People Strategy 2023-2027

People are intrinsic to our success as a University. Delivery of the University Strategy rests on the skills and commitment of its people. To achieve our ambitions, we need to be able to recruit and retain the best staff, support their ongoing development, and create a culture and environment in which they can thrive and perform at their best both individually and collectively. 

We will attract and retain the best people and provide a high quality staff experience which enables all our staff to contribute, thrive, and perform at their best.

Our aim through the People Strategy is to enhance the staff experience through a series of targeted actions and initiatives to support development, performance, engagement, and wellbeing. This in turn will contribute to delivery of the University Strategy.

This refreshed People Strategy builds on the 2019-2023 People Strategy. It has been informed by the extensive consultation carried out for the last People Strategy, the Staff Survey 2021, and engagement around the refreshed University Strategy and associated action plans in 2022, as well as targeted engagement with key stakeholders.

It should be read alongside the Student Experience Strategy, the Diverse St Andrews Action Plan, and enabling strategies on the Estate and IT. Collectively these strategies underpin delivery of the University Strategy and its core themes of World-leading, Diverse, Digital, Entrepreneurial, and Sustainable.

The People Strategy is a live document that will require ongoing staff engagement, to ensure a continuing attentiveness to the needs of our people and the University, and effective delivery of its objectives.

Since publication of the last People Strategy, we have made a progress across a number of areas. Key achievements include:

  • Reviewing and refreshing our approach to induction with a revised format including opportunities to meet with different parts of the University
  • Reviewing the Academic Review Scheme to support wider discussions around roles and how they are undertaken
  • Launching the University’s Mediation Service to improve understanding and the frontline resolution of issues
  • Supporting development pathways with bitesize training sessions on demystifying promotions and grading review
  • Making workload allocation models more transparent to ensure greater equity across workloads
  • Developing searchable policies and FAQs, with an initial focus on family friendly policies, annual leave, and discipline, resulting in a reduction in queries 
  • Introducing a range of training (for example, Active Bystander, Dignity and Respect at Work) and materials to enhance workplace cultures and introducing Report and Support as a mechanism to report any matters of concern
  • Developing and delivering bitesize training sessions for managers to support effective performance management
  • Reviewing the Head of School role to provide consistency and transparency around responsibilities, recruitment, and development alongside introduction of an enhanced reward package.


The People Strategy has been developed in the context of our values, our commitment to social responsibility, and an evolving operating environment including a highly competitive labour market, different and evolving skills requirements, technological change, and changing employee expectations.  

Against that backdrop, we have identified five key strategic priorities which are critical to delivery of the University Strategy: 

For each priority, the Strategy outlines the context, a clear aim and the key actions required to deliver it.