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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Quality Review Visit starts February next year

Date 01/12/2016

QAA has published details of the new Quality Review Visits that will come into play in February 2017.

We will carry out the visits on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland. During the first year, most of the providers taking part will be further education colleges offering higher education.

Quality Review Visits form part of the new Gateway process (opens in new window), the single point of entry to publicly funded higher education. The outcomes of the visits will be used by the funding bodies in testing providers' readiness to enter and remain in the higher education sector.

Providers will be judged on whether academic standards are reliable, meet UK requirements, and are reasonably comparable, and whether the quality of the student academic experience meets baseline regulatory requirements.

Will Naylor, Director of Colleges and Alternative Providers at QAA, said: 'This new approach has students' interests at its heart, involving them as members of review teams, and encouraging them to engage in the quality assurance process more widely.

'The Quality Review Visit is radically different from previous methods of external review. It is part of a risk-based system designed to be proportionate and provide the assurances that matter to students on academic standards, student outcomes and the academic experience.

'Providers will notice a substantial reduction on demands to produce documentation, and on-site visits will normally take no more than two days.'

Susan Lapworth, HEFCE's Director, Regulation and Assurance, said: 'The new approach to quality assessment is designed to be proportionate, risk-based, and grounded in the context of an individual provider.

'The Quality Review Visit will provide expertise, rigour and consistency, and promote continuous improvement in areas that matter to students.'