Home / Roles / Chair of the DQBE Board | Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)

Chair of the DQBE Board Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)

The QAA – as the Designated Quality Body in England (DQB) - is seeking an experienced and credible sector leader as the next Chair of the DQBE Board to ensure it provides independent, robust oversight of the DQB functions for the benefit of every student studying for an English higher education qualification.

  • Location: Flexible in the UK
  • Salary: Unremunerated, with reasonable expenses reimbursed
  • Closing date: By 9 a.m. Monday 15th August 2022

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is the independent quality body for UK higher education and one of the world’s experts in quality assurance, trusted by higher education providers and regulatory bodies to maintain and enhance quality and standards.

In 2018 QAA was designated by the Secretary of State for Education as the Designated Quality Body (DQB) in England.  The DQB in England provides assessments for the Office for Students (OfS) on quality and standards in higher education in England, with expert academic assessors drawn from the wider sector. The Body also offers advice regarding providers seeking degree-awarding powers.

The DQB in England function is operated on an arms-length basis by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).  In providing that function, QAA has ensured through an ethical barrier and a set of internal protocols that it does so entirely separately from QAA’s other functions. In order to do this, alongside structural, management and presentational changes, we are establishing a new Board to oversee the DQB in England that will maintain oversight and operational independence of the Designated Quality Body in England.

The DQBE Board’s responsibilities will include ensuring the operational independence of the DQB function, monitoring its delivery, and setting targets for and managing the performance of the managing director of the DQB.

How the DQB is governed

As part of a suite of changes to enhance the governance of the DQB function, a new DQBE Board has been established. The Board is a sub-committee of the QAA Board, with substantial delegated authority for overseeing the DQB functions in England, which recognises the operational independence of those functions from QAA’s other work.

The DQBE Board, led by an independent Chair, has a membership of up to eight representatives from across the higher education and related sectors, who will bring a breadth of skills and expertise across quality and standards, governance, legal and regulatory frameworks, and HR.

The DQBE Board’s responsibilities are:

  1. To ensure that QAA continues to meet the conditions required of a designated body
  2. To ensure that the operational independence of the DQB functions in England is maintained, and to provide assurance to the QAA Board and to the OfS on that independence
  3. To monitor the delivery of the DQB functions in England and provide assurance to the QAA Board and to the OfS on that delivery
  4. To provide advice and guidance to QAA staff working in the DQB on the delivery of the DQB functions, including where appropriate (and to the extent consistent with a non-executive part of the governance structure) on the substance of matters being considered by the DQB
  5. To appoint, set targets for and manage the performance of the Managing Director of DQB England

Chair of the DQBE Board

The Chair of the DQBE Board will be required to chair four meetings per year and line manage the Manging Director of the DQB. Although not a member of the QAA Board, the DQBE Chair will be required to attend part or all of some QAA Board meetings. Therefore, we expect the time commitment to equate to around 2 days per month, or 24 days per year. This is an unremunerated role, but reasonable expenses will be paid, and all Board meetings will take place via video conferencing.

With responsibility for ensuring that the DQBE Board fulfils its duties effectively and independently, providing appropriate assurances that the DQB is meeting the conditions set by the OfS and performing in every respect, we are seeking to appoint an experienced chair and leader, who has professional credibility in the sector and will bring knowledge of relevant regulatory frameworks to lead on and support the work of the DQBE Board.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate a strong track record as a strategic and operational leader, with experience of developing and managing performance of senior managers. Ideally, candidates will have a strong understanding of the UK higher education sector and may already have experience of the regulatory environment of higher education in England. It is essential that the Chair can demonstrate an astute, objective and independent style of leadership, championing good governance through a collegiate approach to decision-making and enabling contributions from a broad range of perspectives across the Board. The Chair must act robustly and diplomatically, demonstrating a keen awareness that the DQB must manage effective relationships across a range of stakeholders, including those with the DfE, OfS and the QAA Board and Executive Team.

Candidates must demonstrate confidence and ability in the management of actual or perceived conflicts of interest. Candidates must demonstrate their commitment to raising quality and standards in higher education, as well as safeguarding and championing equity, equality and diversity.

