HR Policies

In addition to the information found in the Conditions of Service document published on its website, the College has published a number of policies and procedures.

Links to these policy documents can be found below.

Anti-Bribery Policy   
Capability Procedures
Disciplinary Procedures
Grievance Procedures
Pay Review Procedures
Probation Procedures
Redundancy Policy
Right to Work Checklist
Right to Work Procedures
Right to Work Checking and Copying Procedure
Sickness Absence
Stress at Work

Equal Opportunities Policy for Students


St Catherine's College (as part of the University of Oxford) aims to provide education of excellent quality at undergraduate and postgraduate level for able students, whatever their background. In pursuit of this aim, the College is committed to using its best endeavours to ensure that all of its activities are governed by principles of equality of opportunity, and that all students are helped to achieve their full academic potential.

This statement applies to student admissions, to the curriculum, teaching and assessment of students, and to welfare and support services.

Student admissions

Decisions on admissions are based solely on the individual merits of each candidate, and their suitability for the course they have applied to study as assessed by the application of selection criteria appropriate to the course of study (bearing in mind any requirements laid down by any professional body).

Admissions procedures are kept under regular review to ensure compliance with this policy. We seek to admit students of the highest academic potential, and to select students for admission without regard to sex, marital or civil partnership status, race, ethnic origin, colour, religion, sexual orientation, social background or other irrelevant personal characteristics.

Applications from students with disabilities are considered on exactly the same academic grounds as those from other candidates. The College is committed to making arrangements whenever practicable to enable such students to participate as fully as possible in student life. Details of these arrangements will be provided on request by the Academic Office.

In order to widen access to Oxford, the University and colleges support schemes which work to encourage applicants from groups that are currently under-represented. The undergraduate Admissions Office can provide details of current schemes.

None of the above shall be taken to invalidate the need for financial guarantees where appropriate.

Information relating to the University's code of practice on student admissions can be found here.

The curriculum, teaching and assessment

Unfair discrimination based on individual characteristics (listed in the statement on recruitment and admissions above) will not be tolerated. University departments, faculties, colleges and the central quality assurance bodies monitor the curriculum, teaching practice and assessment methods. Teaching and support staff have regard to the diverse needs, interests and backgrounds of their students in all their dealings with them.

Welfare and support services

Colleges have the lead responsibility for student welfare and can provide details of arrangements made to support their students. The University, in addition, provides for all students who require such support: a counselling service; disability assessment and advice; childcare advice; a harassment advisory service.

Further details of these services are included in the Proctors' and Assessor's handbook "Essential information for students", which is updated annually.

Staff training

The University, through its The Oxford Learning Institute, provides appropriate training programmes to support this statement.


A candidate for admission who considers that he or she has not been treated in accordance with this policy, should raise this matter with the College (or department in the case of graduate admission).

Students in the course of their studies may use the student complaints procedure, and should, in the first instance, lodge their complaint with the Proctors, who will advise on the procedure to be followed thereafter.

Code of Practice on Staff Recruitment and Selection


The College welcomes diversity amongst its staff and seeks to ensure that all candidates for employment are treated fairly, and that selection is based solely on the individual merits of candidates and on selection criteria relevant to the post. In pursuance of this aim and of its statutory duties, St Catherine's College will seek to adhere to the following procedure in the recruitment and selection process for all advertised posts.

These notes relate to non-teaching support staff and College lecturers. Members of academic staff with University appointments are subject to rules laid down by the University.

Selection criteria

Selection criteria will be clearly defined and reflected in the further particulars sent to candidates, and will - as far as is reasonably practicable - be designed so that they will not directly or indirectly discriminate against potential applicants on the grounds of a particular characteristic (e.g. gender, age, sexual orientation, etc).

Where the demands of the role do justify a particular characteristic being required, this will wherever possible be made clear in the advertisement and/ or further particulars.


The College uses a variety of media to advertise jobs (both internal and external) and will seek to advertise roles in such a way as to encourage applications from a broad range of suitable candidates from all backgrounds. The College website includes guidance on how to apply for jobs at St Catherine's.

