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The QAA Scotland team develop and undertake quality assurance and enhancement activities to reflect the needs of higher education in Scotland. Click on a team member to find out more about their key activities and interests! 

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Phone: +44 141 572 3420

Director for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland


Kathryn O'Loan

Kathryn has significant senior level public policy experience, shaping strategy and managing complex stakeholder environments to deliver a positive impact for learners and staff.

Kathryn joins QAA from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the tertiary education and research authority in Scotland, where she was Assistant Director, Access, Learning and Outcomes. She had strategic oversight for SFC’s quality assurance and enhancement agenda across further and higher education provision in Scotland’s colleges and universities. This included leading the development of the high-profile recommendation within SFC’s Review of Sustainability and Coherence – for a tertiary approach to quality. Kathryn also leads SFC’s quality agenda at UK level, including relationships and collaboration with partners across Wales and Northern Ireland.

Before her career at SFC, Kathryn managed Community Education and Education for Sustainability programmes across a range of non-departmental public bodies and universities.

Quality Enhancement Managers

A graduate of the University of St Andrews, Demelza was originally a medievalist by academic training before moving into governance and academic quality and standards. She has worked across a range of higher education providers and was a reviewer for QAA before coming to work for the organisation in a flexible role in January 2020.

She joined QAA Scotland in February 2022, where she is involved in institutional liaison and the development of interim arrangements for review. She is also supporting the Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee (SHEEC). Within Enhancement Themes, Demelza is supporting the student-led project which is delivered in partnership with student partnerships in quality Scotland (sparqs).

Debra is an experienced Quality Enhancement Manager and academic developer who has worked with QAA Scotland for 10 years and who has a demonstrated history of working in tertiary education in quality, assessment and feedback and employability, having previously worked in roles both in universities and in industry. Debra is skilled in quality enhancement and review, academic development and training and project management in the UK tertiary education sector and was a previous lead for the Scottish National Enhancement Theme, 'Resilient Learning Communities'. Debra was seconded to the Scottish Funding Council from 2021-2023, to work on the design and implementation of a common approach to quality assurance and enhancement across all of Scotland's colleges and universities. Debra has returned to QAA Scotland to support QAA’s commission to deliver tertiary quality arrangements for the Scottish sector from AY 2024-5.

Laura is our newest Quality Enhancement Manager, supporting a wide range of activity at QAA Scotland including the development of the new Enhancement-led Institutional Review method, a review of the Scottish Concerns Scheme, and Enhancement Themes and Focus On activity.

Prior to joining QAA, Laura was Head of Academic Governance and Policy at Bath Spa University. In that role, she was responsible for providing strategic leadership in relation to academic governance and the academic policies, regulations and frameworks of the University. Responsible for policy for quality assurance and enhancement in relation to academic programmes, Laura managed internal procedures for the implementation of these policies and the requirements of external quality agencies. Her other previous roles include Deputy Head of Quality at Bath Spa University, Head of Strategic Policy at Qualifications Wales, and Assistant Registrar at Cranfield University.

Laura particularly enjoys learning from and working with the sector to enhance quality and standards and the student experience through a varied range of projects.

Pam is a Quality and Enhancement Manager at QAA Scotland. She is the QAA Scotland Liaison Officer for Heriot-Watt University, University of Strathclyde, and the University of the West of Scotland. In addition, she is the liaison Officer for Northern Ireland.

Before starting at QAA Scotland in 2016, Pam worked at the University of Stirling for 15 years in a variety of Strategic Planning, Governance and Quality roles. She completed a degree and PhD in Plant Science at the University of St Andrews before starting a career in University Administration.

Pam enjoys the varied work of QAA Scotland especially gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of quality assurance and enhancement processes across the Scottish Higher Education sector.

Quality Enhancement Specialists

Alison is a Quality Enhancement Specialist at QAA Scotland. She supports current Enhancement Theme and Focus On projects, and manages legacy resources from the Student Transitions Enhancement Theme. She also manages the Teaching Quality Forum and is QAA Scotland's representative on the Apprenticeships Approval Group.

The thing Alison enjoys most about working for QAA Scotland is the opportunity to meet staff and students from all the higher education institutions across Scotland, and to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of the sector as a whole.

