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A more risk-based approach to quality assurance

The current review method for HEFCE-funded institutions - Higher Education Review - takes a more risk-based approach compared with previous review methods.

Three key principles underpin this approach:

  • a universal system for all higher education (HE) providers which continues to promote teaching enhancement
  • a robust and rigorous approach which enables HEFCE to carry out its statutory duty to secure the assessment of quality in HE providers that have access to public funding
  • an approach which enables students to continue to play a prominent role in assessing their academic experience.

The risk-based approach also looks to:

  • reduce unnecessary burden and achieve better regulation, targeting QAA’s efforts where they are most needed
  • tailor external review to the individual circumstances of providers
  • continue to involve students fully in the quality assurance process
  • ensure that enhancement continues to be a core dimension of quality assurance
  • ensure transparency.

This approach followed a request from Government in 2011 to consult on a more risk-based approach to quality assurance. Working closely with partner organisations, we ran a consultation in 2012. We sent QAA a letter of guidance on taking forward the more risk-based approach and it was implemented in 2013-14.

Letter of guidance to the QAA on the more risk-based approach

Download the Letter on RBQA to the QAA as PDF (250 KB)

Read the consultation on a more risk-based approach to quality assurance

Read the consultation outcomes and next steps

Read the presentations and notes from the consultation events

Sector impact assessment of the more risk-based approach to quality assurance 

In developing the proposals for a more risk-based approach to quality assurance in higher education in England, we have assessed the impact on the HE sector in terms of regulatory burden, equality and diversity, sustainable development and privacy.

Sector impact assessment of risk-based approach to quality assurance 

Download the Sector impact assessment of Risk-based approach to quality assurance in higher education in England as PDF (130 KB)  | Download the Sector impact assessment of Risk-based approach to quality assurance in higher education in England as MS Word (100 KB)

Contact

For more information about developments to the quality assurance system contact qualityassessment@hefce.ac.uk.

Page last updated 8 June 2016