Consultation on a new approach to regulating harassment and sexual misconduct in English higher education

The Office for Students consultation on a new ongoing condition of registration closes on 4 May 2023.

The OfS has proposed a new ongoing condition of registration E6 in relation to harassment and sexual misconduct.  Broadly this would impose obligations on Higher Education Institutions to:

  • Publish a single document setting out their approach to tackling sexual misconduct and harassment;
  • Have the capacity and resources to comply with the condition;
  • Comply with the condition in a manner consistent with freedom of speech principles;
  • Ban the use of relevant non-disclosure agreements;
  • Either a) oblige relevant staff to register any personal relationships with students or b) ban such relationships.

These in turn involve resource-heavy expectations including mandatory staff and student training, alongside investigating incidents and providing support for all students involved in incidents. 

Although there is a collective will to address these issues, there is concern as to the proposal that HEIs should be compliant within three months of the OfS decision, particularly where mandatory training is required, and employment contracts may need to be revised. 

Any HEIs who have not already done so, would be well advised to start to assess how compliant they are against the proposed condition, and how they can begin to approach closing any gaps.

Our content explained

Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.

Posted by


Mills & Reeve Sites navigation
A tabbed collection of Mills & Reeve sites.
My Mills & Reeve navigation
Subscribe to, or manage your My Mills & Reeve account.
My M&R


Register for My M&R to stay up-to-date with legal news and events, create brochures and bookmark pages.

Existing clients

Log in to your client extranet for free matter information, know-how and documents.


Mills & Reeve system for employees.