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QAA distinguishes between appeals (also known as representations) and complaints:

  • An appeal (or representation) is a challenge by an institution to the outcome of a QAA review or to another decision made by QAA. 
  • A complaint is an expression of an individual’s dissatisfaction with their experience of dealing with QAA. It may be on behalf of the individual’s institution.

Appeals/representations from providers

We have published procedures for handling appeals and representations made against review outcomes and other decisions.

The procedures vary by review method, and are listed below; where there is no specific procedure listed then the Consolidated Appeals Procedure applies.


For appeals relating to our work as the Designated Quality Body in England, please see the DQB website.



For appeals related to the Gateway Quality Review: Wales method, there is a separate appeals procedure and submission form.

Quality Enhancement Review

For appeals related to the Quality Enhancement Review method, there is a separate appeals procedure and submission form.

Quality and Standards Review

For appeals related to Quality and Standards Review, there is a separate representations procedure and submission form.

Degree Awarding Powers

For appeals related to Degree Awarding Powers, there is a separate representations procedure.


For appeals related to Access to Higher Education by Access Validating Agencies, there is a separate appeals procedure and submission form.


Consolidated Appeals Procedure

For appeals/representations not covered by the guidance above, please use our Consolidated Appeals Procedure.

Our procedure for the handling of complaints

First, you should speak to the person you have been dealing with at QAA, so that they can try to assist and to find a resolution. 

If you are not satisfied with the explanation you receive, you can contact the Governance team.


Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, we ask that you contact us by email, to


Please provide your full name, postal address, and email address and how you would prefer us to make contact with you about your complaint.

Standards for handling complaints

We will be better able to respond to your complaint if it is raised promptly and accompanied by supporting information. Please state the area, date and time of incident to which your complaint relates, and provide any relevant information regarding communication you have had with us on the subject or supporting evidence.

We will:

  • handle your complaint with courtesy, respect and fairness
  • give full reasons for the outcome
  • use the knowledge and experience gained from complaints to improve how we operate.

Read our Complaints Procedure for more information.

QAA also has an information publication scheme and a subject access/information request procedure. These can be found on our policies page.