Selection of candidates

The ability of each candidate to perform the job description will be assessed objectively against the selection criteria for that job, based on the evidence provided by candidates in their applications. It is the College's intention that all applications for a post should be processed in the same way.

Information sought from candidates and passed to those responsible for appointments will relate only to the qualifications for or requirements of the job. The College recognises its statutory obligation to make such adjustments to the workplace and to working arrangements as are reasonable to accommodate suitably qualified disabled applicants.

Wherever suitably qualified persons are available, there will be at least one member of each gender on the selection committee. The College will seek to ensure that all members of a selection committee are aware of this code, and (where appropriate) training and advice will be available in furtherance of its principles.

Interview questions should relate to the selection criteria. No questions should be based on assumptions (for example) about roles in the home and the family. In particular, questions about private personal relationships, children, or domestic obligations should not be asked at interview, although candidates may request information on relevant staff benefits and policies.

Where it is necessary to obtain information on personal circumstances (for example, in relation to a selection criterion such as flexibility to work irregular hours), questions about this will be asked equally of all candidates and, like other questions, will relate only to the job requirements.

In the case of disabled applicants who identify themselves at the application stage, appropriate interview arrangements (such as accessible interview rooms or the assistance of a sign interpreter) will be offered to enable such candidates to compete on an equal basis.

Record-keeping and Recruitment Monitoring

Details of candidates - both successful and unsuccesful - and of selection decisions (including the rationale for selection or rejection) will be kept for twelve months after an appointment has been made, and will then be destroyed.

The College will ask all candidates to complete a voluntary recruitment monitoring form as part of their application. This form will be anonymous and details of candidates will not be provided to members of the selection panel. Forms will normally be kept for a period of 12 months and will then be destroyed.

Data derived from recruitment monitoring forms may be used to determine whether individuals with a particular characteristic (e.g. ethnic background, age, disability, etc) apply in smaller numbers than might be expected, or are shortlisted or appointed in a lower proportion than their application rate, or are concentrated for example in certain jobs or departments. Where such under-representation is identified, positive action initiatives may be developed.

The Equality Committee reports annually to the Governing Body of the College, outlining the results of the recruitment monitoring for the year that has just been completed.

Review of recruitment practice

Recruitment procedures and practices will be kept under review so as to ensure that this code is operating effectively.

Equal Opportunities - Childcare

St Catherine's College operates a salary-sacrifice childcare scheme which is detailed in the conditions of service document on the College website. Members of staff with queries about the scheme should contact the College Accountant in the first instance.

An alternative scheme is also available for those members of staff whose children attend a nursery run by the University or a College. Details can be found on the University of Oxford website.

The University has a range of nursery facilities, which are open to any student or member of staff at the College. Due to the popularity of these nursery facilities waiting lists can be long, but more information (including frequently asked questions and details of available funding) can be found on the University website.

The Alan Tayler Lecture 2014

St Catz together with The Smiths Institute, are delighted to welcome Professor Alan Newell from the University of Arizona, to give this year's Alan Tayler Lecture. Entitled, 'Phyllotaxis, Pushed Pattern Fronts, and Optimal Packing' we are sure that this will prove to be a stimulating and informative lecture.

Equal Opportunities - Equality Legislation

General principles of equality law
The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination in employment or in the provision of training and education on the grounds of any of the following protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

Staff and students are protected in all aspects of the employment, education and/or training relationship, which includes: recruitment and selection, employment terms and conditions, promotion, transfers, access to benefits, appraisal/annual review, assessment of performance, dismissal and post-termination (such as providing references).

Discrimination can occur in several different ways, as follows:

Direct discrimination
This is where one individual is treated less favourably than another, and the less favourable treatment is because of a protected characteristic they have, or are thought to have (see perception discrimination), or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic.

Indirect discrimination
This is where a provision, criterion or practice applies equally to everyone but has, or would have, a disproportionate impact on those people who share a protected characteristic (e.g. it is more difficult for someone to comply with a requirement because of their religion or belief).

Discrimination by association
This is direct discrimination against an individual because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.

Perception discrimination
This is direct discrimination against an individual where the person is treated less favourably than another, and the less favourable treatment is because others think they possess a protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic.

