Getty images 530289239 modern slavery
This statement is made pursuant to Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending July 2022. 


Modern slavery takes many forms including slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour, child exploitation and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. 
This is now our sixth successive annual statement and the University of Plymouth remains committed to continually improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking, protecting and respecting human rights.

Our structure

The University of Plymouth is renowned for high quality, internationally leading education, research and innovation. We make a positive difference to people’s lives. With a truly global outlook, we are an inclusive and inspiring university community. 
The University’s Structure includes six subsidiaries companies. The Group is made up of; Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC (PDSE), PDSE Limited (PDSEL), PMS (Facilities) Plymouth Limited, (PMSF), University Commercial Services Plymouth Limited (UCSP), University of Plymouth Enterprise Limited (UPEL) and University of Plymouth Services Limited (UPSL)

Our policy on slavery and human trafficking

In pursuit of Our Mission the University procures a truly diverse range of goods, services and works. 
We recognise that it is possible for instances of modern slavery to occur in any supply chain, therefore we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity and will not tolerate modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains.
We evidence this our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity through a number of policies including;
The tendering undertaken by the University uses our terms and conditions and the supplier on-boarding processes, both of which support our anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking values, to ensure the potential for Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking are duly considered at the early stages of the contracting cycle.  


We promote resources and increase awareness to our staff about Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking risks through our internal Procurement SharePoint pages. Through this we provide access to e-learning modules on these topics and promote externally available resources such as the UK Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline (Unseen)

Our supply chains 

The University of Plymouth's supply chains are truly diverse, with over 2,000 suppliers (domestic and international) supporting our delivery of high-quality teaching and research.  
All suppliers are assigned a commodity code helping to identify those who trade in commodities where potential for Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking is a higher risk. This insight is used to inform our sourcing activity. 
The highest risk commodities areas have been identified as;
  • Audio-Visual, IT & Multimedia Supplies; 
  • Catering Supplies & Services; 
  • Furniture, Furnishings & textiles; 
  • Janitorial & Domestic Supplies & Services;
  • Professional & Bought-in Services including consultancy;
  •  Travel & Transport (incl. Vehicle hire & Subsistence);
  • Estates & Buildings;

What have we done in 2021/22

The University Tendering Policy includes a Responsible Procurement statement, which includes Social, Ethical, Economic and Environmental factors. Both the Policy and Statement were reviewed and updated during 2021/22 and is revisited on at least a biennial basis.
In June 2022, the University Procurement Strategy was refreshed, which reaffirms our commitment to addressing Modern Slavery as a key priority. As the University continues to grow we recognise that our supply chains will change and adapt to meet the needs of our expanding operation with potential to extend further into international markets.  
In order to advance our commitment to responsible sourcing. the Procurement team obtained the CIPS Corporate Ethics Mark, honing their skills and knowledge of ethical procurement and sustainable supply chains.
We have continued to recognise those supply chains that represent a risk of modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour, and labour rights violations. We have not identified any such activity, however if the University does identify instances of modern slavery in its supply chain, relevant action will be taken, including informing the police and terminating the associated contract pending a full review.

What we are going to do in the future

The challenge of modern slavery and human trafficking is one that is best addressed through the ongoing and proactive engagement with suppliers, members of the UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) and wider professional networks such as HEPA (Higher Education Procurement Association), through which the sharing of experience will establish and maintain best practice.
During the Financial year ending 31st July 2023 we will;
  • Increase internal awareness of modern slavery risks by supporting and promoting Anti Slavery Week. Activity will include sharing with staff statistics on the scale of the issue and running internal communication campaigns up to and beyond Anti Slavery Day.
  • Conduct a review of the new British Standard (BS) 25700:2022 - Organizational responses to modern slavery, published in September 2022, creating from this a rolling 24 month action plan with defined targets.
  • Work with colleagues in the Sustainability team to complete a process review in-line with the ISO20400 Sustainable Procurement standard, which includes the principles and core subjects of human rights, labour practices and fair business practices
  • University Commercial Services Plymouth Limited (UCSP), will continue to evidence the University’s commitment to Fairtrade by initiating the process of re-accreditation.