Core Practices

Like all higher education providers in the UK, the QAA Quality Code states we must meet certain Core Practices for Monitoring and Evaluation that the QAA have set out within their Expectations for this area. See How we do things for our approach in meeting these.

Core Practices for Standards:

  • The provider ensures that the threshold standards for its qualifications are consistent with the relevant national qualifications frameworks
    • In practice, this means that external experts contribute to course design, delivery and review and pay due attention to the requirements of the relevant national qualifications frameworks, Characteristics Statements and Subject Benchmark Statements. External examiners comment on the maintenance and application of academic standards through internal marking practices.
  • The provider ensures that students who are awarded qualifications have the opportunity to achieve standards beyond the threshold level that are reasonably comparable with those achieved in other UK providers
    • In practice, this means that external examiners, and other external experts, comment on whether students have the opportunity to achieve standards beyond the threshold level.
  • Where a provider works in partnership with other organisations, it has in place effective arrangements to ensure that the standards of its awards are credible and secure irrespective of where or how courses are delivered or who delivers them
    • In practice, this means that the external examiner role for provision in partnership with other organisations is consistent with the degree-awarding body’s approved practices and, where appropriate, consideration is given to comparison of cohorts across location and provider.
  • The provider uses external expertise, assessment and classification processes that are reliable, fair and transparent
    • In practice, this means that providers ensure that appropriate criteria are applied in the engagement of external experts, paying due attention to the relevant expertise of each and the avoidance of conflicts of interest. External examiners comment on the setting, maintenance and application of academic standards through rigorous assessment processes, to the best of their professional knowledge.

Common Practice for Standards:

The QAA Quality Code also has a Common Practice that whilst not mandatory for us to follow, we still feel this is relevant to us and that we can show we do it. It is:

  • The provider reviews its core practices for standards regularly and uses the outcomes to drive improvement and enhancement
    • In practice, this means that external experts are used to contribute to reviews within a provider and to comment on areas of good practice, innovation and enhancement.

Core Practices for Quality:

  • The provider designs and / or delivers high-quality courses
    • In practice, this means that external experts such as advisers and, where relevant, PSRB and employer requirements, inform course design and approval, and course review. Course design and review involves consideration of all elements contributing to the learning journey including staff and resources to deliver a high-quality academic experience.
  • Where a provider works in partnership with other organisations, it has in place effective arrangements to ensure that the academic experience is high-quality irrespective of where or how courses are delivered or who delivers them.
    • In practice, this means that at course design, approval and review, and as part of ongoing monitoring, external expertise forms part of the evidence by which providers assure the quality of the student learning experience when working in partnership with other organisations.

Common Practice for Quality:

  • The provider’s approach to managing quality takes account of external expertise
    • In practice, this means that at course design, approval and review, and as part of ongoing monitoring, external expertise forms part of the evidence by which providers manage the quality of the student academic experience. The provider ensures external advisers are engaged to advise on new and revised aspects of provision which may have a substantial impact on the quality of student learning opportunities. This includes new policies, or major changes to these, for example, on student support or access to learning resources.