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Durham University


Security Personnel
Porter and post room duties
Pest control
Mechanical and engineering
Event door supervision

Durham University (DU) is distinctive - a Collegiate University with ancient traditions and modern values, and home to over 19,600 students and members of staff. 

Today, it is one of the UK’s top three universities and continues to invest in our future generations. A World Heritage site, DU has been a leading European centre of learning for 1,000 years.

DU has outsourced aspects of its facilities management (FM) provision for a
number of years. In 2009, Mitie was awarded the contract to deliver a full suite
of FM services thanks to our ability to add value, increase efficiencies and
implement a management fee saving on the contract.

The Mitie solution

The estate is divided across three separate locations: Durham City, Queen's
Campus, Stockton, and Net Park, Sedgefield. The University chose Mitie
because of our wide FM offering; cleaning services, pest control, post room
duties, security, reception duties and electrical maintenance. The security
requirements included access control to campus buildings, CCTV monitoring,
and for security personnel to respond to out of hours queries and to provide
assistance to students, staff and visitors.
Mitie were able to deliver all of these services, and close contact with the
University throughout the mobilisation period saw the successful transfer of a
large number of facilities operatives to Mitie across the three locations.
Since transfer, Mitie has worked closely with the University to transform FM
services by changing work routines, providing supportive management to the
facilities teams and expert advice and recommendations to the University.
We introduced a bespoke uniform, developed in line with the University’s own
brand and image, so that staff, students and visitors see Mitie’s FM team as an
integral part of University life.

Training and development

Since becoming a DU partner, we have played a pivotal role in transforming
customer service. By working in collaboration with the University, an innovative
customer care training course, labelled “Everyone’s Our Customer”, was
created to improve the service experience of staff, students and visitors to the
campus. Terry Cheese, our performance and training specialist, worked with
the University’s training officer to take their own objectives and develop a
programme that could be delivered to front-line facilities management staff.

Using short videos of feedback from senior University staff to help set expectations, Terry developed materials that provided staff with the opportunity to understand the types of behaviours and values that the client was looking for. Feedback from trainees and senior staff was excellent. They found the programme enjoyable, interesting, and highly valuable in understanding how their approach could be improved to meet customer

Sophie Sowerby, Training and Development Manager at Durham,
commented on how Terry “has worked in true partnership with the training
and development team at the university. We have been impressed by his
enthusiasm, commitment, professionalism and efficiency which he has
applied to all aspects of his contribution to this programme of improving
training standards for our joint teams.”

Added value

As the contract developed, additional services were introduced. PAT testing
has been launched across all sites, event management has begun at
Durham City, and the Queen’s Campus cleaning regime has been adjusted.
The quarterly senior management and monthly review meetings are the ideal
opportunity to identify contract improvements and review the bespoke KPIs.

The future

As we enter the third year of the contract we will continue to develop the
services we provide. This year we completed a complex transfer of the in-house
security supervision team based at Durham City; supporting their
personal training needs prior to completing a successful transfer and
integration of the team into Mitie.

We will continue to develop our delivery strategy to exceed the University’s
expectations. Most importantly we will make sure staff, students and visitors
enjoy their experience at England’s third eldest University.


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