This is defined as unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of either: (a) violating another person's dignity; or (b) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that other person.

This occurs where an individual is subjected to less favourable treatment by reason of the fact that s/he has done a ’protected act‘ under the discrimination legislation – e.g. someone has made a complaint about discrimination on grounds of their age or sex, or helped somebody else to do so, and they are now being treated less favourably by their manager.

Positive Action
The College may take positive action in respect of access to facilities and training for specific groups who are under-represented. It would be reasonable to take action to increase applications for posts or study from a particular group of people, or provide work experience, outreach days or training programmes only for those people. These actions increase the numbers of eligible people by developing relevant skills and increasing applications from under-represented groups.

However, positive action is not the same as positive discrimination (which is prohibited), and the selection for admission to study or appointment to posts must therefore be made solely on the basis of merit.

Genuine Occupational Requirements
There are limited exemptions from liability in all the discrimination legislation. Thus where the sex, race, age, sexual orientation or religion or belief of an employee is required for the specific job he or she is required to do, that characteristic may amount to a genuine occupational requirement (GOR).

There must be a clear connection between the duties of the post in question and the characteristics required. An example might be the need to recruit a person from a particular racial group to act in a role written for a character from that racial group.

However, GORs are usually difficult to establish and anyone wishing to establish a GOR should discuss this with the Personnel Advisor before advertising the post.

Public Sector Equality Duty
As part of the Equality Act St Catherine's College has a public sector equality duty which came into force in April 2011. The equality duty covers all the protected characteristics identified in the Equality Act with the exception of marriage and civil partnership. Under the duty the College must have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act;
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Having ‘due regard’ means consciously considering the three aims listed above as part of our decision-making processes and when we are reviewing or developing policies.

Due regard for ‘advancing equality’ involves removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics; taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people; and encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

‘Fostering good relations’ involves tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups.

The legislation allows for the more favourable of treatment of some people, but only where the more favourable treatment can be objectively justified as a proportionate means of fulfilling the public sector equality duty.

College Response
St Catherine's College is committed to fulfilling the public sector equality duty. As part of this commitment we will:

  • annually review the information we publish in relation to our compliance with the equality duty;
  • set equality objectives every four years which are then annually reviewed in the equality report

The College’s Equality Report can be accessed through this link.

Equal Opportunities Policy

The College's Aims

As part of the wider University, St Catherine's College works to remove any barriers which might deter people of the highest ability from applying to Oxford, either as staff or students. The College aims to provide an inclusive environment which values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected to assist them in reaching their full potential.

The College's Commitment

No prospective or actual student or member of staff will be treated less favourably than any other, whether before, during or after their study or employment at St Catherine's College on one or more of the following grounds, except when such treatment is within the law and determined by lawful requirements:

  1. age;
  2. colour;
  3. disability;
  4. ethnic origin;
  5. marital status;
  6. nationality;
  7. national origin;
  8. parental status;
  9. race;
  10. religion or belief;
  11. gender;
  12. sexual orientation;
  13. or length or type of contract (e.g. part-time or fixed-term).

With regard to staff, the policy and practice of the College require that all staff are afforded equal opportunities within employment, and that entry into (and progression within) employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of the post. In all cases, ability to perform the job is the primary consideration. This policy applies to (but is not limited to) advertising of jobs, recruitment and selection, to training and development, to opportunities for promotion, to conditions of service, benefits, facilities and pay, to health and safety, to conduct at work, to grievance and disciplinary procedures, and to termination of employment.

With regard to students, the College aims to provide education of excellent quality at undergraduate and postgraduate level for able students, whatever their background. In pursuit of this aim, the College is committed to using its best endeavours to ensure that all of its activities and governed by principles of equality of opportunity, and that all students are helped to achieve their full academic potential. This policy applies to (but is not limited to) admissions, to teaching, learning and research provision, to scholarships, grants and other awards under the College's control, to student support, to College accommodation and other facilities, to health and safety, to personal conduct and to student complaints and disciplinary procedures.

