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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Quality Review Visit

QAA will undertake Quality Review Visits on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Department for the Economy Northern Ireland (DfENI) from February 2017.

The Gateway process is one element of the funding bodies' revised operating model for quality assessment (opens in new window) in England and Northern Ireland, and applies to providers seeking to enter the (publicly funded) higher education sector and to recent entrants approaching the end of their developmental period, having undergone a period of enhanced monitoring and scrutiny. A Quality Review Visit may also be necessary where there is evidence of a sufficiently serious problem in an established provider.

Quality Review Visit will:

  • rigorously test a new entrant's readiness to enter the higher education sector
  • re-test the quality aspects of the baseline regulatory requirements at the end of a new entrant's four-year developmental period​
  • re-test the quality aspects of the baseline regulatory requirements in an 'established' provider that has been deemed by the relevant funding body to require enhanced monitoring.​

In addition, as part of the transition to the full implementation of the new quality assessment arrangements in England and Northern Ireland, those providers that were scheduled for QAA Higher Education Review (HER) in 2016-17 and have not had two or more successful reviews under the previous quality assessment arrangements will also receive a Quality Review Visit.

The outcomes of the Quality Review Visit will be considered by the relevant funding body, which will make full use of them in reaching its broader judgement about the provider’s readiness, or not, to enter the higher education sector, or to remain in, or exit the 'developmental period' as appropriate.​

Handbook and guidance

Quality Review Visit Handbook:

For reviews taking place in the 2017-18 academic year:
Quality Review Visit Handbook

For reviews taking place in the 2016-17 academic year:
Quality Review Visit Handbook - 2016 edition

Guidance documents: