We use cookies on this website. If you continue to use the website, we will use cookies to maximise your experience and help us to improve.

To find out more about cookies, how we use them and how to remove them, see our privacy and cookies statement.
safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education



​​​​​​We investigate concerns about higher education providers. We also have a clear and published procedure for dealing with complaints about QAA and a separate procedure for handling appeals against our findings.

Click on the Launch Concerns Wizard button below to launch our interactive guide to QAA's Concerns Procedure, to know whether or not you have a valid concern and whether you should be contacting us. Please note, the wizard make take a few minutes to load.


Our procedures for concerns, complaints and appeals 

Our mission is to safeguard standards and improve the quality of UK higher education. One aspect of this is to investigate situations where it is suspected that a higher education provider is failing to meet the agreed Expectations set out in the Quality Code.

We use the term concerns to mean concerns about standards, quality and the information that providers make available in relation to their higher education provision. We use the term complaints to mean complaints specifically about QAA. We use appeals to mean formal objections to the outcomes of our reviews.

Raising a concern about a higher education provider

We have a Concerns procedure for investigating concerns about standards, quality and information that higher education providers produce about their learning opportunities, with respect to providers of UK higher education. Providers include not only universities and other degree-awarding bodies, but also any organisation that has a formal agreement with a degree-awarding body to provide higher education on its behalf.

A concern that QAA can investigate will relate to at least one of the following:

  • the academic standards at a higher education provider
  • the quality of learning opportunities made available by a higher education provider
  • the public information that a provider makes available about its higher education programmes.

Before contacting us, please read our guide to check whether your concern is one that we can investigate, and to find out how to submit it to us.

We do not investigate individual grievances. If your concern is of a personal or very specific nature you may need to contact the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (Opens in a new window).

Raising a concern about a higher education provider in Scotland

QAA Scotland has developed a Protocol for managing potential risks to quality and academic standards​ (PDF, 110KB opens in new window) . It is intended to have a similar role to the Concerns about standards and quality in higher education arrangements that operate in England and Wales.

It is not a mechanism for addressing individual complaints or grievances. These should still be addressed through the institution's internal mechanisms and, ultimately, via the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (opens in new window).

Referring Concerns to reviews

QAA can refer concerns identified through its Concerns Scheme to review teams for consideration. To find out more, please see the guidance document Referring concerns to reviews​.​

Complaining about QAA

We operate a Complaints procedure for anyone wishing to complain about QAA.

Appealing against the findings of QAA audits or reviews

We have an Appeals procedure for higher education providers wishing to appeal against the outcome of a review. Please note that this is separate from both the Complaints procedure (complaints about QAA) and the Concerns procedure (complaints about providers).​