We’re a risk-based regulator. As such, our assessment and monitoring activities are targeted at providers who represent a higher risk to students and their outcomes. Through ongoing monitoring we can identify those organisations who are not providing the academic experience and the reliable standards students should expect.
Conditions of registration
When providers seek to register with the OfS, they will be tested against our quality and standards conditions. Once registered, we will continue to monitor that a provider meets those conditions. The conditions are as follows:
- Condition B1: The provider must deliver well-designed courses that provide a high quality academic experience for all students and enable a student’s achievement to be reliably assessed.
- Condition B2: The provider must provide all students, from admission through to completion, with the support that they need to succeed in and benefit from higher education.
- Condition B3: The provider must deliver successful outcomes for all of its students, which are recognised and valued by employers and/or enable further study.
- Condition B4: The provider must ensure that qualifications awarded to students hold their value at the point of qualification and over time, in line with sector recognised standards.
- Condition B5: The provider must deliver courses that meet the academic standards as they are described in the Framework for Higher Education Qualification (FHEQ) at Level 4 or higher.
The Regulatory framework sets out these conditions, the behaviours we would expect a provider to follow, and behaviours that would indicate a provider is not continuing to meet these conditions.
Designated quality body
The Secretary of State has designated the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) to carry out the quality and standards assessment functions set out in the Higher Education and Research Act. The Designated Quality Body (DQB) will assess on behalf of the OfS. This means they will conduct reviews of higher education providers and give advice on the quality and standards of providers when we’re making decisions about whether to register a provider or grant degree awarding powers. We’ll have oversight of these arrangements and will ensure that any assessments are fit for purpose and consistent with our approach to regulation.
Quality and standards review
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has published its guidance on the quality and standards review (QSR).
Some of the providers seeking registration with the OfS will require a QSR in order to demonstrate how they meet the quality and standards conditions of registration (B1, B2, B4 and B5). This will most commonly apply to providers new to the higher education sector. The OfS will inform you during the registration process if you will require a QSR.