The Honest Marketer

CMA compliance risk assessment

In 2018/19, Kathryn worked with a public research university (who wishes to remain anonymous) to assess its compliance with consumer protection law and advertising standards. Conducting an in-depth audit and consultation across the institution, which encompassed central marketing, admissions and student recruitment, together with faculties and professional services, she was able to develop a detailed picture of the informal and formal processes used internally to collate, check and disseminate information. This enabled her to indicate the strengths, weaknesses and risk posed to the institution from published (print/digital) and verbal information given to prospective students and/or made public. She provided a detailed risk matrix with recommended mitigation activities, subsequently presented to the senior executive team.

Considering whether you need an external audit? Do you know:

  • Who is responsible for sign off & fact checking?
  • What reference sources do staff use to find information?
  • Who stores what & how is information shared?
  • How do you proactively manage published content copyright?
  • Do you ensure the 'approved' shelf life of image or student quotes/testimonials is adhered to?
  • If queried, can you locate relevant consent forms?
  • Are outreach staff & enquiry handlers kept up-to-date?
  • Who is responsible for sign off & fact checking?
  • What information exists where on the web & in print?
  • How do you make sure old information is removed?
  • Do all staff understand consumer protection obligations?
  • Are staff aware of advertising & communications standards?