implemented in a proportionate way, reflecting local contexts and institutions’ own risk assessments. By January 2016, we do not expect or require that every organisation subject to the Prevent duty will have everything in place, but we do expect that each will be able to indicate the timeframe in which they expect to have finalised the relevant policies, processes or arrangements.

5. RHEBs should submit their self-assessments using SurveyMonkey, at the following link: There are two sections:

  1. The first pages collect information about the RHEB, including the names and job titles of the person who authorised the assessment and, if different, the senior manager responsible for overseeing implementation of the Prevent duty (the Prevent lead).
  2. Each factor to be assessed has a separate page. In addition to the assessment rating for each factor (A to E as noted in paragraph 2), there is also space either to enter the date by which policies, processes or arrangements will be in place or to explain why the factor is not applicable.

6. For HEFCE-funded providers and alternative providers with specific course designation, we require the accountable officer to authorise submission of the self-assessment return. For all other providers we require authorisation by the chief executive (or equivalent job title).

7. We hope you will encourage your Prevent lead and other people involved in implementing the Prevent duty to subscribe to a new email group ‘Preventmonitor-hefce’ that we have set up. Please subscribe via the following link: We will be using this to share news about the Prevent duty, including information about training opportunities and developments such as the planned Jisc filtering product.

8. If you have any questions about this circular letter please contact Andrew Malin (tel 0117 931 7332) or email

Yours sincerely

Professor Madeleine Atkins

Chief Executive


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Date: 7 December 2015

Ref: Circular letter 27/2015

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
Heads of other relevant higher education bodies

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:

Andrew Malin (tel 0117 931 7332) or email