Compliance at the University of Münster

© Uni MS Compliance Office

Conduct that is lawful and guided by our shared values is part of the culture of the University of Münster.

A large number of external rules with legal binding force apply to activities in research, teaching, transfer and university support areas. This external framework is supplemented by various internal guidelines of the University. In addition, the University of Münster is committed to further improving its activities and aligning them with values such as diversity, equal opportunity and sustainability.

This framework of norms and values is not only intended to counter misconduct by individuals, but also to support the positive development and reputation of the university and the fulfilment of its social responsibility. By complying with the rules and committing to the shared values, all members and affiliated persons of the University contribute to both the reputation of the University and to a positive work and study atmosphere.

Adherence to statutory rules is a given. But at the University of Münster compliance is more than that, and also includes taking internal self-obligations and values into account.
Prof. Dr. Johannes Wessels, Rector of the University of Münster
| current information

The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation has announced an audit of the University of Münster. In particular, the implementation of the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol at our university will be examined. Further information and the questionnaire for the audit can be found here [momentarly in German only].

Video explaining compliance (in German with English subtitles)

In a nutshell

  • Compliance inlcudes external regulations, internal rules and values.
    © Uni MS Compliance Office

    What does compliance mean?

    Compliance refers to the adherence to rules and standards. At the University of Münster, we understand it as adherence to

    (1) external regulations (such as laws and ordinances) and,

    (2) internal rules and agreements (such as the University Constitution, the University Development Plan, the structural and development plans of the faculties or agreements on interactions in a work and study environment), as well as encouraging all members to act in accordance with

    (3) agreed ethical norms and values (such as the Code of Good Scientific Practice or the Diversity and Sustainability Mission Statements) to which the University has committed itself.

    Compliance management is the organisational and procedural support for adherence to and communication of these rules.

  • © Uni MS Designservice

    What does the Compliance Office of the University of Münster do?

    Since May 2021, the Compliance Office (CO) has been the central coordination point for compliance management as a support department of the Rectorate.

    This service facility is a point of contact in regulatory matter for everyone at the and is run by its managing director. The CO develops, orientation aids, communication and training offers (see link list) that seek to foster compliance and strengthen the compliance culture of the WWU. They are also intended to reduce conflicts of interest and information deficits and strengthen the self-responsibility of members of the University and all other persons affiliated with it, increase their certainty of action and help them avoid unintentional mistakes.

    The voluntary commitment of the staff of the University of Münster to compliance is taken seriously and all breaches of rules that become known are investigated, and in a in transparent manner. Any information about apparent misconduct or complaints from employees (in accordance with §13 AGG) the Compliance Office receives will be treated in confidence.

    Under the oversight of the Compliance Officer, Prof Dr Theresia Theurl, the Compliance Office coordinates the development and expansion of the existing compliance structures and elements into an integrated compliance management system and advises the Rectorate on the further development of compliance structures and processes.

  • © Uni MS Designservice

    Compliance Organisation - the pillar model

    The Compliance Office forms an umbrella structure for the coordination of numerous compliance activities at the University of Münster. Following the compliance concept, these include raising awareness of compliance issues, promoting common values and ensuring compliance with the relevant rules. Currently, the umbrella is supported by these pillars:

    In addition, there are compliance tasks in almost all areas of work, which is why the Compliance Office continuously works closely with the Offices for Central Risk Management and Internal Audit, as well as on a case-by-case basis with many other central units and the University faulties.

Film on occupational health & environmental protection

Image film on data protection at the University of Münster

Internal Reporting Office

  • Misconduct notices

    Compliance with the law and our own rules is part of the culture of the University of Münster to which we are committed. We would greatly appreciate it if you, too, take responsibility if you become aware of any breaches of the rules and report them to your superior or the relevant department. In the event of significant violations or if you fear personal disadvantage, you can alternatively contact the Compliance Office as the central internal reporting office according to the German whistleblower protection Act (Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz). Reliable information can help us to counteract misconduct and breaches of rules at an early stage and to prevent harm to our university, our employees and our cooperation partners.

    In addition to employees, students and external partners can also pass their concerns or infrormation about compliance violations on to the Compliance Office, in person, by telephone, by post, by e-mail or via our digital whistleblower system. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and in accordance to the German whistleblower protection Act. Please also note the data protection declaration (momentarily in German only) Datenschutzerklärung.

    In addition, it is also possible to submit a report to the external reporting office at the Federal Office of Justice.

    Interne Meldestelle
    Compliance Office
    Digital whistleblower system
    Schlossplatz 2
    48149 Münster
    T: +49 251 - 83 21202
  • Complaints office for employees (according to § 13 GETA)

    The Compliance Office is also the complaints office for employees in accordance with § 13 of the General Act on Equal Treatment (GETA), where you can report experienced or observed discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin, gender, religion or world view, disability, age or sexual identity.

    Employees can find more information on the intranet  here.