Section 172(1) of the Companies Act 2006 states that a director of a company must act in the way he/she considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard (amongst other matters) to:
a. The likely consequences of any decision in the long term
b. The interests of the company’s employees
c. The need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and
d. The impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment
e. The desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business
f. The need to act fairly as between members of the company.
This statement details how the Company complies with Section 172(1) – how we engage with, and have due regard for the interests of our key stakeholders.
The vision of the Company is to enable motivated people anywhere in the world to fulfil their potential through educational achievement, international mobility, and career development.
For the Company to achieve this, we have to make sufficient profit from our trading operations to reward our staff, sustain our commercial vitality, and finance future product development. These principles are the core fundamentals that underpin the Company’s strategic direction. In setting the strategic direction of the Company, Directors also take into account the principal risks facing the business.
Decision-making at the Board: All matters which under the Company’s governance arrangements are reserved for decision by the Directors are presented at Board meetings. Directors are briefed on any potential impacts and risks for our customers, staff, and other stakeholders including our suppliers, the community and environment and how they are to be managed. The Directors take these factors into account before making a final decision which together they believe is in the best interests of the Company and its stakeholders.
Stakeholders: Our key stakeholders are
– Our staff, as the development and delivery of products which meet the needs of our customers sits with them.
– Our customers in higher education institutions, as we look to respond to their needs and build long term relationships that enable us to deliver on our mission.
– The end users of our services, the students and potential students, whose views we seek to tailor our offerings and insight to give them the best information to make their further education choices.
– Our investors and shareholders, whose support is vital to provide the scrutiny of the decisions made by the leadership team to ensure the business remains in sound financial health.
– Our suppliers, whose products and services we use to provide a quality experience to our customers.
– Our community, as we look to deliver our mission and give more motivated people around the world the opportunity to develop through higher education.
How we engage and foster strong relationships with some of our key stakeholders:
Staff – Officevibe surveys, All Hands Calls, Global Wellness Team, Inclusion initiatives, LinkedIn Learning provision, 7Geese Recognition Centre, Employee of the Quarter awards
Customers – User groups, Production of Rankings and Conferences and Events.
Students – International Student survey, Production of Rankings, Recruitment Events, Enrolment enquiry management.
Investors and shareholders- Monthly Board reporting, Annual statutory accounts, Quarterly shareholder reporting.
Suppliers – Strategic partnership, Repeat bookings, Timely payments.
Community – Charity initiatives, support for Hackney Pirates and Plan International, scholarships funded through QS Education Trust
We aim to make sufficient profit to sustain the Company’s commercial vitality and to enable longer term investment in our products to be made. This is balanced against the needs of our customers, staff and other stakeholders and the community to ensure we are conducting all our business relationships with integrity. The long-term sustainability of the Company is at the forefront of decision-making, particularly in response to the impact on international higher education of COVID-19. The Company has taken measures to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains.
Community and environment
In 2019, as part of its commitment to sustainability, QS became a certified CarbonNeutral® Company, reflecting our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment through a range of efficiency initiatives and offsetting unavoidable emissions through a verified carbon offset forestry project in Brazil.
The Company aims to conduct all its business relationships with integrity and courtesy, and has introduced a Code of Conduct which sets out expectations of appropriate behaviour. Anti bribery training is a core training module that all staff have to complete upon joining the company, and for all sales staff to retake at regular intervals thereafter.
Acting fairly as between the Company’s members
Where employment regulations and practice across the Company’s global subsidiaries permit, all relevant staff are included in annual discretionary bonus schemes, to reward our people for their contribution to the success of the Company.
APPROVED BY THE BOARD
30th June 2020