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As a membership organisation owned by universities, SUMS Consulting combines independence and impartiality with our overall mission to work entirely in our Members’ interests. SUMS Members are part of a vibrant organisation that actively promotes and supports the development of good practice in Higher Education.


Our unique membership model is recognised as a shared service that offers great value-for-money. A variety of levels of membership are available, to suit a range of size of universities.


SUMS Consulting is paid for through an annual membership subscription and no additional charge is made for services undertaken within SUMS’ annual work programme. We are also able to undertake occasional additional work outside of the core programme for Members or for non-member universities at attractive fee rates. We undertake a rolling programme of assignments which can be arranged for individual organisations or collaborative studies carried out for the benefit of all Members.


All SUMS Member organisations will nominate a Member Representative who works with their SUMS Key Contact to arrange consulting assignments. Key Contacts are experienced management consultants who will work closely with Members to understand their needs.


SUMS Members have access to our management consultancy services, our expert staff, our extensive knowledge base and a range of valuable seminars, support groups and workshops which also provide useful networking opportunities.


The following benefits are all fully inclusive within our membership packages:

Member-Specific Consultancy Assignments
Each member organisation benefits from a number of consultancy days to deliver organisation-specific assignments.  These are delivered by our team of Higher Education Consultants whose expertise spans most areas of activity within universities and who bring an understanding of good practice across the sector to your assignment.


Collaborative Assignments 

Alongside individual assignments, we deliver a range of collaborative assignments where the involvement of more than one Member allows us to address issues that affect the sector as a whole.  Examples include benchmarking and comparisons of good practice, but also assignments where Members effectively share the development effort where there is a common interest.


Access to our Member Base 

Our Members collaborate on assignments, share good practice and work together to generate greater impact and accelerate new ideas.  Members find the ability to learn from each other very valuable.

Member Events

We run events and workshops responding to priority developments, Members’ interests and emerging good practice. Please visit our Events page for upcoming SUMS events.


Special Interest Groups
Groups are facilitated by SUMS consultants to support the exchange of good practice. Each group has its own agenda and calendar of activities


Professional Development Support

The service is for senior managers - we can help and support staff who have recently joined a university, been promoted internally to a new role or someone just seeking some reassurance, inspiration or support in meeting the challenges of working in a senior role in higher education.


Knowledge Base 

SUMS Members benefit from access to the SUMS knowledge base.  This knowledge base – combined with our consultants’ knowledge of good practice – is a unique asset that our Members value when looking at new assignments. Our knowledge base consists of the following:


  • Good Practice Guides and Reports 
    We regularly publish guidance and reports on areas of good practice and in response to Members’ interests

  • Copies of assignment reports 
    Reports are made available to all Members on request; unless a Member commissioning the report has withheld agreement to its release

  • Briefing Papers
    These summarise good practice and lessons learned that emerge from certain assignments and are distributed to all Members

  • Hot Topics

  • Annual Reports
    Each year’s Annual Report contains details of all individual and collaborative projects undertaken by SUMS Consulting for that year and outline proposals for next years’ developments