Outside Activities Undertaken by Academic Staff Policy and Procedures


The University encourages outside activities consistent with its objectives. It understands and accepts that there are many kinds of outside activities (including personal consultancies and entrepreneurial activities) undertaken by members of the academic staff which rely on the special knowledge and expertise of the staff member and which enhance the academic status of the individual concerned and the reputation of the University. Council accepts the value for the University and its staff to be obtained from staff undertaking outside activities, including public service and professional work which is at a high level.


All academic staff members.


To clarify the University’s guiding principles on academic staff members undertaking work outside their employment at the University.


1. Members of the academic staff may undertake a limited amount of professional activity and public service outside the University, provided such activities are at a high level and rely on the special knowledge and expertise of the staff member.

2. Such activities must be supportive of University duties, and enhance the academic status of the individual concerned and the reputation of the University.

3. Outside activities are to be conducted in such a way that the staff member’s responsibilities to the University always take precedence.

4. The activities should not be detrimental to the efficient and effective discharge of the staff member’s duties in teaching, research, and administration.

5. Members of staff must be available for consultation by staff and students on a basis which satisfies the need for the smooth running of their department and also the need to be available to students on a reasonable basis, as agreed with their academic head.

Note - As a guideline, a commitment of up to twenty percent of a staff member’s time over the course of a year spent in approved outside activities may be acceptable.

6. The staff member must avoid all actual or potential conflicts of interest. Such conflicts of interest must be declared to the academic head as they arise.

7. There must be no unfair competition with other providers in the area of the staff member’s profession.

8. Continued approval for involvement in outside activities is dependent upon evidence of meeting the University’s requirements for teaching, research, and administrative duties.

9. Where the time taken on outside activities is such that the staff member is not able to meet their University duties, the staff member must either negotiate a fractional appointment with the University, or cease some of their outside activities.

10. All staff members may not accept fees for giving private coaching in any course for which they have teaching or examining responsibilities.

11. Staff undertaking occasional lectures or radio, television, or kindred performances, preparation of books or articles, refereeing of articles in learned journals, assessment of research grant proposals and examining may do so without permission, providing there is no impact on the other duties of the employee.

Related procedures

Approval process

12. The staff member must seek the prior written approval of the academic head for all professional or academic related outside activities, including approval for the nature of the outside activities to be undertaken and the time to be spent on them. Academic heads must have the prior approval of the dean, and deans the prior approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

13. Where a staff member and academic head are unable to agree whether an activity relates to a staff member’s position at the University and is covered by this policy, particularly where fees or remuneration is involved, the dean must be consulted and will determine the matter.

14. Teaching by full-time academic staff for another department (with the exception of isolated lectures) must be arranged with the approval of the academic head from which the teaching is being provided and with the inter-departmental transfer of funds or EFTS credit, as appropriate.

15. Full-time staff may not receive payment for teaching within another department, except under the terms of the Principles of Workload provisions.

16. Teaching by full-time academic staff for another tertiary institution (with the exception of isolated lectures) must be arranged with the prior approval of the academic head and dean.

17. An appropriate transfer of funds to the University may be required to cover the service provided.

18. Where there is any possibility of legal and/or insurance risks to the University, or where there are copyright or other rights involved, UniServices or other approved entity will provide appropriate contractual arrangements.

19. Copyright of journal articles and books, works of art and music are not included in the above requirements and the copyright will remain with the author(s).

20. Case books, laboratory manuals, study guides and other handouts which are prepared during a staff member’s employment within the University and are sold through the faculty and/or department are to be charged at a price that covers only reasonable costs of reproduction and distribution.

21. Proceeds from the sale must be administered by the respective faculty or department for faculty or departmental use.

22. Directorships, ownership, or partnership of trading entities where there is an actual or potential conflict of interest (including conflict over demands on the staff member’s time) require the prior approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

23. Where staff undertake service to Government committees, local authorities, iwi authorities, statutory bodies, etc., and where these impact on the duties of the employee, then this must be negotiated with the University through the dean and academic heads.

24. All outside activities that use University facilities (including offices, telephones, faxes, cards, library, computers and computer networks, secretarial assistance, etc.) or that are of a commercial nature involving any possibility of legal and/or insurance risks to the University must comply with the following provisions:

  • the nature of the outside activities and the time required to carry them out must be approved in writing in advance by the academic head
  • the academic heads must take into account all potential risks to the University of the outside activity
  • they must be actioned through Uniservices or other approved entity
  • all direct and indirect costs to the University must be acknowledged and recovered (unless waived by the academic head and dean)

25. In exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the academic head teaching duties may be rearranged to accommodate such outside activities.

26. When a staff member has prior written approval of the academic head to undertake outside work in a private capacity for which payment is to be made, the following provisions apply:

  • a staff member undertaking paid consultative and related outside activities in a personal capacity may not use the University name, letterhead, identity or any facilities for offering a professional or other opinion
  • the University assumes no responsibility for the activity or any advice or opinions offered
  • it is the staff member’s responsibility to make clear to the employing party that the University has no responsibility or liability in the matter
  • invoicing and receipt of payment for such work is a matter between the staff member and the client and must not involve the University departments, nor involve the use of University letterhead


27. As part of their performance review, all members of the academic staff are to summarise the nature of and the time spent on any outside activities, including consultative or other paid outside work, undertaken during the preceding twelve months.

28. Academic heads must report annually to their dean on the outside activities undertaken by staff in their area of responsibility.

29. The dean in turn will report to the Vice-Chancellor.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head covers heads of departments, schools and other teaching and research units at Level 3 in the University Organisation Structure.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.

UniServices or other approved entity includes Auckland UniServices Ltd or other entity approved by Council.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Including the following:

Document management and control

Content manager: Associate Director, HR Advisory
Owner: Director, Human Resources
Approved by: Director, Human Resources
Date approved: 01 September 2023
Review date: 01 September 2024