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QAA Scotland aims to support Scottish higher education institutions (HEIs) to develop and enhance their work-based learning (WBL) provision. For WBL students, much of their learning happens inside their workplace rather than in traditional academic settings. HEIs and employers need to work together to ensure that WBL students have a learning experience that is comparable to the standards and quality of any other student. 

This work also links with recognition of prior learning and personal development planning.

Development work

QAA Scotland's development work in WBL has included:

  • Making it work: A guidebook exploring work-based learning - an interactive resource that directs practitioners to information around WBL
  • The Graduates for the 21st Century Enhancement Theme
  • Supporting work on developing a UK-wide Characteristics Statement on Degree Apprenticeships
  • Scottish Higher Education Work-Based Learning Forum.

Featured resource

Making it work - A guidebook exploring work-based learning

Publication date: 13 Jul 2010

Higher Education in Apprenticeships

QAA has published guidance on Higher Education (HE) in Apprenticeships, known as Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland. This work was complete in consultation with sector colleagues across the UK. The guidance provides support for institutions who are developing HE in apprenticeships and includes details of the approaches taken in the different UK nations.

Quality Assuring Higher Education in Apprenticeships: Current Approaches

Publication date: 12 Jul 2018

Scottish Higher Education WBL Forum

The Work-Based Learning (WBL) Forum was setup in May 2010, to develop and enhance WBL provision. This provided an opportunity for practitioners in the Scottish sector to come together, share practice and discuss issues and concerns about WBL. While the forum no longer meets, it produced lots of material which will continue to be useful for the sector.

The Forum got involved with the JISC project 'Taking Work-Based Learning Forward in Scotland using the Work-Based Learning Toolkit'. This project aimed to embed and enhance WBL in four Scottish higher education institutions by using JISC's WBL Maturity Toolkit.

The Open University in Scotland, in conjunction with the Forum, carried out a small-scale project related to understanding WBL in the higher education sector in Scotland.