In order to realise its commitment, the College will:

  • promote the aims of this policy;
  • be proactive in eliminating discrimination, including harassment and bullying, through training and the production and dissemination of codes of practice and guidance;
  • have regard to its obligations under relevant legislation, including the requirement to meet the public sector equality duty, and for its policies, codes of practice and guidance to be changed to meet the demands of new legislation;
  • whilst acknowledging that they are not legally binding, have regard to any Codes of Practice issued or adopted by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights;
  • make this policy, as well as all codes of practice and guidance available to all staff and students; and
  • regularly review the terms of this policy and all associated codes of practice and guidance.


Equality Committee

The Equality Committee will oversee the development of Equal Opportunities policy frameworks and their application in the College, working as appropriate with those colleagues and bodies, including those committees with responsibility for student matters, that have specific mandates.

All staff and students

This policy applies to all members of St Catherine's College, both students and staff, whether permanent, temporary, casual, part-time or on fixed-term contracts, to job applicants, to student applicants, current and former students, to associate members and to visitors to St Catherine's. These members of the College have a duty to act in accordance with this policy, and therefore to treat colleagues with dignity at all times and not to discriminate against or harass other students or members of staff, whether junior or senior to them.

St Catherine's expects all its staff and students to take personal responsibility for familiarising themselves with this policy and to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times to respect equality of opportunity for all staff, students, applicants and visitors.

The College regards any breach of this policy by any employee(s) or student(s) as a serious matter to be dealt with through its agreed procedures and which may result in disciplinary action.


St Catherine's College takes seriously any breach of this policy. Disregard of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The College encourages any prospective or current student or member of staff who has a complaint concerning a breach of this policy to bring such a complaint to the attention of the Academic Registrar (in the case of prospective or current students) or the Home Bursar (in the case of staff).

Monitoring and Review

The College's Equal Opportunities policy is a "living" document which will change in the light of experience and/ or new legislation. The College therefore undertakes, through its Equality Committee, to continuously monitor and (if appropriate) review the content or operation of this policy.

The College also welcomes suggestions and/ or comments relating to its Equal Opportunities policy, and these should be sent to the Home Bursar (

Equal Opportunities

St Catherine's College is committed to implementing a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities for staff and students, in order to provide a learning, working and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its members are respected. Our intention is that individuals should be selected and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities, and should be given equal opportunities within the College.

The College's policy on equality of opportunity can be accessed in full below, and more information relating to specific strands of the College's equal opportunities policy can be accessed using the links below.

Policy on equal opportunities

Overview of equality legislation

Childcare provisions


Code of practice on staff recruitment and selection

Code of practice on equality of opportunity for students

Equality Report

Support, advice and further information


The services we offer

The College's primary purpose is as a place of education and research.  We offer support to researchers in their fields and admission to the most able students, graduate and undergraduate, whatever their background or financial circumstances.

Information on our admission policies, including widening access, can be found on our Prospective Student web pages. You will also find there details of undergraduate courses of study.

For information regarding services for current students, including accommodation and welfare please see both our Prospective and Current Students pages.
For information on IT and intranet provision see the Computing page on the website.

In conjunction with the University, St Catherine’s College provides scholarships, awards and hardship funding to assist students who might not otherwise be able to afford an Oxford education.  The Scholarships and Finance pages on our website provide further information.

Information on the College Library can be found on the Library webpage.

Services for alumni, parents and friends are organised by the Development Office.  The College publishes a bi-annual newsletter entitled CatzEye and an annual report entitled The Year. For more information please see the Alumni and Development pages of our website.

The College's facilities are available for public hire through our subsidiary company St Catherine’s College Management Limited.  Details are available on the Conference webpages.

Sport provision

The College has a Gym and Squash courts. It shares a sports field with Trinity College and Lady Margaret Hall. Members of the College who wish to do so, also have access to University facilities.


Why Catz?

  • St Catherine’s has one of the larger college Music departments, with an intake of around 4 new students per year. College teaching is given by the Music tutor, Professor Laura Tunbridge, who is usually supported by two college lecturers. Class teaching linked to some subjects is offered by the Music Faculty; in other areas, tutors come in as required to help with other more specialized topics.


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