QAA is the independent expert quality body for higher education across the UK. Our work as the expert quality body is funded through membership, and we currently have over 300 members across the UK. Membership of QAA is voluntary in England where over 98% of universities are members, and mandatory in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. QAA Membership provides vision, expertise, practical support, resources and guidance on the topics that matter to staff and students.
QAA is custodian for a suite of UK-wide sector reference points which form an essential part of the quality assurance infrastructure of higher education institutions across the UK and help to safeguard the global reputation of UK higher education. Sector reference points we oversee include the UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Subject Benchmark Statements, Characteristics Statements, Qualification Frameworks and Credit Frameworks.
We are also responsible for providing oversight of providers not on the OfS register.
QAA is the regulator of the Access to HE Diploma, and licenses the agencies that develop, approve and monitor Access to HE courses. We also promote the Access to HE Diploma, raising awareness of the qualification and its potential to transform lives through access to higher education. Access to HE Diplomas are delivered across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Since 2018, QAA has also had a discrete role as the Designated Quality Body in England (DQB). In this role, which has been carried out separately from our other work in England, we have been designated by the Secretary of State to provide assessments for the Office for Students (OfS). Earlier this year, QAA announced its decision to demit this role at the end of the current term; QAA will therefore cease to operate as DQB from 31 March 2023.