Second OfS consultation on quality and standards: our response

The Chartered ABS has responded to the second OfS consultation on its approach to regulating quality and standards in higher education. We also responded to the preliminary consultation which can be found here. The latest set of proposals reflect some of the views that were put forward by the Chartered ABS and other organisations during the first consultation and makes more detailed proposals about new regulatory requirements.

Our members agree with the proposal to impose three general on-going conditions of registration relating to the quality of a provider’s courses as this will serve as an on-going measure to help safeguard the quality of the experience received by students. Chartered ABS members also believe that providers should ensure that students receive the resources and support they need to succeed and that measures should be adjusted accordingly where appropriate.

In our response we have disagreed with the proposed introduction of on-going condition B5 relating to the requirement for courses to meet certain sector-recognised standards as this might constrain the ability of HEIs to innovate and create new courses in fields that might not have existing sector-wide recognition. Our response to the first consultation expressed the view that setting minimum standards should not stifle innovation.

While our members support the proposal to impose two initial conditions of registration – one relating to the quality of courses and the other relating to the standards applied – it is important that this does not create undue complexity for new providers. As with our response to the first consultation, we have reiterated our support for a targeted approach to addressing non-compliance which focuses on issues that pose the greatest risk to students and does not create excessive regulatory burden for high-quality providers.

Our response to the consultation can be read in full here.