Changes to our approach

We have been developing our approach to the regulation of quality and standards.

We consulted in phases on how we should set minimum requirements for quality and standards and take action when these are not satisfied. This included how we would set higher, more challenging, minimum baselines for student outcomes.

We took forward these consultations because we think it is necessary to:

  1. Strengthen our approach to ensure that all students, whatever their background or where and how they study, are protected from low quality courses or qualifications that do not meet sector-recognised standards.
  2. Ensure that students, from the UK and beyond, as well as the wider public and the taxpayers who subsidise their education, can have confidence in the quality of the courses offered by English higher education providers and that they represent value for money.
  3. Provide clarity for providers, students and other stakeholders about a provider’s obligations for the quality and standards of all of the courses it is involved in delivering.
  4. Improve transparency of the indicators used to regulate student outcomes.
  5. Ensure that our approach to monitoring is risk-based and that there is an appropriate balance between the regulatory burden that our regulatory activity places on providers and our ability to regulate effectively in the interests of students.

In November 2020, we launched a consultation which set out our initial proposals for developing our approach to quality and standards.

This initial consultation sought views on the principles and definitions that would underpin our approach to regulating quality and standards.

That consultation has concluded. You can:

In July 2021, we launched the second phase of our consultation. This built on the first, and proposed a set of revised conditions of registration relating to quality and standards. This included academic experience, resources, support and student engagement, and assessment and awards.

The proposed conditions and supporting guidance aimed to more clearly express our minimum requirements for quality and standards for all students, both for providers registering with the OfS for the first time and for providers that are already on our Register.

This consultation has now closed.

In January 2022 we launched the third phase of consultations.

This focused on our proposals for regulating student outcomes (condition B3 of the current quality and standards conditions). It explained the numerical thresholds we proposed to set, against which providers’ performance would be assessed. This aspect of the initial consultation received a significant number of responses.

At the same time, we consulted on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

This included proposals for how the TEF will align with our regulation of baseline quality through conditions of registration.

We also consulted on how we construct the data which would form the evidence base for regulating student outcomes and inform the TEF assessments.

These consultations have now closed.

Published 17 November 2020
Last updated 26 July 2022
26 July 2022
Link to phase three consultation outcomes added
23 May 2022
Phase three content updated as the consultations are now closed.
02 March 2022
Added link to the analysis of responses to our phase two consultation
20 January 2022
Information about phase three updated
01 November 2021
Updated consultation dates.
20 July 2021
Changes to reflect the launch of the consultation on quality and standards conditions.
26 January 2021
Copy updated to reflect consultation being closed
15 January 2021
Consultation deadline extended

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