Private and professional work policy for academic staff on the joint staff
(UCT/Western Cape Government, or UCT/NHLS joint staff)
- Joint staff on the conditions of service of the Western Cape Government or the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) are subject to their employer's laws and regulation of work outside their contracts. Such staff who are clinically qualified must obtain R.W.O.P.S. (remunerated work outside the Public Service) permission to undertake private clinical work, whether inside or outside the Western Cape Government Hospitals, or the NHLS equivalent.
- Joint staff on the conditions of service of the University must meet their teaching, research and clinical service obligations. It is a condition of service of the Joint Staff that full-time members may not undertake private work (professional or otherwise). However, provided teaching, research and clinical obligations are met exceptions may be permitted.
- For the purpose of this policy we define (and distinguish between) -
- private work to mean work done -
- off-campus and outside of the teaching hospitals;
- outside the ambit of the University;
- unrelated to the joint staff member's professional role;
- which does not require the use of any UCT facilities or equipment; and
- which does not involve him/her employing a UCT staff member who reports to him directly or indirectly.
- private professional work to mean work undertaken for the joint staff's member's own account, or for a third party, related to, or relying upon, his or her professional capacity or professional qualifications (and includes, but is not limited to, private clinical practice and drug trials if not as part of a Western Cape Government or University contract).
- private work to mean work done -
- As the interests of the University and of the Western Cape Government or NHLS must be protected a full-time member of the joint staff may not engage in any private work or private professional work (paid or voluntary) that conflicts with the interests of the University or the performance of his/her obligations as a member of the joint staff: in particular it must not detract from the performance of his or her teaching obligations or clinical responsibilities or contributions to scholarship through research.
- A full-time member of the joint staff does not require prior permission to do private work (as defined above) that does not involve a conflict of interest or detract from his/her duties, but must inform his/her line manager (HOD or Dean or DVC) in writing of the nature and extent of all private work he/she undertakes.
- The exceptions to the general rule that joint staff on the University conditions may not undertake private professional work permit limited private professional practice and private professional work for third parties subject to the following conditions -
- prior written approval must be obtained from the Dean (or the DVC for the Dean);
- where this is for clinical work (limited private practice) (LPP) on the same basis that R.W.O.P.S. permission is given (essentially, LPP permission will not be given for clinical work outside of Groote Schuur Hospital, Red Cross Hospital, the UCT Private Academic Hospital or the UCT Lung Institute except in exceptional and unusual cases); this must be applied for and renewed annually; this will only be for work done over and above the individual's contracted 40 hours per week; and on the understanding this work may reduce or cancel the joint staff member's eligibility for commuted overtime.
- where this is professional work for a third party (e.g. a drug trial which is not governed by a UCT contract, an NHLS contract or a Western Cape Government contract, and involves only private patients) on the basis that direct and indirect costs incurred by the University must be recovered, on the basis specified by the Dean on giving approval; and
- where ethical approval is required (and this is required for multi-side trials) this approval must have been obtained from the Faculty's Ethics Committee (if necessary, in addition to ethical clearance obtained from any other competent ethical clearing body).
- It will often be the case that a full-time member of the joint staff on the University conditions of service may be an investigator, or the principal investigator (PI), in a research contract between UCT and a third party. In such cases the normal protocol for a research contract will apply;
- the contract will be with UCT and not the staff member, and a UCT signatory must approve the contract;
- UCT will invoice the client; the staff member will not;
- UCT will pursue outstanding debt, and make provision for bad debt;
- any such contract must be costed using full cost recovery principles applicable to research contracts; the price of the contract must be set on the basis of the direct and overhead cost recovery guidelines and these costs will be a charge against the contract; and
- the contract costing may contain provisions for additional payments to the PI, other investigators, and others working on the project. If it does, then these must be explicitly provided for and approved in advance by the UCT signatory; these will be a charge against the contract and the payments will be made by UCT through the payroll system.
Any surplus on completion of a contract (i.e. after all charges on the contract have been met) will be credited:
- to the PI's general research fund (where the PI is contractually required to do research) and the PI will have decision rights to use this fund to cover research expenditure under the standard rules relating to research funds (including payment of salaries to people engaged in the research, but subject to the proviso that a fund-holder must obtain approval from his/her HOD for any salary payment to himself/herself, and that all salary payments are made via the payroll system); or
- in other cases, in an academic department, the surplus must be credited at the discretion of the head of department (HOD) to a departmental operating fund, or an existing research fund over which the HOD or a researcher in the department has decision rights; or
- in other cases, in the case of a PASS department, the surplus must be credited at the discretion of the HOD to a departmental operating fund, or an existing special purposes fund over which the HOD or a member of the department has decision rights.
- It is recorded for completeness that individual staff (on the joint staff, on UCT, or Western Cape Government or NHLS conditions of service) unless they have explicit delegated authority form the University Council, do not have the authority or capacity to sign or enter into contracts on behalf of the University policies and rules set out in respect of research contracts between UCT and third parties, in particular the provisions relating to the costing of these contracts and the application of any surplus, apply equally in respect of research contracts where the PI is a member of the Joint Staff on Western Cape Government or NHLS conditions of service.
- Any failure to comply with any of the requirements of this policy will be deemed to constitute a material breach of employment conditions; without limiting the generality of this, any of the following would constitute a material breach -
- the failure to report private work fully, accurately, or timeously;
- solicitation in acceptance of paid work which might otherwise have been undertaken by the staff member in his/her capacity as a staff member;
- undertaking private professional work without having obtained written approval; or
- committing time or effort, or affording undue priority to private professional work, or private work, to the detriment of the University and/or the service.
Amended as requested by Council
25 October 2004
Page last updated: 19 April 2012