Associates Policy

See also:

1. Introduction

Associate status can be conferred on individuals who require unsupervised access to the University’s buildings, libraries and/or IT systems for a significant period of time, to carry out work for or with the University (who are not our employees and who are not acting in an Honorary/Visiting Academic capacity).

For an individual to be granted Associate status there must be an appropriate agreement in place covering the work to be undertaken by the Associate. The nature of this will vary and will be specific to the reason for the association with the University.  This could be an agreement between the individual and the University (e.g. consultancy contract for services, work experience placement letter, etc) or an agreement between the individual’s employer and the University (e.g. supplier contract, research agreement, collaboration agreement, partnership agreement, agency contract, etc.). If further advice is required on this subject please contact the appropriate contact as detailed in the Contracts - who to go to document (PDF).

Associates will need to be identified within one of the following categories, which are defined in more detail in Section 2 (this is separate to their personal role title which should be appropriate to the role purpose):

Out of Scope. The following groups do not require Associate status:

2. Category Descriptions

Associate status will be granted under one of the following categories:

Agency Workers

This refers to staff on assignment at the University from either recognised framework agencies; non-framework agencies; or a third party intermediary who supplies contractors.  Associate status is not required for Temporary workers from the University’s Temporary Staffing Service (TSS) since IT access for this group is arranged via the TSS team directly.

University Subsidiary Staff

The University has a number of subsidiary limited companies that it owns wholly or partly, eg. Bristol Innovations, Langford Veterinary Services, NCC Operations, Oval, Park Row, The Science Research Foundation, University of Bristol Services. The majority of staff working for the subsidiary will not be employed directly by the University of Bristol.

Self Employed Individuals

These are usually people who are engaged with the University to carry out specific work. They are paid directly by purchase order, via their business name or by cheque. They will not be paid via payroll.

Third Party Organisations

This category covers a wide range of service providers, clients and visiting organisations. This also covers people visiting from organisations that audit, review and assess the University of Bristol externally.

UoB Partner Representative

This category refers to individuals from a third party organisation, where there is (or is intended to be) a collaborative partnership arrangement in place between the University and the third party organisation covering the relationship between UoB and the third party organisation.  Such relationship will be more collaborative in nature than a standard 'fee for service' arrangement, and include research, education, enterprise and/or engagement activity undertaken for the mutual benefit of UoB and the third party organisation.

Student Union Staff/Sabbatical Officers

The Student Union team is run by a team of annually elected full-time officers, supported by a permanent staff team and a board of trustees.

University Governance

This includes any unpaid committee members, chairs or members of council.

Student Placements

A student placement is where the University of Bristol enters into an agreement to place a student within a faculty/department for the purpose of gaining experience for their study, or internally arranged between faulty/department and a student. Internal students should already have a SITS record as well as MyERP during this period. Only Bristol University Students should be on the SITS system. Student placements should only be entered onto MyERP if they are actually undertaking work as part of the placement (and not just studying).

Work Experience Placements

Work experience is defined as an unpaid placement on university premises where a person carries out a particular task or duty, or a range of tasks or duties, more or less as an employee would, but with an emphasis on the learning aspects of the experience (normally for one or two weeks). Typical work experience students will be 15-17 years of age.

Student/Work Experience Placements - Examples



UoB student is placed within a UoB faculty as a student placement.



Cardiff University arrange a placement with the Faculty of Science at UoB to place a student with the University for 2 months to gain experience.



A student from a local college is attending Bristol University to complete the final model of a course, which they missed at their college because of illness.



A local school student works at the university as part of the schools work experience programme. (n.b. this is therefore a work experience placement, not a student placement). They will only require MyERP access if deemed necessary, otherwise they could be issued a temporary login with a Guest Account via IT Services.



A UoB student takes up a part time post for 14 hours a week whilst studying. The post is banded at grade C. This is therefore not a student placement, and the student should be treated like a normal part time employee and HR Employee Services should manage their recruitment.



3. How to arrange Associate Status

For information about arranging Associate status for an individual, see How to Engage Honorary and Visiting Academics and Associates - Guidance for Sponsors and Co-ordinators.

Status is requested using the Associate Form (Office document, 71kB)

4. Visas and ATAS

Individuals coming from outside of the UK (unless they hold pre-settled or settled status) for academic and research purposes will nearly always require entry clearance and in some cases will require an ATAS certificate, see below.


ATAS is a UK government scheme which provides a vetting service for students and researchers from certain countries. This scheme was original for students who had an offer to study at a UK HEI in certain, sensitive subjects. However, the Home Office has decided to extend the scheme to researchers and as of 21st May 2021, it is a legal requirement for relevant individuals to hold an ATAS certificate. The aim is to prevent technology research/knowledge from being used to support military programmes “of significant concern” overseas. Please find full details of the ATAS scheme here. 

If an Associate is coming to the UK as a visitor, they may need to obtain an ATAS certificate before beginning any relevant research activity in the UK. However, they do not need to do so before they apply for a UK visitor visa (where relevant). They should obtain this before travelling to the UK though.

The Faculty, School or Department must check the ATAS certificate before allowing the research to start, and if this is not provided then the Associate would not be permitted on-site.

For more information please see the guidance on UK visas and immigration information for managers and staff.