Alison is also a musician and researcher who completed a PhD in music at the University of Glasgow in 2017. She is currently undertaking an MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Arts at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Amy joined QAA Scotland in January 2020 as a Quality Enhancement Specialist. She supported the delivery of Enhancement Themes work, acting as a collaborative cluster liaison and leading sector-level activity on the digital divide and Focus On projects.

Before starting at QAA Scotland, Amy worked in Academic Quality and Governance at the University of Stirling and the University of Stirling Students’ Union. She also brings her experience as an international student, PGT and PGR student, and undergraduate tutor to bear on her work with QAA Scotland. Amy graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio in 2011 before completing a MLitt in Medieval Studies at the University of Aberdeen (2012) and a PhD in Late Medieval History at the University of St Andrews (2016).

Amy enjoys the opportunity to meet with and learn from staff and students across the Scottish higher education sector, ensuring that QAA Scotland’s resources are practical, engaging, and relevant for institutional colleagues.

Ann Cotterill joined the team earlier in November 2021 as a Quality Enhancement Specialist. Ann has a first degree and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Melbourne.  She has worked in higher education within the UK since 1995 in research, lecturing and administration roles in HEIs and FECs in England and Wales.


Ann led Warwickshire College through its successful application for Foundation degree awarding powers and regularly represented HE in FE in various regional and national networks. For the last five years, Ann has run her own consultancy company mainly providing higher education support to further education colleges. Ann is also an experienced governor and trains primary and secondary school governors on a range of governance matters.

Clare is a Quality Enhancement Specialist at QAA Scotland. Clare is focused on supporting the Enhancement Themes work, particularly the Themes Leaders’ Group and institutional contracting and reporting. Her other activities include supporting the Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee and ELIR thematic reporting.

Clare came to QAA Scotland with over 20 years of Scottish higher education experience in a role that covered all aspects of academic quality.

Having left full-time higher education after a PhD gained in 2000, Clare has continued her studies in other ways, using her spare time to gain practical health and fitness qualifications.

Clare enjoys her varied work at QAA Scotland, taking on a range of projects, making connections between different aspects of the Quality Enhancement Framework, and working with a broad range of stakeholders.

Lead Policy Officer for Nations and Europe


Kevin McStravock is the Lead Policy Officer (Nations and Europe). His role is to support QAA as a UK-wide agency, with responsibility for stakeholder engagement in the devolved nations and ensuring that QAA colleagues across the UK are kept aware of the policy differences in each UK nation.

Kevin previously served as QAA’s PR, Press and Communications Officer, joining in June 2021. Kevin has significant experience working across the UK and Irish higher education sectors, having served as the Vice President (Coleraine) and then President of the Ulster University Students’ Union (UUSU). During this time, he led the development of a staff-student partnership agreement and new institutional Student Voice policy, successfully negotiated a three-year block grant increase for the Students’ Union and introduced UUSU’s first Vice President for Education. After leaving UUSU, he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Deputy President of the Union of Students in Ireland, representing more than 375,000 third-level students across Ireland. In this role, Kevin worked closely with ministers, government officials and sector bodies to lobby for enhanced support for students during the COVID-19 pandemic, and support national research on digital education, student experiences during the pandemic and embedding wellbeing within the curriculum.

Kevin is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and serves as the Communications Officer for the Researching Advance and Inspiring Student Engagement (RAISE) network. He recently completed a Masters degree in Student Engagement at the University of Winchester and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Journalism with French.

Media and Engagement Officer

Scott is Media and Engagement Officer for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, based close to Glasgow City Centre. His role is to promote and support the work of QAA and our partners across the devolved nations. He is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Scott has significant experience of the HE sector in Scotland, having headed Marketing for 10 years at the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) where he worked closely with students and enterprise educators across the country. He joined QAA in 2021.

He enjoys the positive work that the agency does across the nations, particularly Scotland’s Enhancement Themes, and the drive to improve the student learning experience.

Admin, resource and communication

QAA Scotland's ARC (Admin, Resource and Communications) team provide an essential support service to all colleagues. They are the first point of contact when communicating with QAA Scotland and everyone is met with a welcome and positive attitude.

The team, who work closely together, complete organisation and time management tasks whilst also ensuring a high level of performance is delivered to both the organisation and sector colleagues. Supporting the coordination of quality assurance and enhancement activities, including Enhancement-led Institutional Reviews (ELIR) and the planning and delivery of events, ARC also assist colleagues within the Nations & Europe Team.