QAA is an independent body, a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. Its strategy and policy are determined by its Board, which has representatives from the higher education sector, the student body and from industry. The day to day delivery of the agency’s strategic aims, as set out in its Strategy 2014-17, is the responsibility of its Directorate. QAA’s stated mission is to safeguard standards and improve the quality of UK higher education. It reports on standards and quality under contract to government. This is done through peer review, based on the Expectations of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (maintained by QAA on behalf of the higher education sector). Different review methods accommodate the range of environments and arrangements through which UK higher education is provided. Since 2011, QAA has been entrusted by the government with reviews of private providers, as required by UK Border Agency regulations. On behalf of the Privy Council, QAA scrutinises applications from institutions wishing to obtain degree-awarding powers and university title. QAA also regulates the Access to Higher Education Diploma.
QAA is currently undergoing an external review coordinated by ENQA. More information can be found here.