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Industry Advisory Board Policy




Policy statements

Policy ownership and support


Approval information

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1. Purpose

1.1 The Industry Advisory Board Policy (the policy) sets out the requirements for the establishment, management and coordination of industry advisory boards at UTS.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all staff involved in the establishment and operation of industry advisory boards (IABs) at a university level, or within divisions, faculties, units, centres, schools and/or disciplines.

2.2 This policy also applies to all IAB members, both internal and external.

3. Principles

3.1 Industry advisory boards fulfil an important strategic function at UTS. IABs enable high quality and active external engagement and connections with individuals, organisations and corporations in business, industry and the professions, in line with the UTS strategy.

3.2 In undertaking this advisory role, IABs are separate from UTS governance and management functions. They do not have any explicit or implied governance function, performance monitoring, operational function or management authority. They do not form part of the formal UTS governance structure and are not decision-making bodies.

3.3 In establishing IABs, UTS seeks to actively engage and develop relationships with key practitioners in areas related to the university’s core business and seeks to promote the university’s reputation for business, industry and professional relevance and engagement.

3.4 UTS seeks to capitalise on the experience of IAB members and their important role in industry. It is expected that board members provide advice to business units and faculties in line with the UTS strategy, but also be open to hands-on engagement where applicable.

3.5 IAB members should be aware of the university’s strategic goals and act in accordance with the Code of Conduct and the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy.

4. Policy statements

4.1 ‘Industry advisory board’ or ‘IAB’ is a generic title used throughout this document. The following alternative naming conventions may also be used (further outlined below):

  • industry advisory committee
  • industry advisory panel
  • industry advisory group.

Industry advisory board purpose and function

4.2 IABs provide strategic advice to the Senior Executive, deans, heads of school, directors and other university leaders and provide an effective bridge for external engagement.

4.3 Each area determines the number and nature of IABs to fulfil their strategic requirements. It is recommended that IABs have a specific purpose to enable structural clarity and to strengthen advisory focus.

4.4 IABs may be established at any of the following levels to address the breadth of focus and engagement sought across the university:

  • University level: including advisory committees for the university as a whole or for the Senior Executive. These are mandatory under this policy.
  • Faculty level: including faculty, division, centre, research excellence or unit level. Only faculty boards in this level are mandatory under this policy.
  • School level: including school or discipline level IABs that are ongoing, and focus on a subject, group of subjects or school within a faculty or centre.
  • Project level: including ad hoc or short term IABs, with a very specific remit and established for up to one-year duration.

4.5 UTS, at a minimum, must establish the following IABs:

  • A university-level IAB to advise the Vice-Chancellor (IAB sponsor) on the overall strategic positioning of the university, external engagement and other activities identified and specified in its terms of reference.
  • A faculty-level IAB for each faculty to advise the deans (IAB sponsors) on the overall strategic positioning of the faculty, external engagement and other activities identified and specified in its terms of reference.

Naming conventions and classifications

4.6 The name of an IAB should clearly identify its primary purpose and/or area of focus. It is strongly recommended that the naming conventions approved and published by the Director, Corporate Relations be used when establishing IABs.

4.7 Project level IABs should not be called boards, committees or panels. ‘Industry advisory group’ is an acceptable naming convention as it is more representative of the ad hoc and temporary nature of the industry group.

Terms of reference and structure

4.8 Each area is accountable for the size of their IAB and how the IAB offers advice on the area’s activities, functions and strategic priorities.

4.9 Each IAB must have a clearly identified sponsor, a chair and a coordinator.

4.10 IAB terms of reference (specifically outlining their advisory function in line with the principles) and composition must be relevant to their stated function and clearly outline roles, responsibilities and expectations of purpose.

4.11 The terms of reference (including a review of its purpose, function and effectiveness) and composition should be reviewed regularly by the IAB sponsor and coordinator in consultation with the chair as appropriate. This normally takes place at the beginning of each calendar year (at a minimum).

4.12 IAB sponsors are responsible for establishing standing orders, detailed terms of reference and establishing meeting norms in consultation with the chair and the coordinator.

4.13 The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation and Enterprise) will maintain a central registry of IABs at university, faculty and school level, established by all university areas (using an approved university customer relationship management (CRM) system). Where an area has multiple IABs (as part of an advisory network or structure) a clear relationship, or separation of responsibilities, between these boards should be outlined.

4.14 IAB sponsors and coordinators must provide, on request by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation and Enterprise) or their nominee, any relevant board information required to ensure accuracy of the central registry.

4.15 IABs must meet at least twice per calendar year.

Chair appointments and board support

4.16 IAB chairs are normally selected and appointed by the IAB sponsor. The advice of the chair is sought in the selection process for the remaining board members. The sponsor and the chair are not normally the same person.

4.17 University level IABs must have an external chair appointed by the sponsor (in this case, the IAB sponsor must be the Vice-Chancellor or a member of the Senior Executive).

4.18 Faculty and school level IABs normally have an external chair appointed by the IAB sponsor, but may have an internal chair where it is appropriate to do so.

4.19 The IAB coordinator is appointed by the IAB sponsor. The coordinator is responsible (on behalf of the sponsor and the chair) for maintaining a current list of members in line with the composition requirements, and for regularly reviewing and updating this information in the central registry (university CRM system).

Composition and memberships

4.20 University and faculty level IABs will normally comprise between 10 and 20 members (at the discretion of the sponsor) appointed by the IAB sponsor in consultation with the chair.

