You need cookies enabled

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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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.


You need cookies enabled

About this guide

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

2. In October 2017, the Department for Education published the ‘Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework specification’ (hereafter referred to as the ‘TEF specification’). It sets out the assessment framework and specifies the criteria, evidence and process for assessments that will be carried out during TEF Year Three (the academic year 2017-18) and in future years, until a new specification is published.

3. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and, from April 2018 onwards, the Office for Students is responsible for implementing the TEF according to the Department for Education’s TEF specification. As explained in the TEF specification (paragraphs 1.6 to 1.7), all references to HEFCE in this document should be read as ‘HEFCE or, from April 2018 onwards, the Office for Students’.

4. This document supplements and should be read alongside the TEF specification; it provides guidance on the timescales and operational procedures for those participating in TEF Year Three, in two parts:

  • Part 1: Procedural guidance for providers
  • Part 2: Procedural guidance for panellists and assessors.

5. Additional technical and supporting documentation about TEF Year Three is available at

6. Providers and panellists participating in the TEF Subject Pilots will be provided with separate procedural guidance that is specific to the Subject Pilots.

Date: 19 October 2017

Ref: 2017/25

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: