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A Brief History of Process Improvement


Since 2009 Edinburgh Napier University has been implementing Process Improvement, initially through the Sustainable Futures team, and then from 2014 as part of Information Services (IS). 

In October 2021 the Business Improvement services  moved to form part of a directorate reporting to the new Head of Strategy & Planning and Secretary to Court. 

When integrated into IS, studies and information about our activity was shared through channels such as IS Scoops. ​

For case studies and annual reports from the Sustainable Futures team 2009-2014, check out the links below.

We reflect annually on our activity so far, check out details in:
Annual Report 2013-14​​​​​


Consultancy/Facilitation - Academic Board Committee Structures

As part of a consultation exercise on the University's Academic Board and sub-committees, we supported a workshop for almost 40 senior staff, reaching a successful consensus informing the way forward.

Process Improvement - Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans

Year-long review enhancing the Universities approach to emergency evacutation, notably for people with disabilities.

Process Improvement & Coaching - Practice Learning Improvement

Significant project to improve how Practice Learning (formerly Placements) are managed in the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Consultancy - Week 1 Review

Workshop and follow up to support redesign of Week 1 to meet alignment between UG and PG academic years, while enhancing the programme focus.


Coaching - Academic Event Advertising

Coaching to assist staff in redesigning how the market their services internally.

Academic Event Advertising Case Study (pdf)

Consultancy Service - Examinations

Consutancy to support the improvement of how we administer Examinations.

Examinations Cartoon Case Study (pdf)

Rapid Improvement Event - Matriculation

An RIE to support the redesign of the University's matriculation process, to ensure better use of University resource, and improved student experience.

Matriculation Case Study (pdf)

Process Redesign - Financial Aid

Here the team supported staff to make the financial aid process quicker and more accessible for our students.

Financial Aid Case Study (pdf)

Coaching - Board Paper Production

In this coaching assignment the Sustainable Futures team supported a staff member in redesigning their business processes.

Board Papers Case Study (pdf)

Process Redesign - Paperless UCAS Business Process

This series of workshops successfully helped our admissions team prepare for UCAS ceasing delivery of paper application forms, and moved the University to a paper light process.

UCAS Case Study (pdf)


RIE 5 - Student Accommodation

The fifth RIE focused on the Student Accommodation process, from application to a student arriving at a flat development, as well as giving assistance to students who are not successful in getting accommodation. 

RIE 5 - Briefing document (pdf)


RIE 4 - Student Feedback

The fourth RIE focused for the first time in an academic area, of student feedback within the Business School. The event focussed on all feedback that is provided to undergraduate students in the Business School.  

 RIE 4 - Briefing document 


"Sustainable Futures have helped the Business School focus resources to addressing a highly complex issue. In the normal course of events that issue would not have been resolved through a myriad of uncoordinated small actions which in themselves may or may not have been focused on the root causes.

The Rapid Improvement Event was the first to take place within an entirely academic context, and I'm glad to report that the approach is clearly applicable and that the analysis carried out after consulting colleagues across the University, and the action plan that will now be implemented  already represent a substantial step forward in our understanding of the issues around feedback to students."


RIE 3 - FinanceRIE event 3 - working in the sunshine

The third RIE Event focussed on Finance Services, specifically the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) process and Modular Billing to students.
 RIE 3 - Briefing document




RIE 2 event - report outRIE 2 - Human Resources

RIE 2 turned the spotlight on Human Resources and specifically many of their processes - recruitment and selection, employment changes, claims and absence, which ultimately affect everyone in the University.

 RIE 2 - Briefing document


RIE Event 1 - Report OutRIE 1 - Admissions Process

RIE 1 focussed on the application process for those students who apply directly to the University. This covered receipt of application through to the start of week one.  

 RIE 1 - Briefing document     


As project sponsor, it was extremely rewarding to be involved with the first RIE event at Edinburgh Napier. The energy and commitment of staff from across the University to review core processes was very impressive, and I am confident that the outcomes will deliver real improvements to our customers.

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