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20 July 2023

QAA modernises with agile working arrangement


After radically downsizing our office space in Gloucester, QAA has modernised its working arrangements to be more flexible. Having been part of the community in Gloucester for 26 years, we wanted to give something back to the public services and charities operating in the area. With sofas, conference tables, chairs and all sorts of materials that could still be put to good use, we offered them to some excellent local organisations with great purposes.

  • Sunflowers, a local suicide support charity, took our reception sofa
  • Blesma, a charity for amputee veterans is making use of our crockery and cutlery
  • The Mary Stevens Hospice is now making the most of our stationery (check out the full list at the bottom of the page).

We have loved having Gloucester as our base since we were established in 1997, but as we’ve moved to fully flexible working since the pandemic, saying goodbye to our big office space is the next step in fully embracing our new ways of working. Given that some staff prefer working in an office environment, and we still want to bring people together intentionally where it’s most useful to do so, we still have access to office spaces in Gloucester, London and Glasgow.

As the UK’s expert quality body, we have members of staff all over the UK, across all 4 nations, and we want all of them to feel as supported as possible. Being able to work from anywhere in the UK, with flexible working hours, means that our staff can have better balance between their professional and personal lives. Whether it be caring responsibilities, leisure activities, further learning or other interests, it’s important that our team can work knowing that it does not need to limit the other parts of their lives. Achieving that balance means that when it comes to leading the way on quality and standards, they are energised, motivated and focused.

We have a lot to look forward to at QAA, with the beginning of a new chapter that has been marked by the publication of our new strategy in April 2023, which outlines key themes of our work going forward. It places emphasis on our developing role in the UK, our international activity and our expansion across the wider tertiary sector, and areas of new activity within our organisation. With these areas as focal points, the strategy looked to capitalise on new opportunities and achieve growth for our organisation.

And back in May, the strategy began to bear fruit with the launch of our range of new services for providers in England, which was made possible by our changing role in England. The first two to go live were our Degree Awarding Powers Service and Targeted Quality and Standards Service, with another two to follow later in the year. Shortly after the services launched, our ambition in positioning ourselves to serve the tertiary sector came to fruition when SFC commissioned us to deliver a common approach to assuring and enhancing quality in Scotland’s tertiary sector. Through the course of the project, QAA will collaborate with the Scottish Funding Council, sector agencies, and staff and students across Scotland’s colleges and universities. 

It’s an exciting time for QAA and we are all excited to take the next step. 

Gloucester and surrounding area charities

If you are interested in contributing to any of the charities or public services we donated to, take a look at the list below:

  • Sunflowers, a local suicide support charity, took our reception sofa.
  • Cinderford Town Council took a number of meeting room tables, chairs and desk chairs for the benefit of the Cinderford Community, including a new safe space for children between the ages of 11-18.
  • Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Blesma received our crockery and cutlery
  • Desk chairs, meeting room chairs and flipchart stands to a local secondary school.
  • Stationery to primary schools in Cheltenham, Stroud and Chippenham.
  • Stationery to The Mary Stevens Hospice for patients with incurable or life-limiting illnesses.
  • 14 colleagues made contributions to various charities in return for items for their personal use.

    For the remaining items, finding an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution was our priority. The Stone Group collected our waste electronic and electrical equipment and Printwaste handled our furniture and safe, all of which will be recycled into reusable products.