Skip to main content Accessibility Statement


Our work


QAA maintains and manages the scheme for the recognition and quality assurance of Access to HE Diplomas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our Recognition Scheme is the regulatory framework through which Access to HE courses are recognised and regulated. We license Access Validating Agencies (AVAs) to develop, quality assure and award Access to HE Diplomas.


QAA has a remit from government for this work.


Qualification development


We conduct development work to make sure Access to HE Diplomas provide good preparation for higher education for adult students, and that the standard for the award of Access to HE Diplomas is maintained. Our business priorities set requirements about the Access to HE Diploma and its assessment, and our work with AVAs and providers. Qualification development projects are overseen by our Access Qualification Development Group.


Consultation on review of Grading Scheme


We are conducting a review of the Grade Scheme for Access to HE Diplomas and are interested in responses from individuals who may be affected by these changes. This includes Access to HE students, Access to HE providers, Access Validating Agencies and Higher Education receiving institutions.


Grading Scheme consultation

Our infographic gives more information about the Grading Scheme and forthcoming changes.


Grading scheme infographic

Publication Date: 03 Dec 2018


We are also developing a subject descriptor to define the minimum requirement of content for Diplomas designed and publicly claiming to provide the preparation needed for progression to undergraduate study in medicine.


Statistics and research


We collect and publish statistical data about Access to HE students each year. We work with AVAs, UCAS, the Education and Skills Funding Agency  and HESA to provide as full a picture as possible about Access to HE students and their achievements and progress. These data are used by a range of organisations in planning and policy making.