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The approach to undertaking external institutional quality review in Scotland is built on the principle of being enhancement-led and is a peer review process. Our approach acknowledges the maturity of the quality arrangements within the higher education institutions under review and that concept of external Enhancement-led Institutional Review is a key pillar of Scotland’s Quality Enhancement Framework


From 2003-22, the review method used by QAA Scotland was also called Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR). ELIR went through four iterations, completing its fourth and final cycle in 2021-22. More information about ELIR, including thematic reports, evaluation of ELIR 4, and the handbook to support submission of follow-up reports, is available on its web page.


A new enhancement-led external institutional quality review method is currently under development and will be delivered across two phases. The development of this new method is taking place within the context of the Scottish Funding Council’s Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability and the development of a Tertiary Quality Framework which is proposed for implementation from 2024-25.

  • Phase 1 comprising Quality Enhancement and Standards Review (QESR) and Institutional Liaison Meetings (ILM) will take place in 2022-23 and 2023-24
  • Phase 2 is being developed during 2022-23 in consultation with the sector. This cyclical review phase will commence in 2024-25, coinciding with the anticipated implementation of  SFC’s tertiary quality arrangements. 

Phase 1 (2022-24)

Key information about Quality Enhancement and Standards Review (QESR) and Institutional Liaison Meetings (ILM).

Phase 2 (from 2024)

The latest news about the development of Phase 2 and how you can get involved.

Enhancement-led Institutional Review

Details of our previous review method, ELIR, which ran from 2003-22.

Review Reports

Browse the list of Scottish higher education institutions and read the review reports.

Degree awarding powers and university titles

Guidance on how to apply for degree awarding powers and university title.

How to raise a concern in Scotland

Information about the Scottish Concerns Scheme including what it is and how to use it.