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The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is an independent charity working to benefit students and higher education, and one of the world’s experts in quality assurance. We are trusted by higher education providers and regulatory bodies to maintain and enhance quality and standards. We work with governments, agencies and institutions globally to benefit UK higher education and its international reputation.

In England, we have two distinct roles, which we keep separate through an ‘ethical barrier’ or firewall. A ring-fenced team fulfils our role as the Designated Quality Body in England, providing reviews and advice to the regulator, the Office for Students (OfS). Separately, we provide services and advice to our member institutions in England, including support with quality enhancement activities. We do not provide any guidance to institutions in England on how to meet the regulator’s requirements.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there is no such separation of roles, and our quality enhancement and membership work is provided in concert with, and informed by, our quality assurance activities. We work closely with all higher education providers and the respective funders and regulators, in line with the policy and regulatory approach of each nation.

Our UK-wide responsibilities include being the regulator of the Access to HE Diploma, which transforms lives by offering students from non-traditional backgrounds access to higher education.

We also work internationally on behalf of our members and the wider UK higher education sector. We now welcome international members as well as those from the UK.


What we do

Our activities range from reviewing standards and quality in universities and colleges to producing key sector guidance.

How we're run

We are an independent body, a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. We are run by our Board.

Where we work

We work across all four nations of the UK to assure the quality of higher education. We also support quality assurance systems worldwide.

Who we work with

We work with a wide range of people to improve higher education, from advising the government to consulting with our subscribers and students.

Access to HE

We manage the scheme for the recognition and quality assurance of Access to Higher Education courses.