We are a risk-based regulator. We assess and monitor more closely providers where the quality and standards of courses, including good student outcomes, are at greater risk.
Through ongoing monitoring, we can identify those organisations that are not providing the academic experience and the reliable standards students should expect.
Quality Assurance Agency
We have a formal relationship with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), who are the ‘Designated Quality Body’ (DQB) under the terms of Higher Education and Research Act.
The QAA review providers and give the OfS evidence, which we use to decide whether providers meet our conditions of registration.
We oversee these arrangements to make sure they are suitable and consistent with our broader approach to regulation.
Quality and standards review
The QAA use the process of Quality and Standards Review to provide the OfS with the evidence it needs.
This review is designed to focus on the interests of students, consider the diversity of providers, and take a tailored approach according to the risks in different providers.
It has the following features:
- expert review
- review against the UK Quality Code for Higher Education
- a visit to the provider or desk-based review
- engaging students in the process
- judgements which draw on evidence and the criteria for assessment
- a published report.
Some of the providers seeking registration with the OfS will need a review to make sure they meet the quality and standards conditions of registration.
Usually, this applies to new providers. We will let providers know during the registration process if they need a review.
Judgements in quality reviews
The judgements that are made in a Quality and Standards review are set out in our regulatory framework, which makes reference to the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (the Quality Code).