Retaining assessed work

We ask higher education providers to retain ‘appropriate records’ of assessed students’ work.

This includes the work of students who are no longer registered on a course. Records should be kept for five years after the end date of a course. 


We have published guidance in this area: 

Higher education providers should consider the context in which they operate as they interpret this guidance. They should also document how they have decided what assessed work to retain.

Purpose of retaining work

Providers registered with the Office for Students must, among other requirements:

  • assess students effectively using assessments that are valid and reliable
  • grant students with credible awards
  • make sure that they follow standards recognised by the higher education sector when they do so.

We have set out these requirements in our conditions of registration B4 and B5. 

When we consider whether a provider is complying with these conditions, students' assessed work is likely to be relevant evidence.

The OfS needs access to primary evidence - in this circumstance the assessments themselves - to reach a judgement about a provider's compliance with the requirements in conditions B4 and B5, including those listed above. 

Type of assessed work

It may not be appropriate to retain some types of assessed work. The guidance gives examples to support providers' decisions about appropriate records for retention. 


A provider may decide that retaining a sample of assessed work would be an appropriate record.

A sample of retained work should be sufficiently large and comprehensive for the OfS to draw reliable conclusions about the provider's provision. 

Read the guidance

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