Membership of the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC)

CPHC is the subject body for university computing in the UK. It exists to promote public education in computing and its applications, and to provide a forum for those responsible for management and research in university computing departments. CPHC is an independent body, registered as a charity in England & Wales (no: 803000) and also in Scotland ( SCO41548). Although we work closely with all the professional and statutory organisations relevant to our sector, we are not affiliated to any other body. For example, we employ the BCS, The Chartered Institute of IT to provide secretariat support, but we are not affiliated to or part of the BCS.

Operating as an independent body allows CPHC to act as a lobbying organisation on behalf of our membership, representing their interests and concerns to central and local government, the funding councils, the research councils, the professional bodies, national and international special interest groups, learned societies, and a wide range of commercial and industrial organisations.

CPHC is recognised as the Subject Body for Computing by the UK Funding Councils and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). CPHC also works in conjunction with UK Computing Research Committee (UKCRC) to address research issues with the UK Research Councils, particularly the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). We are founding members of the BCS Academy of Computing and have representation on the Academy Board.

To ensure that members have the opportunity to air their concerns and argue for CPHC to represent a particular position or view, we provide a mediated email forum for membership discussion, an annual conference for members, and dedicated working groups that focus on areas of particular interest.

The CPHC Committee leads its operations. The members of which are elected at the annual CPHC conference from amongst the full CPHC membership. Committee posts last for two years. CPHC membership is open to Professors and Heads (and on occasions other Senior Staff) of Computing Departments in UK Universities. Currently CPHC has 715 members from 107 UK Universities. This provides a mandate as the representational body for this group in the UK and ensures that policy-makers and practitioners undertaking any activities that affect our sector consult CPHC.

Membership is charged to institutions rather than to individuals, so if you are not currently a member of CPHC but are eligible, you can become a member at no personal cost. More information is available via the CPHC Website (

As with all membership organisations, CPHC can only be as active and as vibrant as its members, so we would encourage you not only to join CPHC but to be active and involved through the mailing list and responding to calls for help and information. We can be as effective as our members want us to be.

Benefits of Membership

CPHC, as a membership body, represents nearly all HE computing departments and senior staff in the UK. CPHC has the authority and the mandate to represent the HE computing sector to elected representatives of parliament, the funding councils, the research councils, charitable bodies, public bodies, FE and the Schools sector, and industry in all its forms. To its membership, CPHC offers a comprehensive set of links at local, national and international level with a very wide range of groups.

In this context, CPHC provides representation on behalf of its membership, to address issues of funding, for both teaching and research, professional standards, recruitment issues, and such other topics as the membership wish to have pursued from time to time. To support this activity CPHC consults with its membership through a variety of mechanisms: JISC mailing lists; the CPHC website; regular news updates; and an annual conference where all of the activities of CPHC and the issues for the membership are discussed.

In support of its membership, CPHC also acts to research, collate and disseminate information relating to all aspects of the management of HE computing, teaching and research, and best practices in those areas. Through links with industry, CPHC is able to offer opportunities for national level project development and localised interactions to encourage greater volume and a wider spread of industry/academic interaction.

In collaboration with the Sector Skills Councils, CPHC is also able to influence national and regional initiatives in skills development, industry liaison and promotion of the discipline. CPHC also interacts with a number of other professional, voluntary and public bodies in promoting public engagement with science, and particularly with computer science, and always seeks to be actively engaged in a number of activities in this area.

Role of Subgroups and Activities

CPHC will form subgroups to focus on particular issues. The initiation and lifetime of these subgroups will be decided by the main committee and will have the following rules:

  1. The chair of any subgroup will be either an elected or co-opted committee member,
  2. There is no limit on members of the CPHC committee taking on roles in subgroups,
  3. Subgroups must provide minutes of meetings to keep the CPHC committee informed of their activities,
  4. Subgroups can have members from outside the CPHC Committee, but the process for identification and recruitment of members must be agreed with the committee to ensure it is representative of their community,
  5. If appropriate, subgroups must normally provide an action plan at the start of the year to the CPHC committee,
  6. Remit and terms of reference of subgroups should be annually reviewed by the main committee at its first meeting after the AGM.

Joining CPHC

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