Comment on the QAA’s change of status in England

Following the decision of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to demit its status as a Designated Quality Body in England, Universities Scotland have commented:

“Scotland’s quality arrangements for higher education have been different to the rest of the UK for close to twenty years, whilst operating within a broader UK system. We greatly value our enhancement approach, as delivered by QAA Scotland, which includes students as a partner in quality. Our system is fully compliant with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) for quality assurance, which enables international recognition. We therefore welcome the steps that QAA has taken to protect its registration with EQAR, in light of developments in the English higher education sector, so that the Scottish quality system can remain fully aligned with international standards.

“Students, parents, employers and other stakeholders can retain full confidence in the high quality of education delivered by Scotland’s universities going forward.”



  • QAA will demit its status as designated quality body in England after the current DQB year ends on 31 March 2023.
  • QAA has decided not to continue in the DQB role because the requirements made of the DQB by the current regulatory approach in England (as led by the Office for Students) are not consistent with standard international practice for quality bodies, as reflected in the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG).
  • QAA Scotland is part of QAA. However, there have been distinctly different arrangements for quality assurance in Scotland for close to twenty years, which focus on an enhancement approach with students as a partner.
  • Find further information from QAA here: QAA demits DQB status to focus on sector and students in England