Quality Assurance Agency UK Quality Code for Higher Education
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) sets out the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. This replaced the previous Academic Infrastructure from the 2012-13 academic year.
The Quality Code
The Quality Code provides a set of nationally agreed expectations that all UK Higher Education providers are required to meet. It informs the learning and teaching activities of HEIs, from foundation level to postgraduate research degrees.
The QAA works with the Higher Education sector to develop, maintain and update the Quality Code.
Higher Education providers apply the Quality Code in designing and delivering their programmes of study.
Who is the Quality Code for?
The Quality Code will be of most importance to those staff who are involved in setting and maintaining academic standards and quality enhancement. As the Quality Code informs Kent's Code of Practice, the majority of staff are not expected to have detailed knowledge of the Quality Code, however it is important that staff are aware of its existence and that Kent's policies and procedures are informed by it.
How it is organised
The Quality Code comprises three parts, as follows:
Part B: Assuring and enhancing academic quality. Part B includes the following chapters -
- Chapter B1: Programme design, development and approval
- Chapter B2: Recruitment, selection and admission to higher education
- Chapter B3: Learning and teaching
- Chapter B4: Enabling student development and achievement
- Chapter B5: Student engagement
- Chapter B6: Assessment of students and the recognition of prior learning
- Chapter B7: External examining
- Chapter B8: Programme monitoring and review
- Chapter B9: Academic appeals and student complaints
- Chapter B10: Managing higher education provision with others
- Chapter B11: Research degrees
Each Chapter sets an overarching Expectation for the particular area. This is followed by a series of Indicators, which highlight sound practice and include examples of how each Indicator may be met.
Will the Code change?
The QAA will review and update individual Chapters in the future, as the need arises.
What the University has done
Kent has responded to the Quality Code in two key ways.
The relevant Annex(es) of the Kent Code of Practice were reviewed against each Chapter to identify where the Code of Practice already met the Chapter’s Expectation and Indicators, and where there were areas for enhancement. Each review was reported to the Learning and Teaching Board and appropriate recommendations and actions were agreed.
The Academic Audit Committee (AAC), chaired by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, considered each published Chapter in relation to the remit of the AAC and commissioned an internal thematic audit, where it was considered appropriate. Such audits review a Chapter against Kent’s current policies and procedures, formally reporting on areas of good practice and where there are areas for enhancement. Each audit team is made up of academic staff, a student representative, a secretary drawn from professional services staff and an external member, who acts as Chair. An audit report is written and actions are agreed.
If you would like further information about the Quality Code please contact the Quality Assurance Office on firstname.lastname@example.org
Quality Assurance Agency http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Pages/default.aspx
UK Quality Code http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code
The UK Quality Code for Higher Education: A Brief Guide http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/quality-code-brief-guide.pdf