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Accreditation Newsletter

Regulatory Activity and Analysis for 2022-23

Regulatory Activity 2022-23

Over the coming months we aim to highlight through the newsletter details of our regulatory activity over the last year and look to give further support and guidance around the Issues and Recommendations identified.

SQA Accreditation’s regulatory function includes the approval of awarding bodies, audits of awarding bodies, and provider monitoring visits (PMVs). As a team we conducted 12 awarding body audits and 23 provider monitoring visits last year. The majority of these were carried out remotely, however on occasion there were in-person monitoring visits too.

What are the Regulatory Principles?

Our Regulatory Principles have been designed to encompass the five key principles of better regulation to ensure that we are transparent, accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted in carrying out our regulatory duties.

The Regulatory Principles define the standard which awarding bodies must meet in order to be compliant. Awarding bodies must decide what evidence they want to provide in order to demonstrate how they meet these principles. The Regulatory Principles document includes supplementary information exemplifying how you might choose to meet the principles.

What are the Regulatory Directives?

The Regulatory Directives have been developed to define the mandatory requirements which awarding bodies must meet in order to be compliant. Our regulatory requirements can be viewed in the Regulation section of our website.

What are Audit Issues?

In an audit, Issues are recorded by the audit team where evidence shows that the awarding body is not compliant with SQA Accreditation’s Regulatory Principles, posing a potential risk to learners and/or to the integrity of the qualification. Awarding bodies must address the Issues raised via an action plan. An Issue can be raised against multiple Regulatory Principles and/or Regulatory Directives.

What are Audit Recommendations?

A Recommendation can be recorded if the audit team considers that an awarding body’s systems and processes meet the Regulatory Principles, but there is potential for improvement. There is no requirement for the awarding body to act in response to this, but actioning the recommendation would be seen as good practice and demonstration of continuous improvement. One Recommendation may be raised against multiple Regulatory Principles and/or Regulatory Directives.

In 2022-23 a total number of awarding body audit Issues raised was 33. The risk ratings assigned to the Issues varied from Very Low to Very High. In the next newsletter we will take a closer look at these.