Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education



George Gordon

Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, volume 12, 1993.


This article describes recent initiatives designed to audit and assess the quality of education in British universities. Such concerns are not new and have been addressed in various ways, including the accreditation of programs by professional bodies and of programs and institutions by regional accreditation/validation bodies. In essence these initiatives, old and new, seek to provide assurance, to the academy and to the public, that standards are appropriate, satisfactory, compatible with objectives, and broadly comparable between similar programs or institutions. At present, there is a gathering international movement toward requiring universities to produce evidence about their systems of quality assurance and control. Paradoxically, while these requirements place additional demands upon the academy, they offer new opportunities for faculty developers.