Tribal Group Plc Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement


Commencing 29th October 2015, medium to large-sized companies are required to make a statement on their slavery and human trafficking policy for each financial year in accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“The Act”).

This is Tribal Group plc’s (Tribal) slavery and human trafficking statement for the last financial year ended 31 December 2020 and current as of 01 May 2021.


The purpose of the Act is to eradicate modern slavery. This encompasses human trafficking, slavery, forced labour and servitude. As a commercial organisation, we are required to publish an annual statement setting out the steps that we are taking to prevent modern slavery in our business and in our supply chain. The Act has the effect of exposing companies to the common practices of contract governance through the transparency the Act imposes on a company’s supply chains, policies and procedures. The Act also seeks to highlight the need to be alert to the risks the business faces, including its wider supply chain. Staff are expected to report concerns and management are expected to act upon them.

Our Business and Organisational Structure

Tribal provides a wide range of products and services that support the delivery of education services around the world, including the development and implementation of software, supporting adult learning and careers development, and providing schools inspections and improvement services. As a world-class company, our mission is to empower the world of education. Our clients use our expertise, software and services to assist with student enrolment, assessment and reporting obligations. These core functions underpin student success. We operate in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States, Middle East and South-East Asia.

Tribal's group structure is detailed in the Corporate Entities Table appended below which includes its overseas subsidiaries and branches. The Group's turnover is £73 million per annum (2020 Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2020).

Our Supply Chains and Their Adherence to Our Values

As a global business, Tribal has clients, suppliers, sub-contractors, associates, and employees who are based within and outside the UK. Tribal recognises the need to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act beyond the UK and has therefore introduced changes across the entire business in order to comply with its statutory obligations.

The majority of Tribal's supply chain is based in low-risk countries where forms of modern slavery are not prevalent. Tribal's supply chains comprise mainly human resources who perform skilled services, whether they be employees, sub-contractors, associates, or agents. Traditionally, Tribal also sources software from third parties to facilitate the production of its own products and services.

Tribal's business model is substantially the development, licence, implementation, hosting and support of its own software products. It also conducts audits of educational institutions, undertakes surveys and research of educational institutions, and produces benchmark reports based on its industry knowledge and expertise.

Tribal's due diligence processes have been tightened in relation to the review, negotiation, and approval of commercial contracts. Tribal has a Delegation of Authority Policy (DOA Policy) in place, which is reviewed annually, or more frequently if required. This requires all contracts to be reviewed, negotiated, and signed off by the Global Legal Team and the Global Finance Team. These steps help to ensure that all contracts are reviewed for compliance with all Tribal governance policies, including its Anti-Slavery Policy. These steps help ensure that the contracts we enter into through our subsidiaries contain provisions that conform with the Act. These steps ensure compliance with suitable equivalent statutory provisions in relation to contracts that are subject to the laws of a foreign jurisdiction.

Our Policies and Due Diligence Process for Slavery and Human Trafficking

Tribal has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and is fully committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking via its business activities. Tribal is also committed to ensuring there is transparency in its activities and its approach to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chains, consistent with the disclosure obligations of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Tribal has several policies/procedures/practices relating to Slavery and Human trafficking, including:

    • Only using licensed premises to optimise the control over the environment.
    • Considering the geographical location of suppliers and the risks particular to that location.
    • Establishing trusted relationships with customers and suppliers, as set out in the Global Supplier Management Framework which includes the requirement for each entity in a supply chain to apply its own due diligence on the next link in the chain as it is not always possible/practicable for Tribal to have a direct relationship with all links in the chain.
    • Effective systems to encourage the reporting of concerns and the protection of whistle-blowers via its Whistleblowing Policy.
    • A Global Governance Group which oversees and manages the governance obligations of Tribal, including compliance with the Act.

Tribal recognises that in order to manage its compliance with the Act, especially throughout its non-UK operations, it is essential to have and to maintain appropriate processes which identify and mitigate related risk.

The cornerstone for Tribal has been raising awareness of slavery and human trafficking and identifying any processes we can implement to identify any unusual business behaviour. As with any risk management system, this is a continuing process.

The Board of Directors and senior management recognise that their support of all governance policies is an essential requirement to foster positive and appropriate behaviour within the organisation. This approach also influences suppliers and subcontractors, particularly when risk assessment of their operations is undertaken comprehensively.

Procurement of Services and Products

Tribal has a Global Supplier Management Framework which sets out the following guidance:

Modern-Day Slavery
The following steps must be taken to ensure modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within our supply chains:
    • High-risk locations identified.
    • Supplier research must be conducted before entering into any agreement.
    • Modern-day slavery statements must be requested from all suppliers.
    • Contractors engaged by Tribal are requested to confirm that they pay the living wage (as set by to their staff.
    • Supply chain mapping must be undertaken.
    • Completion of regular employee training should be undertaken to raise awareness.

Tribal requests information from prospective suppliers to ensure that they meet certain criteria including (but not limited to): Health and Safety; International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”) certifications; insurances; equality and diversity and environmental policies; policies evidencing compliance with the terms of the Act. These criteria are used as part of the process to select suppliers and we request updated versions of these key documents/certifications on an annual basis. The specific question we ask is: What steps does your company take to ensure compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015?

Staff Training

Tribal operates an annual programme of corporate compliance training which is mandatory for all staff. This includes training on the terms of the Act, how we comply with our responsibilities under it, and being aware of factors that the Act is intended to address, such as: human trafficking; the ability of an individual to choose employment; a safe working environment; prohibition on the use of child labour; non-discrimination; working time directive; and that no harsh or inhuman treatment is allowed in the workplace.

Our Effectiveness in Combating Slavery and Human Trafficking

Tribal’s Global Governance Group report to the Board of Directors monthly. An aspect of their reporting covers compliance with the Act. The Global Governance Group uses key performance indicators to measure Tribal's effectiveness in tackling slavery and human trafficking within the business and its supply chain:

    • Measuring minimum labour standards required of Tribal, its subsidiaries and suppliers globally and how these align to industry
    • Whether when contracting with a new supplier or customer or renewing a contract with an existing customer, sufficient and appropriate information regarding compliance with the Act has been provided; and
    • The measures to be taken if suspicious activity has been identified in Tribal's supply

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes Tribal Group’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the current financial year. It has been reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.

Mark Pickett
Chief Executive Officer

Our full statement about Modern Slavery can be found here