Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education role

The Role of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)

Higher education plays a crucial role in shaping the future of our society, ensuring the next generation is well-equipped with the knowledge and skills required to thrive in an ever-evolving world. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is central to maintaining and enhancing the quality of higher education in the UK. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune explores the pivotal role of the QAA, key facts and statistics, essential definitions, and recommended best practices for implementing relevant legislation and regulations.

Key facts and statistics

  • Established - The QAA was established in 1997.
  • Scope - The QAA covers over 160 higher education providers, including universities and colleges.
  • Reviews - The QAA conducts periodic reviews and assessments, publishing reports to ensure transparency and accountability.
  • International influence - The QAA's standards are recognised internationally, contributing to the UK's global reputation for high-quality higher education.

Key definitions

  • Quality assurance - Quality assurance in higher education refers to systematically evaluating educational services to ensure they meet predefined standards of excellence. This includes curriculum design, teaching methodologies, student support services, and assessment procedures.
  • Standards and guidelines - The QAA's UK Quality Code for Higher Education sets out the expectations that all providers of UK higher education must meet. These standards ensure consistency, fairness, and academic integrity across all institutions.
  • Reviews and audits - The QAA conducts various reviews, including institutional, thematic, and transnational education reviews. These audits assess the effectiveness of an institution's internal quality assurance processes.

Recommended best practices for implementation

Legislative framework

The QAA operates within a comprehensive legislative framework that includes the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. Institutions must comply with this act to ensure they meet the required standards for quality and academic excellence.

Internal quality assurance systems

Institutions are encouraged to develop robust internal quality assurance systems that align with the QAA's UK Quality Code. This includes regular self-assessment, peer reviews, and continuous improvement processes.

Training and development

Continuous professional development for academic and administrative staff is crucial. Institutions should invest in training programmes focusing on the best teaching, learning, and assessment practices.

Student engagement

Engaging students in the quality assurance process is vital. Institutions should establish mechanisms for student feedback and involve students in decision-making processes related to quality assurance.

External reviews

Periodic external reviews by the QAA objectively assess an institution's quality assurance processes. Institutions should prepare thoroughly for these reviews and act on recommendations to improve their standards.


To effectively implement the QAA's guidelines and enhance the quality of higher education, institutions should:

  • Adopt a culture of continuous improvement - Encourage a mindset of ongoing evaluation and enhancement among staff and students.
  • Utilise ComplyPlus™ - Leverage the ComplyPlus™ legislation and regulatory compliance management software to stay updated with the latest QAA standards and regulations. This tool can help streamline the compliance process and ensure adherence to best practices.
  • Engage stakeholders - Regularly involve all stakeholders, including students, faculty, and administrative staff, in quality assurance activities.
  • Monitor and evaluate - Continuously monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of quality assurance processes and make necessary adjustments based on feedback and assessment outcomes.


The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education plays a vital role in maintaining the UK's integrity and quality of higher education. By adhering to the QAA's standards and implementing best practices, institutions can ensure they provide a high-quality educational experience that meets students' needs and society's expectations.

Click here to learn more about how ComplyPlus™ can support your institution in meeting QAA standards and enhancing quality assurance processes. Invest in your institution's future and ensure you continue to provide top-tier education to your students.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

The Role of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

Contact us

Just added to your wishlist:
My Wishlist
You've just added this product to the cart:
Go to Basket




Sold Out