4.21 School level IABs will normally comprise between five and 10 members appointed by the IAB sponsor in consultation with the chair.

4.22 It is strongly recommended that external representatives (non-academic, non-higher education) make up at least 50 per cent of all IAB memberships particularly for university and faculty level IABs.

4.23 The number or ratio of internal representatives (UTS staff) should reflect the purpose of the IAB. IABs may also invite appropriate internal staff to attend meetings to present, report or observe as appropriate. Former UTS senior executive and staff are considered internal representatives.

4.24 Individual members should be recruited based on a holistic review of:

  • the specific needs and identified purpose of the board
  • the combined list of skills, experience and expertise offered by the individual members that make up the membership
  • the diversity requirements of the university, both in line with the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy and to capture the various viewpoints of relevant sectors.

4.25 When electing members, it may be useful to consider the following factors:

  • standing and seniority in business, industry or the professions
  • affiliation with the faculty or UTS (alumni or have immediate family attending UTS)
  • ability to spend time with UTS
  • budget holders in their own companies/access to funding
  • understanding of/interest in higher education
  • affiliation with any other Australian university.

4.26 IAB membership (including the chair) terms of appointment for external members are two or three years with a maximum consecutive membership period of six years (with the exception of the sponsor and the coordinator). Project level IABs are exempt from this requirement.

4.27 Where possible, IAB memberships should be staggered to allow for a staged succession of members, ensuring the maintenance of an appropriate level of experience and continuity.

Due diligence and conflicts of interest

4.28 Appropriate due diligence must be performed by the IAB sponsor before approaching potential board members. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • web searches
  • informal meetings to ascertain fitness, expertise and interest
  • speaking to affiliates or internal contacts
  • basic risk analysis
  • a request for nominations or recommendations from other advisory board members
  • seeking advice from the human resources unit.

4.29 Members (internal and external) are required to disclose actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest with UTS or the focus area of the board in line with the Code of Conduct.

4.30 The IAB chair and sponsor must ensure that a conflict of interest register and disclosure process is established and implemented by the coordinator. The IAB chair and coordinator must ensure that conflicts of interest are updated regularly (normally via a standing item on the agenda) and managed appropriately.

4.31 Requirements for the management of conflicts of interest are outlined in the Code of Conduct.


4.32 IAB members are not remunerated. At the discretion of the IAB sponsor, and in line with the delegations and the Travel Vice-Chancellor's Directive, expenses for attending events or undertaking projects may be considered, particularly for not-for-profit members.

Recordkeeping and confidentiality

4.33 The IAB sponsor is responsible for ensuring that UTS confidential information is protected and classified appropriately in line with the Privacy Policy.

4.34 UTS confidential information must be protected and shared with board members only as necessary in order to effectively conduct the business of the board.

4.35 Records of board meetings and board information must be kept in line with the Records Management Policy. IAB coordinators should ensure that agendas, board papers, induction and information packs, conflict of interest register, signed minutes, agreed actions and meeting attendance are kept on record. This function is fulfilled by the IAB coordinator on behalf of the chair.

4.36 It is also good practice to maintain email correspondence, board costs (for example catering, room booking, cab charges, printing), membership and appointment information (record of other university activities board members may be involved with), management tasks etc.

4.37 For university, faculty and school level IABs the coordinator is responsible for tracking and updating IAB membership information in the central registry (university CRM) at least quarterly.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Policy owner: The DVC (Innovation and Enterprise) is responsible for policy enforcement and compliance, ensuring that its principles and statements are observed. The DVC (Innovation and Enterprise) may issue procedures and guidelines to support the implementation of this policy.

5.2 Policy contact: The Director, Corporate Relations Centre as the policy contact is responsible for the day to day implementation of this policy, acts as a primary point of contact for advice on fulfilling its provisions.


IAB sponsors must ensure the IABs within their remit are compliant with this policy.

IAB coordinators are responsible to IAB sponsors and chairs in line with this policy.

IAB chairs and members are responsible for providing advice under the remit of specific board terms of reference and in line with this policy.

6. Definitions

These definitions apply for this policy and all associated procedures. These are in addition to the definitions outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Customer relationship management (CRM) system means the software licenced by the university to record, track and report on enterprise information (including IABs).

Industry advisory board (also IAB and board) means a UTS body that is established in line with the provisions outlined in this policy, on a multi-year or perpetual basis to provide strategic advice to the university leaders and establish an external engagement platform.

Industry advisory board coordinator (also IAB coordinator and coordinator) means the person identified in a board’s terms of reference to offer governance support to the board and its members.

Industry advisory board sponsor (also IAB sponsor and sponsor) means the relevant senior staff member (normally, a member of the Senior Executive, dean, director or head of unit) who acts as an identified owner engaged with, and responsible for, constituting the advisory board, committee, panel or group.

Not-for-profit member means the member of the IAB who represents an organisation that is recognised as being not-for-profit by the Australian Taxation Office, that is, the member works for or represents a body whereby all profits go back into services provided to the community and not to individual members.

Approval information

Policy contact Director, Corporate Relations Centre
Approval authority Vice-Chancellor
Review date 2022
File number UR19/2760
Superseded documents Industry Advisory Board Vice-Chancellor’s Directive 2012 (UR12/12/61)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Vice-Chancellor 09/10/2019 02/12/2019 New policy.

PDF version

Industry Advisory Board Policy (PDF)


Code of Conduct

Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy

Records Management Policy

Travel Vice-Chancellor's Directive

UTS strategy