About Us

PHES is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, and is owned entirely by its member HE institutions. It is a shared service that provides the legal framework for different HE sector organisations to be run effectively, share staff and operational resources. There are currently seven sector organisations under the PHES ‘umbrella’:

  • Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE)
  • Association of University Legal Practitioners (AULP)
  • British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG)
  • College & University Business Officers (CUBO)
  • Council for Higher Education Internal Auditors (CHEIA)
  • Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA)
  • Universities Human Resources (UHR). 

Each has complete autonomy to run its finances within the financial sustainability rules set out in the PHES agreement. Each organisation has its own structure and terms of reference and is run by its own executive. The Directors delegate responsibility for day-to-day management of the associations to the most senior member of staff working on behalf of that association. 

PHES is managed by an Executive Board supported by a Managing Director:

  • Gill Ball OBE - Gill was the Director of Finance at the University of Birmingham, and continues to engage with the sector through OfS and delivering Advance HE programmes, as well as working directly with HE institutions.
  • Melvyn Keen - Melvyn was the Deputy Chief Executive at Middlesex University and, prior to that, Deputy VC and Director of Finance. He is now programme director of Advance HE’s Strategic Finance Programme.
  • Kim Frost - Kim worked for over 15 years as HR Director at the University of London (Senate House), and was Chair of UHR for two years. He is an independent Trustee of two Higher Education institutions and remains engaged in the sector through some HR projects for a variety of institutions.
  • Dominic Fryer (Managing Director) - Dominic joined PHES in 2014 and since then has worked closely with the executive committees of all the associations and staff to welcome them to the Company. As Managing Director his priorities are to develop PHES to support the SIOs in the best way possible, to motivate and develop our people and ensure we operate first-class company governance. You can contact Dominic by email dominic@phes.ac.uk


The benefits of PHES

There are many benefits to HE membership organisations being part of PHES, which in turn benefit their member institutions.

  • The existing, shared legal framework and terms of reference ensures each SIO does not have to go through the expensive process of establishing their own separate, legal entity
  • The shared accounting and governance services through the PHES board are a considerable efficiency saving over each organisation contracting separately with, or employing an accounting function
  • The shared staff resources offer considerable savings to all organisations and to their university members. Savings extend to the collection of subscription fees, where the subscriptions of all the organisations are collected on the same invoice
  • The database and Content Management System form the ‘engine’ that runs behind all the organisational websites. This provides significant savings as each organisation does not have to establish and pay for its own website development, and improvements to one can be shared across all of them. Each organisation can also help the others in keeping the institutional and individual data up to date

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that, as members of PHES, the staff of each organisation work together on projects that benefit more than just the association they are involved with. As there are many similarities between membership organisations, the close working of staff allows each of the organisations to learn and benefit from all the others. There are joint PHES team meetings four times a year to facilitate this.

Find out what PHES offers each association



The membership of PHES is made up of higher education institutions and there are two levels of membership - Full Members and Associate Members. If your institution wishes to become a member of PHES, then please email dominic@phes.ac.uk to request a form.

You can also download the PHES articles of association.


Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Professional HE Services Ltd (PHES) is committed to promoting and implementing equity of opportunity for our staff and wider community.

PHES aims to create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued.

Read our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.