INTERNATIONAL QUALITY REVIEW

International Quality Review (IQR) has been specially developed to provide institutions outside the UK with an independent peer review leading to accreditation by QAA. 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).

What does QAA ACCREDITATION MEAN?

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.
IQR
International Quality Review is designed to analyse and reflect on non-UK 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, 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 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.

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 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 to assess whether your institution is ready to proceed to the review stage.

Two QAA 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 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 Accreditation Panel on whether or not Institutional Accreditation should be awarded.

4. Accreditation
The QAA 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 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 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 Accreditation Badge for the full five years.

To apply for IQR, please call our Accreditation and International Team on +44 (0)1452 688800 or email us. 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.
Connie Loi, Coordinator for Hotel Management and Tourism Event Management Programmes, Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) The Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) is nestled in Macao, a city with a truly tourism-driven economy on the southeastern coast of China. We’re the only public higher education institution (HEI) solely dedicated to the provision of hospitality and tourism-related education in Macao, and so we (and Macao itself) have a vested interest in delivering quality education. For us, securing global accreditation from a reputable quality assurance agency such as the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) was one of the best ways to achieve the level of quality we want. IFTM has developed a strong network in Europe throughout our 25 years, partially attributable to Macao’s colonial past, and this led us to choose a quality assurance agency that has a high standing both in Europe and internationally. Being an observer of the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN), we knew that QAA would have a sound knowledge of the way higher education operates in this part of the world. As a result, we went through QAA’s International Quality Review, and were proud to be the first HEI in the world to successfully complete the process in 2017. Last year we passed the mid-cycle review and our validity was further extended to 2022. We also received international accreditation for successfully completing the IQR. The entire process was smooth and transparent, following a set of clear guidelines.

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.
These benefits are pivotal to the long-term development of any HEI. In the case of IFTM, we can further expand our network, both locally and internationally, as our institution’s reputation, competitiveness and global image have been endorsed by a globally-recognised quality agency. IFTM currently has 113 non-local partners spread across 34 countries and regions, six of which are in the UK. As IFTM moves towards a new milestone, marked by the launch of postgraduate programmes and the recently revised Institute Charter, we will continue to honour our mission statement of becoming an 'international tertiary institution of choice for tourism and service industry studies' by seeking global accreditation and quality assurance for both new and existing programmes. After all, quality is at the heart of education and it should not only be performed, but also be assured.
Centre Recognition