As an institution with degree awarding powers, the University needs to assure itself that the standards of awards given in its name are appropriate and that students have suitable opportunities to meet those standards.

The need for quality assurance is also rooted in the accountability of the University to students, applicants, employers, Professional/Statutory/Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs), the Competition and Markets Authority and funding organisations.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is required to satisfy itself that the University’s provision is of appropriate quality. In order to assure itself that the provision is satisfactory in terms of academic quality and standards it empowers the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to undertake institutional level review. In this context, the University needs to have mechanisms whereby it is able to assure itself and, therefore, the QAA, that academic standards are being maintained and that the quality of education is appropriate. The most recent QAA Higher Education Review (HER) of the University took place in October 2015.

The Northampton Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) handbook encompasses the key processes which the University has put in place to monitor, review and enhance academic standards, the quality of its learning, teaching and assessment and the academic support given to students.

NQAF is informed by the Quality Assurance Agency’s (QAA’s) UK Quality Code for Higher Education

The Quality Unit is responsible for the implementation and development of NQAF in partnership and cooperation with academic Faculties and other departments. The NQAF embraces:

  • Development Approval
  • Validation
  • Periodic Subject Review (PSR)
  • Change of Approval
  • Annual Review
  • External Examining
  • Student Representation
  • External scrutiny – including PSRB accreditation/re-accreditation
  • Managing Education with Others

The Quality Unit is based on the top floor of the Holdenby building, Park Campus and is led by the Head of the Quality Unit, Ms Gillian Simpson.

Queries in relation to quality assurance and quality enhancement processes can be emailed to quality@northampton.ac.uk.