OfS sets out arrangements for assessing quality and standards from April 2023

The Office for Students (OfS) will undertake a number of assessment activities that are currently delivered by the designated quality body, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), on an interim basis from April 2023.

In parallel, the OfS will continue to discuss longer-term arrangements with sector representative groups, keeping universities and colleges informed as these discussions progress. This follows the announcement by the QAA that it would no longer wish to be the designated body in England after the current designation year ends on 31 March 2023.

From 1 April 2023, the OfS will undertake the following assessment activities that are currently delivered by the designated quality body:

  • Quality and standards reviews for providers seeking registration (available for providers that applied for registration before 1 May 2022)
  • Standards assessments for the purpose of assessing initial condition B8 for providers that applied for registration after 1 May 2022
  • Assessments for degree awarding powers
  • External quality assurance of end-point assessments for integrated higher and degree apprenticeships.

Jean Arnold, Director of Quality at the OfS, said:

‘As we take on assessment activities previously delivered by the QAA, we will ensure that providers seeking registration and degree awarding powers are assessed rigorously on the basis set out in our regulatory framework.

‘The OfS will continue to undertake quality assessments as part of its programme of investigations on quality issues and we will expand our pool of academic experts as our assessment activity increases next year.

‘The OfS is working with the QAA to ensure it delivers its remaining assessment work over the next six months, and to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements. The QAA has committed to deliver transition arrangements that minimise disruption to universities and colleges, enable continuity of service, and ensure an orderly handover.’

Read more about the quality and standards arrangements
Published 14 October 2022

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