Which institutions does the Concerns procedure apply to?
The Concerns procedure and the Scottish Protocol are integral parts of the UK
quality assurance framework. Institutions come within the scope of one of these two
schemes if they:
- subscribe to QAA (including all publicly funded higher education institutions)
- receive educational oversight from QAA.
In applying to QAA to provide educational oversight or for reviews of specific
course designation (RSCD), applicants are agreeing to come within the Concerns
procedure's jurisdiction (or within the jurisdiction of the Protocol in Scotland)
and to cooperate with any investigations.
The question of whether the Concerns procedure or the Protocol applies depends on
who is making the award, rather than the location of the provider.
- The Concerns procedure applies to concerns about provision leading to an award
from a higher education institution in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
- The Protocol applies to concerns about provision leading to an award from a
- Where the provision does not lead to an award from a higher education
institution in the UK, the Concerns procedure will be used.
How does the Concerns procedure affect educational oversight review?
QAA is committed to using the evidence it has about higher education providers
effectively and efficiently. This includes sharing evidence among the different
review processes QAA operates.
Any evidence about applicants for educational oversight which QAA accumulates as
part of a Concerns procedure or Protocol investigation may be considered within the
educational oversight review or RSCD review. Where this is the case, applicant
institutions will be informed and given the opportunity to present additional
information to the review team.
When QAA receives a submission to the Concerns procedure or the Scottish Protocol
about an organisation applying for educational oversight of RSCD whose review visit
is within the following nine months, we will normally investigate that application as
part of the review rather than conducting a separate investigation.