For Institutions

Accreditation scheme

The GQAS accreditation scheme is the Review of Academic Oversight (RAO).

UK further and higher education enjoys worldwide prestige. GQAS accreditation positions your institution to become a top choice among both local and international students.

GQAS accredited institutions benefit from added visibility, and increased confidence among prospective agencies and students about the quality of your institution.

It is good to offer courses that are validated by a UK university, but a mark of quality that affirms your institution meets UK standards in the country from which you operate, gives you that edge. The GQAS seal of quality allows institutions operating outside the UK to become sought after by students. It stands as a guarantee to potential students that all aspects of your educational institution meets UK standards.

We operate a stringent accreditation process, awarding accreditation only to institutions that meet our requisite high standards. To determine suitability, GQAS executes a thorough and comprehensive inspection of each institution’s key areas of operation - management, teaching, student welfare, and premises. Institutions that meet or exceed expectations in these areas are awarded accreditation from GQAS.

In order to determine if your institution satisfies the GQAS standards, we will undertake inspection of the following areas, set out in the RAO Standards and Criteria :

  • Management of health and safety and premises security
  • Management and governance
  • Student recruitment and selection
  • Quality of teaching and assessment
  • Internal Quality assurance
  • Management of academic standards
  • Student welfare and support
  • Student achievement and progress
  • Public information
  • Management of collaborative arrangements

Is this the right scheme for your institution?

The GQAS RAO accreditation scheme is open to institutions that deliver programmes at the further and higher education level. The standards of inspection and key indicators are specific to how further and higher education (particularly British higher education) is delivered, drawing on guidance from the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) in respect of higher education

How to apply for RAO Accreditation

Once you are satisfied that this is the right scheme for you and you are ready to proceed, please complete;

Reference materials

The GQAS accreditation scheme targets education and training institutions teaching English language and operating outside the UK. Other qualifying factors for such institutions are that they:

  • have been delivering high quality education and training for at least two years
  • are recognised by their local regulatory body
  • can provide testimonials supporting their claim to global quality provision
  • meet our stringent tests of probity and financial accountability

If you are satisfied that your institution fulfills all these criteria, GQAS will review your application and if you successfully undergo GQAS inspection, you will be awarded RAO interim.


To ensure maximum benefits are realised, a combination of self-evaluation and on-site inspections is used to measure success on a continuous basis. Ongoing self-assessment promotes good practice and quality improvement across your organisation. To ensure continuity and adherence to the sector’s best practices, GQAS employs an overall integrated approach to quality assurance, which includes the auditing and approving of institutions for accreditation. Our clients enjoy continuous support in enhancing the quality of what they have to offer, in improving performance and in distinguishing themselves in the market. When you come on board with GQAS, you will enjoy:

  • Being assisted by, and learning from the experts – GQAS is staffed and governed by leaders in the field of F/HE accreditation
  • Annually revised accountability framework - Stay on top of your game and maintain that edge with our annually revised accountability framework.
  • Receive regular news and updates - Keep up-to-date on the latest in your industry
  • Obtain a UK accreditation without exorbitant cost - We deliver UK accreditations at just a fraction of the usual cost required by other UK based accreditation bodies
  • Develop a network – Connect with other institutions in F/HE and learn what they do as best practices to maintain or improve their ranking with GQAS and students
  • Support Industry Quality Standards - Have your say by contributing to standards development in accreditation

General benefits

  • Your institution gains UK/International endorsement
  • Support and advice in the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of your provision
  • Gain a more prominent profile, better recognition and more credibility
  • Have the quality of training and learning you provide measured by a robust and systematic process
  • Your institution will be given assurance of the good standing of an institution to government departments and other interested bodies
  • The ability to state publicly that your institution has voluntarily accepted independent inspection and has satisfied GQAS that all relevant aspects of your operation are maintained at a satisfactory level.

Accreditation process

GQAS accreditation is global. The accreditation process involves a thorough assessment of your institution to determine its current offerings and its managerial capabilities for maintaining set standards within legislation once accreditation is awarded.

Institutions are assessed for factors such as: effectiveness of education programmes offered; effectiveness of the infrastructure that supports the delivery of these programmes; and educational outcomes:

  • What is your student rate of achievement?
  • How many become graduates?
  • What is the employment success of your students?

GQAS use established best practices to screen and monitor F/HE organisations seeking accreditation for courses offered to students at the graduate and undergraduate level. Institutions are categorized and evaluated by the level of certificates they offer. The information presented is meant to inform, and help you determine which accreditation scheme is best for your institution.

Review of Academic Oversight (RAO): Review for Academic Oversight (RAO) is a comprehensive accreditation process which is appropriate for all institutions offering programme at FE and HE level.