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QAA statement on the OfS' Triennial Report

Date: January 26 - 2023

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) notes the Office for Students (OfS)’s publication of a summary of its triennial report on the function of the Designated Quality Body in England (DQB). 

QAA has performed the DQB role in England since 2018, following designation by the Secretary of State. The DQB role is a small and discrete part of our overall work. In July 2022, we announced our decision to remove our consent to be the DQB, from 31 March 2023. We decided to step away from the role because OfS’s requirements of the DQB conflicted with international standards in quality assurance. That conflict had led to our temporary suspension from the European Quality Assurance Register, our position on which is essential for other areas of our work.  Once we made the decision to step away from the DQB role, the suspension was lifted.

QAA has contested the content and conclusion of OfS’s triennial report, and made representations against it. In QAA’s opinion the final report, and the published summary, substantially misrepresent QAA’s record as DQB. But we do not think it serves the interests of students or the sector for QAA to engage in a protracted public disagreement with OfS, and so we do not intend to publish a detailed rebuttal or to make further statements on this matter at this time.

Post DQB, QAA is looking forward to being able to add more value as the sector’s independent body for quality, working in close partnership with institutions and their students to respond to the changing quality landscape and protect the international reputation of UK higher education.