PSRBs are a diverse group of organisations that include professional bodies, regulators and those with statutory authority over a profession or a group of professionals. PSRBs engage with the higher education sector through the approval, recognition and accreditation of HE programmes. They provide membership services and promote the interests of people working in professions. They accredit or endorse programmes and courses that meet professional standards, provide a route through to the professions, or are recognised by employers.
PSRBs set standards for, and regulate standards of, entry into their particular professions and often participate in quality assurance activities. We work with these professional bodies as part of our ongoing aim of maintaining and improving the quality of UK higher education.
COVID-19 support and guidance
We have conducted a survey with the Department for Education to gain insight into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on programmes of higher education which PSRBs accredit or endorse. The findings are presented in the report below and also discussed in our blog post.
We have published COVID-19 thematic guidance on work-based learning which covers professional and optional placements, and partnership working, and provides examples of approaches adopted by PSRBs.
We also held two PSRB Forums to discuss how PSRBs are responding to COVID-19 and the accreditation and qualification challenges they are facing in planning for a more flexible delivery of higher education, compliant with social distancing regulations and potential restrictions in response to the pandemic.
QAA Members can access the presentations from these events on our Membership Resources site:
We are committed to raising the profile and understanding of the work of PSRBs and enhancing communication between the higher education sector and its regulators.
Our PSRB Forum offers a chance for those involved in the education of professionals to consider key issues, share good practice, and keep up to date with higher education policy. The Forums provide an opportunity for government departments and sector organisations to engage with a broad selection of PSRBs.
The PSRB Forum is held twice a year, in November and March, with the event programme reflecting current themes and developments. Wherever possible, the Forum showcases case studies and areas of good practice from PSRBs, as well as facilitating discussions with government and sector-wide agencies.
Recent PSRB Forum topics have included:
- design and development of Subject-Level TEF in collaboration with the Department for Education
- research into degree classification and grade inflation
- new regulatory framework for HE
- impact of Brexit on PSRBs
- new Data Collection Code of Practice - presented by HESA
- development of Degree Apprenticeships changes to external examining processes and updates to the UK Quality Code.