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As part of its Tertiary Quality Project, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has commissioned QAA to lead on the design, planning and delivery of a multi-year quality cycle involving peer-led external review of colleges and universities. In the development and delivery of this commission, QAA is working closely with Education Scotland to ensure that the review method is shaped in a way that supports the needs of the college sector.

The review method will take account of, and build on, the strengths and good practice found in current arrangements for the college and university sectors, developing these for a tertiary context. The method must also enable Scottish Ministers to meet their commitment to the Bologna Process and the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).


Working with stakeholders, including universities, colleges and sector bodies, a five-year cycle will be developed that provides assessment of, and supports enhancement of, the quality and standards of provision across all locations and SCQF levels. 


This project is intended to deliver for SFC: 

  • assurance on the management of academic standards
  • assurance on the quality of provision and outcomes of the student learning experience
  • accountability in the use and impact of public investment in college and university provision 
  • the development of a more seamless and coherent tertiary education system that puts learners at the centre
  • a culture of continuous improvement at institutional and sector level. 
Engaging in cyclical peer-led external review should also be of benefit to the universities and colleges involved, and the method should enable public assurance on academic quality and standards.   



How to get involved

The QAA Scotland lead for this project is Debra Macfarlane, Quality Enhancement Manager.


If you would like to get involved in this project, drop us an email.