We safeguard standards and improve
qualities of higher education

about QAA International

We are an independent body entrusted with monitoring & advising on standards and quality in EU & UK higher education.

We also build international partnerships to enhance and promote the reputation of EU & UK higher education worldwide.

What We Work

QAA International is the designated quality body under a new regulatory framework, with responsibility for assessing quality and standards in EU & UK higher education. We are also responsible for the scrutiny of applications for university title and degree awarding powers.

Where We Work

Academic Integrity

QAA International Provides Excellent Horizon on
the EU & UK Quality Assurance for You



World-Leading Reputation for Quality

National Assurance Body



EA is formally appointed by the European Commission in Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 to develop and maintain a multilateral agreement of mutual recognition based on a harmonized accreditation infrastructure.


EQAA is the first international quality assurance agency for higher education that offers institutional accreditation. It offers universities and other higher education institutions international institutional accreditation and programme accreditation.


The UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment provides sector-led oversight of higher education quality assessment arrangements that continue to be shared across the UK


the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) is the national accreditation body. Managed by Enterprise Singapore, SAC maintains the integrity and impartiality of conformity assessment practices.

Supporting Higher Education

The project aims to strengthen regional cooperation and enhance the quality, regional competitiveness and internationalization of Association of
South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) higher education institutions and students.

Academy related Accreditation

Non-Academy related Accreditation

On-Request Accreditation

Our Services



A successful IQR means that you are officially accredited by QAA. You will be able to use the IQR Accreditation Badge on your website and marketing materials, which shows that you are accredited by us against internationally recognised standards.

International Quality Review (IQR) has been specially developed to provide institutions outside EU/UK with an independent peer review leading to accreditation by QAA International. IQR tests whether an institution meets the 10 European standards of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

International Quality Review is designed to analyse and reflect on non-EU providers’ approaches to quality assurance. It challenges and benchmarks existing processes against the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) and helps to drive improvement and excellence. IQR enables your institution to demonstrate that your quality assurance systems meet international standards. A successful review results in accreditation by QAA International, providing trust and confidence for your students and international partners. IQR provides opportunities to:
  • Demonstrate effective quality assurance measured against international benchmarks
  • Strengthen your global positioning
  • Drive improvement and excellence
  • Develop partnerships with EU/UK institutions

IQR has five key stages including analysing and evaluating your own processes, taking part in an external review by QAA’s peer reviewers and follow-up action planning.

IQR Process

1. Application
If you are interested in undertaking IQR, you should submit an application and provide relevant evidence demonstrating that your institution is eligible. This is scrutinised by a QAA International panel that determines whether your institution can proceed to the scoping stage.

2. Scoping Visit
The second stage of IQR is a scoping visit to your institution, which enables you to learn more about IQR and requirements for a review, and QAA International to assess whether your institution is ready to proceed to the review stage.

Two QAA International experts may visit your institution to:

  • meet with key staff and students, and tour your facilities
  • deliver a briefing on the IQR process and answer any questions you might have
  • gather further information in order to determine whether to recommend your institution for review, and, if so, the number of days required for the review visit.

3. Review
The Review is the opportunity for your institution to demonstrate how it meets each of the 10 Standards of the ESG. The review team conducts the review through analysis of the evidence submitted and a visit to the institution.The QAA International review team will undertake a desk-based study of the documentation and other evidence that you provide in advance. The team will then visit your institution for between 2-4 days to check your approaches to quality assurance against your self-evaluation document, the evidence provided and the 10 standards.

There are three possible outcomes of the review:

  • the institution meets all the standards for IQR
  • the institution meets all the standards for IQR subject to meeting specific conditions
  • the institution does not meet the standards for IQR.

The review panel will put forward a recommendation to the QAA International Accreditation Panel on whether or not Institutional Accreditation should be awarded.

4. Accreditation
The QAA International Accreditation Panel considers the report and recommendation and determines if your institution should be awarded Institutional Accreditation. A successful IQR enables you to demonstrate, through the right to display the QAA International Accreditation Badge International, that your quality assurance processes are both effective and comparable with international best practice.The accreditation period is five years and is subject to a satisfactory mid-cycle review.

