QAA Workshop - Advice and Guidance Quality Code

From Euros Evans, Head of Employability, University of South Wales (USW)


The UK Quality Code for Higher Education is undergoing significant redevelopment. The Expectations and Practices elements of the Code were be published via the UKSCQA and QAA websites in late March. The full Code, including the advice and guidance that underpins the Expectations and Practices, is scheduled for publication in November 2018.

The QAA is currently conducting a series of consultation workshops throughout the UK. Euros Evans, Head of Employability University of South Wales, represented AGCAS at the workshop in Newport on 24 May, and has provided this briefing on the consultation and next steps for Heads of Service.

QAA: The UK Quality Code for Higher Education

QAA: UK Quality Code - Advice and Guidance Workshop

QAA Introduction

  • The next stage in the development of the Code is deciding what Advice & Guidance looks like since the Principles for the Code have been approved.
  • In Wales the Quality Enhancement Review will be every 6 years for institutions.
  • The 2017 Consultation raised the issues related to Employability and the need for this to be more specifically addressed.
  • Core Practices will remain, but the other practices will now be called Common Practices. These will sit alongside the Core.
  • Expectations related to Quality will have two aspects; the course will need to well designed and provide support for student progression.
  • The Code of Practice has been signed off at a higher level and has 4 principles, including: The provider supports all students to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes. This includes Employability although not specifically mentioned.

Consultation Process

  • This workshop is part of the consultation process in relation to taking forward what Advice & Guidance will look like. This will be published by mid-November.
  • The Code will inform institutional reviews in England and Wales from 2019/10 onwards.
  • Writing Groups will be established in June 2018. These will be time-consuming (half a day a week) but, anyone who wants to be involved needs to contact the QAA.
  • The final edit for each theme will be completed by mid-September.
  • Reading Groups for proof reading will be established in August.
  • The Proposed Theme Structure was discussed, which will include how institutions ‘measure quality’.

The AGCAS Quality Standards will be essential within the context of this Code of Practice

Employability and the Code

What approach will QAA adopt in relation to Employability given that fact that this was raised as a challenge as part of the consultation in 2017?’ AGCAS Representative

  • QAA confirmed the strategic significance of Employability which permeates across the standards as a given.
  • It is expected that Employability will be integrated across several themes within the Code.
  • As users, we will be guided though the various strands of the Code which will have direct relevance to Employability.
  • Employability will be a Core and mandatory part of the delivery across all HEIs.
  • Workshop session attended related to the theme of Student Engagement.
  • On behalf of AGCAS, Key aspects of Employability were highlighted to include; Careers Management Skills; Experience of Work – broadly defined and Progression/Opportunities.
  • Different levels of student engagement was also emphasised in relation to Employability including engagement with the assessed curriculum; co-curriculum engagement and extra-curricular engagement.