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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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UK higher education providers are invited to apply by noon on 26 January 2017

About this guide

The Government has introduced the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) to recognise and reward excellent teaching in UK higher education providers.

In September 2016, the Department for Education (DfE) published ‘Teaching Excellence Framework: year two specification’. It sets out the assessment framework and specifies the criteria, evidence and process for the TEF in Year Two.

HEFCE, working with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, is responsible for implementing the TEF Year Two according to the DfE’s specification.

This document comprises:

  • The DfE’s specification for TEF Year Two, as published in September 2016. While it includes the DfE’s glossary at Annex A, the other annexes included in the TEF specification are available below.
  • Additional guidance for HE providers on how to participate in the Year Two TEF, and additional procedural guidance for panel members and assessors in conducting the assessment. These sections have a blue strip in the margin and are titled Additional guidance.

Note that although the DfE specification is unchanged from the original published in September, footnote and page numbering differ in this publication.

Date: 31 October 2016

Ref: HEFCE 2016/32

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges, Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions, Heads of universities in Northern Ireland
Heads of further education colleges in Northern Ireland, Heads of universities in Wales, Heads of further education colleges in Wales, Heads of universities in Scotland, Heads of alternative providers with course designation in England

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Learning and teaching, Quality, Student data

Enquiries should be directed to: