Skip to main content Accessibility Statement
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and guidance

QAA to review English academic credit framework

Date: June 15 - 2020

QAA is working with experts from across the higher education sector to review the higher education credit framework for England.

The credit framework is published by QAA and provides a benchmark for providers of higher education in England to reference when designing their degree and other higher education programmes. It is not compulsory, but is used by many universities and colleges to award credit once a student has successfully completed a module in recognition of the amount and depth of learning achieved.

However, it was last updated in 2008. Since then, the higher education sector has changed significantly, with students accessing their learning in different ways, and a new regulatory environment in place in England.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is also set to change further the way in which people access learning and reskilling. Because of this, the framework needs to take better account of current academic practice, including new technical qualifications at level 4 and above, the emerging use of microcredentials, and experiential learning.

Professor Sue Rigby, Vice Chancellor of Bath Spa University, will Chair the project on behalf of QAA. She said: 'It is a privilege to be involved in this vital work - the credit framework is the root code for designing qualifications in higher education in England. If it can be brought up to date for our rapidly developing work on post-pandemic reskilling, it will make a genuine difference to universities and their impact on society'.

The working group for the project, which first met in March 2020, comprises:

  • Professor Sue Rigby: Vice Chancellor, Bath Spa University (Chair)
  • Alex Bols: Deputy CEO, GuildHE
  • Professor Darryll Bravenboer: Director of Apprenticeships, Middlesex University (also Chair of SEEC, a higher education credit consortium)
  • Dr Lucy Dawkins: Head of Quality Assurance and Enhancement, Royal College of Art
  • Dr Victoria Korzeniowska: Director of Academic Quality and Development, University of Winchester
  • Maureen McLaughlin: Director of Education Policy and Quality, University of Warwick
  • Professor Clare Milsom: Academic Registrar, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Dr Charlotte Snelling: Policy Manager, Universities UK
  • Steven Taylor: Dean of Higher Education, Warwickshire College
  • Dr Wayne Turnbull: Head of Academic Policy at Liverpool John Moores University (also Director of the Northern Universities Consortium for Credit Accumulation and Transfer)
  • Tess Winther: graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London (student/graduate member)

A representative of the Office for Students will also act as an observer on the working group. Though the guidance will apply to English providers only, the development and maintenance of academic credit is a UK-wide issue. Representatives of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and Northern Ireland's Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment will offer their expertise as readers throughout the process.

QAA will consult with the higher education sector later in 2020 before publishing the new credit framework in early 2021.