Jo Wright of De Novo Advisory gives her top tips:
1. Strong stakeholder engagement: open communication with financial stakeholders is key.
2. Structured approach: the preference is for a succinct application – content always trumps style. Highlight change and ambition, but balance with realism.
3. Coherence, balance and value for money: curriculum and teaching plans must tie clearly to the financial plan.
4. Do not underestimate demands: adequate financial skill and resource is critical.
5. Be prepared: independent reviews are often needed as part of the planning process.
6. Timeline and key milestones: introduce these to aid the business-planning and application process, and share with stakeholders.
7. More time needed? Extension requests to pre-agreed submission timescales must be credible, explaining what will be achieved and how.
8. Leverage due diligence support: engage due diligence providers at an early point, as this can provide invaluable support.
9. Coordination: lead regular and meaningful opportunities for cross-stakeholder communications, which will make for a smoother path at the advanced stages of the process.
10. Seek professional support: engage specialist skills from a restructuring and turnaround professional early in the process.