QAA's Recognition Scheme
QAA regulates the national recognition of Access to HE courses. It is responsible for assuring the quality of recognised Access courses, and the adequacy of standards of student achievement on these courses.
QAA has established a scheme through which it can meet these responsibilities, the QAA Recognition Scheme for Access to Higher Education in England Wales and Northern Ireland (the Recognition Scheme).
How does QAA's recognition of Access to HE courses work?
The Recognition Scheme has three elements:
- national level: QAA has overall responsibility for the management of the framework, and the implementation of the Recognition Scheme
- regional level: regionally-based access validating agencies (AVAs)
- consortia of further education and HE institutions - are licensed by QAA to approve Access to HE courses and to award QAA-recognised Access qualifications to students
- local level: providers of Access to HE courses deliver the courses and recommend learners to the AVAs for the award of Access to HE qualifications.
QAA itself does not directly recognise individual courses or award certificates to students: it licenses the AVAs to do this, and regulates the way in which AVAs undertake their responsibilities.
There are currently 15 licensed AVAs across England and Wales, and all of these operate according to the requirements of the QAA Recognition Scheme.