5. The Mid-Cycle Review
The mid-cycle review takes place two to three years after a successful review and is a desk-based study. Your institution will be asked to provide evidence that it is addressing any recommendations and other findings from the IQR review, and a QAA International Review Manager will evaluate your response. You will also be asked to outline any changes that might impact on the extent to which the standards are being met.A successful mid-cycle review is required to retain the QAA International Accreditation Badge for the full five years.

To apply for IQR, please call our Accreditation and International Team through email. If your application is successful, we will conduct a scoping visit. This allows us to assess if you are eligible for IQR and enables you to learn more about the process and requirements. If eligible, we then arrange and conduct the review. The only set cost for IQR is the application fee which is £1,000 GBP. The scoping and review visit costs are dependent on the size and complexity of the provider being reviewed. Please also refer to the IQR Terms and Conditions.

What are the Benefits of IQR & International Accreditation?

It will be different for everyone, of course, but we are very much motivated by the best practices identified in the IQR report; in particular to those pertaining to our interactive relationship with industry partners, effective organisation of internships, and the high-level of student engagement in our quality assurance process. At the same time, we have received useful suggestions for areas which can be enhanced.

In summary, International Quality Review provided us with a guided journey to self-evaluation, bringing the following benefits:

  • Identification of our strengths and weaknesses by external experts
  • Help to ensure the right resources are in place for continuous improvement
  • Enhanced reputation, competitiveness and global image
  • Assurance to students and parents that the programmes offered meet international academic standards, giving added confidence.

For Enquiry

QAA International supports you to improve quality and standards continuously by giving you access to insight and valuable resources based on our extensive expertise.

Why choose us

QAA is able to offer its accreditation with full commitment

In recent years, a growing number of universities and higher education institutions seek international accreditation. Yet, such an accreditation could not be obtained. The choice was limited to foreign standards and procedures as well as experts from usually one country. QAA, however, is international and provides international services. All policies, procedures and standards have been designed with an international focus from the beginning. QAA offers a truly international accreditation.

QAA understands the context within which a university or higher education institution is operating. QAA only works with experts who have wide-ranging international experience and knowledge of different higher education systems. QAA also respects national regulations and ensures that these regulations are adequately reflected in the assessment.

QAA ensures that each accreditation process is given full attention and maximum support. Universities and higher education institutions applying for accreditation can be sure that they will receive the best that QAA can offer.

QAA puts an emphasis on the continuous enhancement of quality and relevance. Therefore, QAA does not use a simple checklist approach as to whether standards are met. QAA offers each university and higher education institution comprehensive suggestions and recommendations for its further improvement, focusing on its individual characteristics.

QAA understands the context within which a university or higher education institution is operating. QAA only works with experts who have wide-ranging international experience and knowledge of different higher education systems. QAA also respects national regulations and ensures that these regulations are adequately reflected in the assessment.

QAA recognises the diversity of institutions, their missions and strategies. Therefore, the standards QAA uses differentiate between universities and other higher education institutions in order to undertake an assessment against criteria that are more befitting to and aligned with the institutional reality and the specific objectives and the modus operandi of the institution.

Look to the Future

Focus & Beyond


Hong Kong





Our Structure

QAA Structure

  • Awards directorate
  • Corporate services directorate
  • Development directorate
  • Integration directorate
  • Partnerships division


  • Qualification standards
  • Initial access to validation
  • Re-engagement
  • Programme validation
  • Programme monitoring
  • Certification

Corporate services

  • Provider Governance and Risk
  • Finance and Procurement
  • Human and Physical Resources
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Programme Management
  • Internal Audit
  • Governance


  • International education
  • Research and innovation
  • Recognition of prior learning


  • Tertiary education monitoring and review
  • National Framework of Qualifications
  • Access, transfer and progression
  • Register of Qualifications
  • Listing of awarding bodies


  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Communications
  • Academic integrity

Demonstration of Your
Substantial Competence