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General Compliance Guidelines of the University of Cologne

The actions of the University of Cologne (UoC), its members and staff, are determined by personal responsibility, honesty and respect for fellow humans and the environment, but also by knowledge of and compliance with the rules relevant to the UoC.
By compliance, the UoC means adherence to legal, science-specific and internal organizational regulations. The UoC, as a community of students, academics and employees, is aware of its role in society and the responsibility this entails. The University has therefore adopted the compliance guidelines, which bring together and bundle basic regulations and principles of conduct in this web portal to guide the actions of its members and staff. This has a preventive and risk-minimizing effect and shows how to behave within the higher education and science system, which is characterized by a high degree of freedom. In this context, it is not only a matter of issues relevant to criminal law, for example, compliance with the law, but also compliance with rules of conduct, guidelines and voluntary behavioural codes that the UoC has imposed on itself.

The trust in members and staff showing behaviour characterized by responsibility, compliance with law and integrity is of the utmost importance for the reputation and success of the University.


General Compliance Principles of the University of Cologne

The UoC fully applies various general principles to prevent compliance-related misconduct, such as:

  • avoidance of sole responsibility,
  • co-signatures by different persons to approve processes / double signatures, e.g. of budgets,
  • formal and transparent rules,
  • separation of decision-making from implementation or processing – such as separating the requesting department from the awarding body, separating budget monitoring from its approval, separating the awarding of a contract from the receipt of the service,
  • independent examination committees and bodies,
  • measures to increase transparency such as IT-supported arrangements for documentation, announcement and publication of resolutions, standardized notes in certain cases,
  • random or regular process controls,
  • training and further information events, e.g. on how to prevent corruption,
  • randomly assigning various tasks to staff members.

The actions of the members and staff of the UoC are, of course, bound by law. Therefore, with the exception of the construction management, legal principles are not explicitly mentioned here. Instead, these guidelines specify fundamental requirements for the actions and behaviours of the members and staff of the UoC and underline key points that are of particular importance in the University’s application of compliance.


Integrity in Business

The UoC pursues an active strategy of corruption prevention both internally and externally and does not tolerate any form of corruption, bribery or taking advantage

Transparent and Lawful Procedures

At the UoC, responsibilities are stipulated in a transparent and comprehensible way. Decision-making processes are regulated by formal regulations and their results are documented transparently.

Academic Integrity

To ensure good scientific practice, the UoC follows the guidelines and recommendations of the German Research Foundation and the German Ethics Council and has also established its own guidelines and committees.

Protection of Intellectual Property

One goal of the UoC is to gain new knowledge and secure knowledge, make it accessible and comprehensible. In order to protect intellectual property, the employees of the UoC observe copyright, patent law and the right of use as well as any additional requirements of third-party funding bodies in this context.

Procurement, Customs and Embargo

As a public institution, the UoC is obliged to carry out orderly procurement procedures to cover its needs. The Procurement Guidelines of the UoC form the basis for this.

Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination

The University of Cologne strongly advocates for diversity and equal opportunities. It promotes an organizational culture in which the individual, social and cultural diversity of our students and staff members is seen as an enrichment and quality feature.

Study and Examination System

The UoC promotes a teaching and learning culture in which the dialogue between all members is highly valued and that fulfils its responsibility to offer high quality in learning and teaching.

HR Matters

For the UoC, good employment conditions for all staff members are fundamental for success in all its performance dimensions. The UoC wants to find, develop and retain excellent staff for research and research-supporting areas.

Construction Management

The building sector is characterized by a particularly high density of legal regulations. In addition to the Town and Country Planning Act (Baugesetzbuch – BauGB), which is the most important legal source in building law, the building regulations of the respective federal state are also a central element in the area of public building law.

Risk Management

The UoC has implemented a comprehensive risk management system. This pursues in particular the prevention and avoidance of risks as well as the minimization of the consequences of risks.


Tax compliance management is of great importance to the UoC, as it helps to minimize tax and thus ultimately business risks and to avoid payments of tax arrears, late payment penalties, surcharges on overdue payments and interest.


The actions of the UoC, its members and staff are determined by personal responsibility, honesty and respect for fellow human beings and the environment. All members and staff of the UoC are responsible for adhering to the compliance regulations.