Audit and Risk Committee


To provide Court with such advice as it considers appropriate on matters relating to audit and internal control to assist Court in ensuring the proper discharge of its responsibilities for proper financial management, for the effectiveness of the internal control and management systems, for the safeguarding of the assets of the University and public funds, for the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the University’s activities, and in regard to risk management and corporate governance and the conduct of the University's operation.

Such powers delegated to the Committee by Court are as defined in the Scheme of Delegation.  The Committee shall have full authority to undertake and review activities associated with any matters within its terms of reference.  For the purposes of such activities, it shall be provided with adequate resources and full access to information and University personnel.

Reports to:

The Committee reports to the governing body, the University Court.  The Committee will therefore report through a paper relating to any substantive matters for consideration and through the submission of the minutes (these can include unapproved minutes agreed with the Committee Chair) of each meeting to the next available meeting of Court and the Committee Chair will provide a brief report highlighting items for Court to formally approve and/or note.


Risk management

To review the processes for ensuring the effectiveness of financial and other internal control systems, including monitoring the appropriateness and effectiveness of the University’s approach to the management of risk. It also

  • Advises Court on the effectiveness of policies and procedures for risk management

  • Receives reports on the implementation of the University’s Risk Management Policy

  • Submits an annual report to Court reviewing the University’s approach to the management of risk

To review and comment upon the assessment carried out by the internal auditors and external auditors of the effectiveness of the University's financial and other internal control systems, including controls specifically to prevent or detect fraud or other irregularities as well as those for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

To ensure that where internal audit reports or other information indicate a failing in controls which have been identified as being part of the University’s risk management process, these failures or deficiencies are promptly acted upon and remedied by the Senior Management Team.

Corporate Governance

To monitor compliance with corporate governance requirements and good practice guidance in the context of the remit of the Audit & Risk Committee.

Internal audit

To advise Court on the terms of reference for internal audit and the criteria for the selection, appointment and remuneration of internal auditors, and to recommend, following consideration of appropriate candidates, the appointment of such auditors.

To review the scope, efficiency and effectiveness of internal audit work, including the adequacy of the resourcing made available.

To initiate, consider and approve, and review as appropriate, the internal audit needs assessment.

To agree with the internal auditors the criteria for grading recommendations in reports, and to review the management responses and implementation of the agreed recommendations therein.

To ensure that the internal audit reports arising from the agreed internal audit plan are shared with the relevant Court committee as well as this committee.

External audit

To advise Court on the criteria for the selection, appointment and remuneration of external auditors and the scope of their work, and to recommend, following consideration of appropriate candidates, the appointment of such auditors.

To consider and comment upon the University’s annual financial statements and the external auditors' report prior to their consideration by the Finance & Corporate Performance Committee.

To review the external auditors’ management letter and the response thereto of senior management, to monitor implementation of agreed recommendations with direct access to the external auditors, and to keep under review any salient issues arising therefrom.

To review and monitor on an appropriate basis the effectiveness of the external audit service.

Value for money (VFM)

To evaluate the University's arrangements for securing the economical, efficient and effective management of its resources and the promotion of best practice in the light of experience and national studies.

To advise Court on potential topics for inclusion in any programme of value for money reviews and to provide a view on persons or bodies most appropriate to undertake assignments decided upon.

Other duties

To advise Court on any significant relevant reports from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Audit Scotland and other appropriate bodies.

To review the University's compliance with the SFC Financial Memorandum, and to advise Court thereon.

To review reported cases of impropriety to establish whether they have been appropriately dealt with.

To carry out such other duties as the Court may from time to time require.

To produce an annual report which shall incorporate any significant matters arising from the internal audit work and comment on the Committee’s assessment of its own effectiveness, for submission to Court and to SFC.

In carrying out its duties, to have authority to investigate any matters within its remit, and to have access as it requires to information and appropriate members of staff, and the resources necessary to carry out its remit.

To ensure it pays due attention to equality, diversity and inclusion in undertaking its work.




No fewer than four lay members of Court, (one to act as Chair). 

Additional external members:

Court may appoint additional lay persons who are not members of Court but who have appropriate experience or expertise, provided there is always a majority of lay members of Court on the Committee

In Attendance

Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Vice-Principal (Strategy & Governance) and University Secretary

Director of Finance, Infrastructure & Corporate Services

Note:  Representatives of the internal and external auditors will be invited to attend all meetings where relevant matters are under consideration.


Head of Governance and Deputy Secretary (nominated as Secretary by the Vice Principal (Strategy & Governance) and University Secretary)

Governance and Policy Officer (Minute Secretary)


Three members of the Committee.


The Committee shall meet at a minimum of 3 times per academic session. 

One meeting each year will be preceded by a private meeting of the Committee with the internal and external auditors without officers present.

Approved by Court - 14 June 2023

Current Composition

Appointed Members:

John Barnett – Chair

Veronica Lynch - Vice-Chair

Liz Blackburn

Fraser Keir

Ian McDonald

Tony Marks - Chair of the Finance and Corporate Performance Committee


Professor Liz Bacon - Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Caroline Summers - Vice-Principal (Strategy & Governance) and University Secretary

Gordon Weir - Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services

Steven Caldwell - AAB - External Auditor

Graeme Penman - AAB - External Auditor

Andrew Shaw - AAB - External Auditor

David Eardley - Azets - Internal Auditor


Dr Dianne Peden - Head of Governance and Deputy Secretary

If you would like a copy of the Committee Terms of Reference and Composition in another format, please email




Pause carousel

Play carousel