The 2018 version of the Quality Code was developed by QAA on behalf of the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment (UKSCQA), in consultation with the higher education sector. It was designed to protect the public and student interest, and champion UK higher education's world-leading reputation for quality.
Changes to the regulatory framework in England provide an opportunity for the sector to take ownership of the future scope and structure of the Quality Code to ensure it is a valuable aid to institutional evaluation and enhancement.
Latest news - feeback on the proposed redeveloped UK Quality Code
QAA is now considering feedback on a proposed redeveloped model for the UK Quality Code. A summary of feedback is provided in the 'Your feedback' section below and you find the proposed UK Quality Code on our dedicated web page.
What are we doing to review the Quality Code?
In July 2022, we agreed with the UKSCQA that the time was right to hold a UK sector-wide conversation about the future scope and structure of the Quality Code, to ensure it remains useful to the sector.
We've already held a detailed set of conversations with our members, and other groups, to understand how they would like it to evolve. This included a series of roundtable discussions, sharing ideas with members through our existing networks and events, and also engaging directly with other sector bodies and groupings (such as Universities UK, GuildHE, Quality Strategy Network, Academic Registrars Council and related groups in the UK nations).
We are first considering the ‘central’ part of the Quality Code (currently known as the Expectations and Core/Common practices), thinking about how that should be structured and what its scope should be, before looking at a realistic timetable for reviewing the Advice and Guidance. This work is cognisant of how the Quality Code is used across the UK, especially in those nations where it underpins external review arrangements.
How should the Quality Code develop?
From our current work and discussions to date, we think it would be helpful for the next iteration of the Quality Code to:
- identify practice beyond the baseline, what does good or even excellent practice look like
- be more explicit about the focus institutions have on outcomes, in addition to providing information about the kinds of processes and practices that will deliver those outcomes
- continue to be UK-wide, so it should not be specific to the quality framework in any one nation
- ensure it continues to be widely respected internationally, so it should be explicit about how it links to other frameworks such as the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG).
Join the conversations
The review provides an opportunity for the sector to take ownership of the scope and structure of the Quality Code to ensure it is a valuable aid to institutional evaluation and enhancement.
We have so far held a range of interactive online events for the sector to share their views - these workshops were open to all staff and students who wished to contribute to the discussions.
We have also held discussions with our members in a range of network meetings, as well as at our Member Network Conference.
Your feedback so far
This document offers a summary of the key areas of feedback we received from online events and a survey at the end of 2023 to early 2024. This feedback has informed the latest draft of the Quality Code, due for final, formal consultation in April 2024.
On 25 May, we delivered an online event on the work undertaken so far and presented some conceptual models based on the feedback we've received. Participants gave us their thoughts on these models, on the future direction of the Advice and Guidance, and how we might embed enhancement into a new version.
This document offers a summary of the key areas of feedback we received up to April 2023, which helped shape the conceptual models being developed.