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Summary

SQW Consulting was commissioned by the Quality Assurance Framework Review Group to undertake a review of the impacts, benefits, costs and risks associated with the various types of review of collaborative provision to which higher education institutions (HEIs) are subject.

SQW found that there are many positive impacts for HEIs and their partners from the review processes associated with collaborative provision, including raising the profile of collaboration and strengthening partner relationships. Negative impacts included the number and frequency of different review processes (QAA, PSRBs and so on) and the overall costs associated with these, as well as the need to provide duplicate information in some cases. HEIs wanted a less burdensome approach to the review of collaborative provision and the concept of a 'risk-based approach' was raised, but there is no clear or consistent view across the sector on what this might comprise.

The report informed the findings of phase three of the review of the Quality Assurance Framework, which was published in July 2008 as HEFCE 2008/21.