Corporate Social Responsibility

NST believes that a robust corporate responsibility is as essential for small business as it is for bigger organisations. We participate in life-changing research that impacts people worldwide. This pushes us to pursue excellence in everything that we do. The company’s leadership team reviews its activities on a regular basis relating to the four pillars of environment, workplace, community and philanthropy.

We choose to lead by example and prioritize responsible and ethical business practices to help create value for our stakeholders and the world at large. We encourage our vendors, sponsors and NST team to report any suspected misconduct concerning the requirements set forth in this conduct guide, applicable laws, or regulations, and which relate to NST operations.

NST is driven by the knowledge that what we do every day affects the people we serve, the lives and well-being of the patients we support, the physicians and providers we work with, the business partners who support us, and the colleagues that share our visions and mission. These are the commitments we stand by:

1 Environment

We are committed to reduce our environmental impact by making environmental sustainability a consideration in all key business decisions. We aim to work in sustainable ways that support the United Nations sustainability development goals. We recognize the importance of monitoring our environmental impact as a part of being a responsible business. NST has committed to be compliant with guidelines for environment management like ISO 140095. This includes provision to ensure that the business is always aiming to follow carbon neutral policies. Our predominantly home-working model reduces the requirements for commuting and all travel is limited to that which is essential to delivering a project (e.g., site monitoring visits). Junior team members have been identified as environmental champions with the responsibility of presenting proposals to the NST leadership team on how we could best negate the businesses impact on the environment.

2 Workplace

2.1 The NST team

We are, foremost, a company of people. We are committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Our colleagues do their best work when they are inspired, nurtured, and empowered. Our Cultural Anchors form the foundation of this philosophy and serve as differentiators for how we communicate, interact, and respond to each other, our patients, and our customers.

NST has clear policies and standard operating procedures to support customer/client relationships and a robust equal opportunities policy described in the Company Handbook. The Handbook outlines an extensive panel of employee benefits, including holiday allowances, bonus and reward recognition payments, and flexible hours and home working arrangements. It also contains comprehensive details of disciplinary and grievance procedures, health and safety and working time directives.

All NST team members are involved in active training programmes to support their learning and development. This includes attendance of external training courses leading to relevant workplace qualifications. The company actively promotes from within, giving opportunities to those who have demonstrated proficiency and deserve recognition.

NST firmly believes that it is inappropriate for the team to be expected to work beyond their normal hours except in exceptional circumstances. Working out of hours is not condoned in any way and is actively discouraged.

2.2 Our customers

With likeminded values, we aim to drive innovation and excellence. We see ourselves as an extension of your team and hold ourselves accountable for ensuring our principles and ethics are aligned. We embrace your goals and deliver high-touch customer service, a belief that is core to our corporate foundation and culture.

2.3 To patients

Our work is dedicated to transforming the latest life-changing discoveries into reality. Patients are at the heart of everything we do. We work in a highly regulated environment where patient safety is paramount. It is our responsibility to ensure that trials are conducted safely and ethically, while also considering patient and caregiver needs in clinical trial design.

3 Laws and regulations

We aim to comply with applicable laws and regulations at international, national, and regional levels. This includes among others, international conventions concerning human rights and labor rights, protection of the environment, as well as anti-corruption and competition law including:

  • The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). The Eight Fundamental Conventions of the International Labor Organization, no. 29, 87, 98,100, 105,111, 138 and 182.
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 32
  • The labor protection and labor environment legislation in force in the country of production.
  • The labor law, including legislation on minimum and national living wages, and the social welfare protection regulations in force in the country of production.
  • The environmental protection legislation that is in force in the country of production
  • The United Nations Convention against Corruption.

4 Ethical Conduct

4.1 Anti-corruption and business ethics

  • We shall comply with all laws and regulations concerning competition, financial reporting, and taxation. Corruption in any form is not accepted, including bribery, extortion, kickbacks, and improper private or professional benefits to customers, third parties, contractors, suppliers or employees of any such party or government officials.
  • We prohibit so called “facilitation payments” in the context of any NST related supply, business or other activity.
  • All parties we work with must have established processes to prevent corruption, for example an anti-corruption policy and by providing relevant training to staff.
  • All parties we work with are made aware that no employee may offer or provide, directly or indirectly, any undue advantage to a vendor or Sponsor in exchange for personal gain of any kind. NST will neither accept any benefit to facilitate another party’s business with NST.
  • All parties we work with shall take all opportunities to prevent their own business from being used for money laundering or financing of terrorism.

4.2 Research ethics

Parties shall ensure that all work carried out with NST, or in collaboration with NST, should comply with all relevant local and international standards, laws, and regulations.

4.3 Animal Welfare

Collaborating parties are required to comply with all applicable local and national laws and regulations relating to animal welfare with emphasis placed on ensuring:

  • The welfare of animals is of primary concern;
  • The 3Rs (Replace, Reduce, Refine) are followed;
  • Studies are carried out by well-trained, competent, and experienced personnel;
  • Only animals specifically bred for research purposes are purchased and used;
  • Animals are treated respectfully and cared for in accordance with the needs of the given species and individual, as defined by current veterinary care and practice guidelines for animals used in experiments;
  • Animals shall experience a minimum amount of discomfort, distress or pain and appropriate methods for sedation, analgesia or anesthesia are utilized whenever possible;
  • Re-homing and retirement of animals as appropriate for the health and well-being of the animal shall be supported where possible.

4.4 Protection of information

  • NST shall not expose to any unauthorized person or company any confidential information, sensitive information, or proprietary information, and not use such information for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was provided.
  • Vendors shall adequately protect personal data, which in many cases include compliance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, EU 2016/679).
  • In the situation that the vendor, and/or a subcontractor to the vendor, will process personal data on NST’s behalf, an additional contractual arrangement in the form of a Data Processing Agreement will be executed between NST and the sharing party, unless such provisions are otherwise covered in the relevant contractual arrangement with the Vendor (e.g. in a Master Services Agreement).

Community involvement and philanthropy

NST has sought to support its local community since first opening for business. We have actively engaged with internship programmes with over 30 students from St Georges Medical School, Imperial University (London) and local comprehensive schools in the last 15 years. We have gone on to support and represent these students in their careers following graduation.

NST has been involved in several company-employee volunteer programmes where the company will donate a percentage of team time to support local charities and societies. For the last 10 years, NST has contributed to the scientific community through support in the form of services and donations for the Association for Human Pharmacology in the Pharmaceutical Industry, the European Federation for Exploratory Medicines Development and the Pharmaceutical Contracts Management Group. In 2018, the NST team became actively involved in designing and delivering the Life Science and Industrial Sciences Trailblazer initiative to provide Level 6 apprenticeship to introduce an alternative route into our industry in a fashion that is likely to attract the brightest and most talented individuals. It became the 300th approved apprenticeship standard and is now delivered by the University of Kent.


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