Investment Appraisal

Investment Appraisal

Find out more about the Investment Appraisal process at the University of Leeds

This process provides the framework for progressing strategic ideas that require investment.

The Investment Appraisal process is split into 4 stages, which represent formal University decision points,  and are intentionally aligned to the relevant professional process (RIBA stages). Find out more about each stage below, or read more information about the process.

Investment Appraisal stage 1

STRATEGIC OUTLINE CASE

This is the start point for any idea, strategic opportunity or challenge that requires a capital solution (for investments over £2m).

Investment Appraisal stage 2

PRIMA FACIE BUSINESS CASE

This is the first view of the business case and focuses on the analysis and choice of the key options (for investments over £2m).

Investment Appraisal stage 3

FULL BUSINESS CASE

The detailed business case, based on the recommended option, is reviewed and considered for approval.

Investment Appraisal stage 4

POST INVESTMENT REVIEW

There is a requirement to review large projects (for investments over £5m) to ensure benefits have been delivered and the learning improves our processes.

Stage 1

Strategic Outline Case (SOC)

Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4

This is the start point for any idea, strategic opportunity or challenge that requires a capital solution.

A robust outline of the strategic need is required at this stage, and the benefits that would be delivered by the initiative. This includes estimating the scale of the opportunity, estimating costs, assessing contribution to strategic priorities and undertaking market analysis.

This stage can be initiated as part of the Integrated Planning Exercise (IPE), as well as any point in the annual cycle when a new need is identified.

In general, this stage is only required for projects greater than £2m in value.

Cases will be reviewed by Capital Group. Approval at this stage will initiate the design process where potential solutions will be considered and presented as part of the Prima Facie Business Case.  A budget is approved at this stage to progress the proposal to Full Business Case.

Downloadable documents

Please use these documents when creating your SOC

Example documents are available upon request, please contact Head of Programme Management Office, FD

Stage 2

Prima Facie Business Case

Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4

This is the first view of the business case and focuses on the analysis and choice of the key options.

This first review of the business case corresponds with the conclusion of RIBA stage 2, the concept design stage. This appraisal of the options will include identifying project build and recurrent costs, financial and other benefits, funding sources and impact on IPE plans.

In general, this stage is only required for projects greater than £2m in value.

Approval will include confirmation of the preferred option to be worked up into a detailed design for a Full Business Case.

Downloadable documents

Please use these documents when creating your Prima Facie Business Case

Example documents are available upon request, please contact Head of Programme Management Office, FD

Stage 3

Full Business Case

Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4

The preferred solution is developed into a detailed business case and submitted for approval.

The Full Business Case follows detailed design (end of RIBA stage 3) and the project is fully assessed for capital costs, recurrent costs, benefits, risks, funding opportunities, key assumption validation and success criteria.

At this stage, a Full Business Case document is produced for projects greater than £2m in value. For projects less than £2m, a Short Form Business Case is used.

Downloadable documents

Please use these documents when creating your Full Business Case

Example documents are available upon request, please contact Head of Programme Management Office, FD

Stage 4

Post Investment Review

Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4

The planned benefits delivered by the project are reviewed and performance assessed.

There is a University-wide requirement to review large projects (for investments over £5m) to ensure that the benefits have been delivered and the learning drives improvement in our processes.

This usually takes place 2 years after project completion once the benefits have been embedded.

The output from the review will be presented to Council.

Downloadable documents

Please use these documents when creating your Post Investment Review

Example documents are available upon request, please contact Head of Programme Management Office, FD

Other useful information

Further information about the University’s Investment Appraisal process

Investment Appraisal Process Guidance

Deadlines for Papers for Capital Group

Delegated authority levels

  • Up to £0.5m
  • Director of Facilities Management
  • £0.5m to £2m
  • Capital Group
  • £2m to £5m
  • UEG
  • Above £5m
  • Council

Delivering results

The delivering results website contains useful tools and techniques to support the delivery of an investment proposal.

Contact

Robert Dewar, Head of Finance, Facilities Directorate