Quality Assurance

In addition to internal termly course reviews and Annual Monitoring Reviews with our partner institutions the following quality assurance processes are in place.

QAA, Higher Education Review:

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is an independent body which is entrusted with monitoring and advising on standards and quality in UK higher education. The QAA Quality Code for Higher Education sets out the expectations that all providers of higher education in the UK are required to meet.

The Quality Code sets out expectations for Higher Education providers in England as follows:

  • QAA Quality Code and Higher Education Review
  • The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is an independent body which is entrusted with monitoring and advising on standards and quality in UK higher education. The QAA Quality Code for Higher Education sets out the expectations that all providers of higher education in the UK are required to meet.
  • The Quality Code gives all higher education providers a shared starting point for setting, describing and maintaining the academic standards of their higher education awards and programmes and for assuring the quality of the learning opportunities they provide. The Quality Code relates to the learning and teaching activities of a higher education provider. We use it to design and implement policies and procedures for maintaining academic standards and quality in our higher education provision.
  • The Quality Code is the core reference point used in the QAA’s review activity. Quality Standards Review is the review method for higher education delivered in England from 2019. It succeeds Higher Education review. You can read our last review report here.

External Examiners:

External examining provides one of the principal means for maintaining UK threshold academic standards within higher education institutions. At the College we use external examiners’ reports to both assure quality and standards and to help identify opportunities for enhancement. External examiner reports are available internally for students on their VLEs (Moodle).

Organisations responsible for carrying out external reviews within the College include:

Pearson appoints Standards Verifiers (previously known as External Examiners) for all of our BTEC Higher National programmes, and provides the College with the opportunity to present evidence that our systems continue to be suitable, and are used to carry out the required assessment functions. This includes reviewing the consistent application of policies affecting learner registrations, appeals, internal examination and standardisation processes. Through annual independent assessment review the Standards Verifier (SV) will:

  • confirm that internal assessment is to national standards and allow certification or
  • make recommendations to improve the quality of assessment outcomes before certification is released or
  • make recommendations about the College’s ability to continue to be approved for the qualifications in question.

Like the College, UCLan values feedback from external examiners as part of its internal quality assurance processes and takes care in the appointment process, briefing of external examiners, and guidance on the role of external examiners and the reporting mechanism. The College is required to respond formally to suggestions for action from external examiners. Agreed actions are reported on and followed up via the annual monitoring process. You can read more about the process here.

University of Cumbria
The University of Cumbria’s Procedures and Processes align to the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education and can be found here.

Academic Appeals

Our Academic Appeals Procedure is intended to ensure that assessments awarded to learners are fair and that the College meets its obligation to assure assessment practice is in accordance with national standards, awarding body requirements or partner institutions. For appeals for students on programmes validated by the UCLan, or the University of Cumbria please follow the links.

Comments, Compliments and Complaints:

The College aims to listen to the views of all who use our services, learn from our mistakes and continually try to improve. We wish to encourage suggestions, comments, compliments and complaints about our services. Often when we are aware of a problem we can remedy it quickly.

The College is committed to taking all complaints seriously by:

  • Making the process of complaining as straightforward and easy as possible
  • Listening and responding to all written complaints
  • Investigating in a thorough and professional manner
  • Informing the complainant of any outcomes
  • Using the information gathered to improve our services and provide staff training if required
  • Making sure our complaints service is accessible to individuals with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and those for whom English is a second language

More information about our Comments, Compliments and Complaints Procedure, including information for students on higher education programmes awarded by UCLan and The University of Cumbria, can be found here:

  • Southport College Comments, Compliments and Complaints Procedure

Student Protection Plan:

Student protection plans set out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. The purpose of a plan is to ensure that students can continue and complete their studies, or can be compensated if this is not possible. The College will collaborate with students to review and refresh the plan on a regular basis. You can read our plan here.

Transparency Return:

The information published below shows:

  • The number of applications for admission on to recognised, undergraduate higher education courses that we have received from UK domiciled applicants.
  • The number of offers we have made in relation to those applications. The number of those offers accepted and the number of those who have registered with us.
  • The number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us.

It also shows these numbers by reference to:

  • The gender of the individuals to which they relate
  • Their ethnicity
  • Their socio-economic background.

It is important to note that the data presented has not been contextualised. This means, for example, that you will not be able to see from this data how many of those applying to courses met the entry criteria. It is also the case that universities and colleges will often receive many more applications than they have spaces on courses and so offer rates will necessarily be lower than application rates in those circumstances.

You can see our Transparency tables here.

Access our college policies

Use the links below to view or download all of our academic policies, college policies and statements.

Southport College University Centre

Our Results

The success of our students is really important to us here at Southport College University Centre and we are proud of their achievements. We take every opportunity to celebrate the results of their hard work.

Our Partners

All our courses are validated by our prestigious partners including the University of Cumbria, UCLan and Pearson. By studying at Southport College University Centre you have access to a wide range of partner benefits.


The College’s governors are led by Chair of the Corporation Christine Bampton, Vice Chair Paul Walker and Principal Michelle Brabner. They are supported by a number of independent governors, staff governors and a parent governor.