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Our vision is for world leading and independently assured higher education.

As the independent body entrusted with monitoring and advising on standards and quality in UK higher education, we are dedicated to checking that the three million students working towards a UK qualification get the higher education experiences they are entitled to expect. We ensure that students are involved all aspects of our work.

We work across all four nations of the UK. We also build international partnerships to enhance and promote the reputation of UK higher education worldwide.

Our main areas of work


The work we do supports our mission to safeguard standards and improve the quality of UK higher education wherever it is delivered around the world. 


QAA is the only body working in the quality assurance and quality enhancement of higher education across the whole of the UK. As the UK’s independent quality body, QAA delivers tailored approaches for each of the four nations, underpinned by our UK-wide work under an inter-connected system of quality. The cornerstone of our UK-wide work is the UK Quality Code for Higher Education

As the UK’s independent quality body, QAA is committed to maintaining the world-class reputation of the UK higher education sector. Through QAA Membership, we provide vision, expertise and guidance on the topics that matter to staff and students. We work in partnership with, and for, our members to deliver high-quality services, and we provide advice and support about quality and standards in the UK and internationally.


  • We regulate the Access to HE Diploma, and license the agencies who develop, approve and monitor Access to HE courses. QAA also promotes the Access to HE Diploma, raising awareness of the qualification and its potential to transform lives through access to higher education. 
  • We work in partnership with stakeholders across the globe to review and report on UK transnational education (TNE), safeguard standards and improve quality. QAA believes that UK TNE helps maintain and develop the world-class brand of UK higher education.
  • Across the world, we support the development of higher education quality through bespoke capacity building, training and review services to governments, quality agencies and higher education institutions. This includes accreditation through our International Quality Review.
  • We use our experience and expertise to address sector challenges such as academic integrity. We facilitate the Academic Integrity Charter, the UK Academic Integrity Advisory Group, and the Europe-wide ENQA Working Group on Academic Integrity.
  • We advise the Office for Students and UK governments on applications for degree awarding powers.
  • We investigate complaints (concerns) about academic standards and quality in higher education in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
  • We provide oversight of alternative providers not on the OfS Register in the UK.

Our Strategy

Our strategy sets out QAA's strategic priorities.

Annual Review

Our Annual Review 2021 sets out the work we have done to safeguard academic standards and ensure the quality and global reputation of UK higher education. Throughout the year, we have supported our members in responding to and moving beyond the pandemic, producing a range of practical resources. The Review also details our work with regulators, governments and students across the UK, highlights our international activity, and features our stewardship of the Access to Higher Education Diploma.

Our full annual report and financial statements are published in the 'how we are funded' section of our website.