The QAA welcomes applications from all sections of society who meet the brief for the role, and is committed to ensuring the diversity of beneficiaries of the activities of the DQB function are fully represented at board level, as well as throughout the DQB team and the wider organisation.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Dr Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

HE-and-FE-recruitment-Dr-Sophie-Carney

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Dr Sophie Carney

View profile

Dear candidates,

It has been my pleasure and privilege to chair the QAA Board since 2019.

The QAA‘s mission is to maintain standards and enhance quality in UK higher education, wherever it is delivered.  The way the Agency exercises this role within the UK varies across the four nations.  In England, uniquely, it has two distinct roles:  one as the Secretary of State’s Designated Quality Body (DQB), providing assessments of institutions for the regulator (the Office for Students), and the other providing expert advice on quality and standards to higher education institutions, sector bodies and the government.

Over the four years since the DQB was established, QAA has kept these two roles separate through an ethical barrier, but QAA has decided to enhance that separation in several ways, including most prominently by creating the new DQBE Board to oversee the Designated Quality Body.

This gives us an unusual opportunity to recruit a new board from scratch, including its chair.  We are keen to recruit a diverse range of independent members to the DQBE Board, who will help guide the DQB as it continues to develop.

Thank you for your interest in the new DQBE Board, and I look forward to meeting you.

Professor Simon Gaskell

Chair of the Board, QAA

About the Designated Quality Body in England (DQB)

The Designated Quality Body in England (DQB) is designated by the Secretary of State for Education to provide assessments for the Office for Students (OfS) on quality and standards in higher education in England, and advice regarding providers seeking degree-awarding powers. In April 2018, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) became the DQB, under a new regulatory framework.

QAA is the independent quality body for UK higher education and one of the world’s experts in quality assurance. Trusted by higher education providers and regulatory bodies to maintain and enhance quality and standards, the QAA provides expert services to UK higher education members so that they can give students the best possible experience. QAA works with governments, agencies, and institutions globally to benefit UK higher education and its international reputation.

The DQB is operated on arms-length basis by the QAA to maintain operational independence. In accordance with the provisions of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, DQB performs assessment functions to serve two purposes:

1. To provide assessments of the quality of, and the standards applied to, higher education provided by:

  • institutions that have applied to be registered on the OfS Register, for the purposes of the OfS determining whether they satisfy any initial registration condition applicable to them relating to the quality of, or the standards applied to, higher education provided by them; and
  • registered higher education providers to satisfy any ongoing registration condition relating to the quality of, or the standards applied to, higher education provided by them.

2. To provide advice regarding the quality of, and the standards applied to, higher education provided by a provider before the OfS makes a decision regarding:

  • an authorisation to grant taught awards or research awards
  • a variation or revocation of an authorisation to grant taught awards or research awards.

QAA have worked with the OfS to develop and implement assessment methods that enable it to regulate in a way consistent with the regulatory framework: that is, in a way that is proportionate, principles-based, risk-based and outcomes-focused, and to enable it to deliver its four primary regulatory objectives.

The DQB is currently managed by a Director, seconded from QAA, and operates with a team of around 13 staff to support the functions. DQB assessments are carried out by teams from a pool of more than 150 assessors, who are drawn from universities and colleges across the UK. The (Managing) Director will report directly to the DQBE Board and is line managed by the Chair of the DQBE Board.

QAA recognises the positive benefits of equality, diversity and inclusion. Our aim is to be truly representative of all sections of society, and for colleagues to feel respected, free to be themselves no matter what their identity or background, and able to give their best. We value the differences that a variety of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and skills brings and strongly encourage suitably qualified applicants to apply and join us. We are particularly keen to ensure a diversity of experiences and views on the DQBE Board, and would work to accommodate any particular needs, as we do for QAA staff.

In our offices we offer:

  • Step free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome
  • Interviews can be held in meeting rooms that support hearing loops
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interview
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.

    YesNo
    YesNo

    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role Description and Person Specification and complete this Equality Monitoring Survey.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Chair of the DQBE Board | Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners

    Dr Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    Timetable:

    Closing date: Monday 15th August 2022
    Candidates informed of outcome: TBC
    Interview: TBC

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring survey.

    The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018.

    The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

    Data Processing, Protection and Privacy Policy

    By completing the form to view, or if you have access to this page from an email invitation, Peridot Partners will have processed your personal information. For more information about Peridot Partners’ data processing activities and your rights, please read our Privacy Policy.

    You might also be interested in: