Devolved Authority and auditing

Quality auditing is the method SQA use to determine whether a centre is ready to assume devolved responsibility for processes within the quality assurance system. Further information is available in SQA's Quality Frameworks: a guide for centres.

The outcome of a successful audit being that centres can then assume responsibility for one or more of the devolvable processes. Initially a Quality Enhancement Manager (QEM) would review a centre's systems and processes to determine whether these are sufficiently robust to support the devolution of responsibility for aspects of quality assurance. A QEM would then regularly review the output of the centre's devolved status agreement through its audit and/or monitoring visit processes.

Our quality assurance framework covers all aspects of our qualifications, from initial design and development through to assessment and certification of candidates. Its principal aim is to ensure that standards are set and consistently maintained.

Although SQA has given authority through quality contracts to centres for Group Award validation, SQA will advise on whether the proposed development is unique or whether there is potential duplication or overlap with other proposed or current developments.

Centres with devolved authority to validate a new or revised NC/NPA/HNC/D/PDA should notify SQA of their intention to develop a new Group Award or revise an existing Group Award using the Development Opportunity Form (DO/1) (68 KB). SQA will create a Business Case and progress it to Gateway 2 for noting.

There is no formal requirement for a centre with devolved authority for validation to establish and maintain contact with SQA during the development or revision of a specialist single-centre Group Award. However, by keeping in touch with SQA, you can avoid overlap with existing or proposed provision under development elsewhere.

Potential areas of overlap will be monitored by the appropriate SQA Lead Officer. Good communications will also ensure that the relevant SQA Lead Officer is able to build in time for commenting on draft Units and planning Unit validation when required.