Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

Pearson College Review by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education ("QAA")

We have undergone a review for educational oversight by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and have received our final report, which is available in full at: www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews-and-report.

We were one of the first institutions to undergo the QAA’s Higher Education Review (Plus) review method. The overall aim of the Review is to let students and the wider public know if a Higher Education provider meets the expectations of the sector for:

  • Setting and/or maintaining academic standards
  • Providing learning opportunities
  • Providing information
  • Enhancing the quality of students’ learning opportunities.

The Review is carried out by peer reviewers, including staff and students from other Higher Education providers, leading to a report published on the QAA website. You can read the latest QAA review for Pearson College London.

Below, you’ll find the action plan we developed in response to the QAA review, which identified our areas of good practice, affirmed our ongoing activities and made recommendations for where we could improve.

Recommendation, Affirmation or Good Practice

Original Action Identified

Progress/ implementation since last QAA Visit

Monitoring/ Evaluation

Impact/ enhancements

The role of the Degree Concept Teams in developing new programmes

(Expectation B1).

Continue to monitor and enhance the effectiveness of these teams.

Following from the enhanced format for DCTs, trials of pedagogy implemented and resulted in a series of studio projects, followed by development of the Escape Studios undergraduate degrees.


Evaluation at end of each Studio Project.

Evaluation of
Studio Project 1 identified need to explore assessment in more detail resulting in Studio Project 2.  Evaluation of Studio Project 2 identified need to explore the concept with 18 year olds – a new demographic for Escape Studios and resulted in Project 3.  The evaluation of project 3 resulted in project 4 which involved prospective students.



Ultimate evaluation will be through the evaluation of the effectiveness of the programmes themselves.

Outcomes of Studio Projects form basis of new UG programmes.


As a result of the studio projects, a paper, “Agile Curriculum Design” - co-authored by Dr Ian Palmer, Jim Ralley and Dom Davenport from Escape Studios accepted by Eurographics 2016 - Education Track – (http://eurographics2016.pt/education-papers/) delivered in Lisbon in May 2016. 



Pearson College awarded Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence Finalists Award by the HEA for this work.


Studio project work presented at the College’s signature pedagogy day – contributing to the development of the pedagogical approach of the College. 


Embed within its quality assurance procedures a structured opportunity for dialogue

between staff and students (Expectation B5).

In addition to the mechanisms currently in place for dialogue between staff and students (Student Association feedback, individual student feedback, co-creators) develop and implement (in consultation with students) a process which gives structured opportunities for student representatives to engage in dialogue with staff, the outcomes of such dialogue to feed into the academic committee structure.

Following the introduction of the staff-student liaison committee (consisting of elected student representatives) prior to the last two monitoring visit, this committee has now been embedded into the College.


This action is now completed although the College will continue to review the effectiveness of the SSLC, in conjunction with the other mechanisms for obtaining student feedback, and to look at opportunities for enhancement

SSLC minutes considered at Review and Enhancement Committee.


Questions on effectiveness of student feedback mechanisms added to end of year student survey.

“You said, we did” shows changes made as a result of SSLC.


Examples of significant enhancements made as a result of the SSLC are:


  • Creating a bespoke space for the College
  • The appointment of an assessments officer to the Pearson Business School academic staff
  • Moving of student services into new location with a reception desk
  • The introduction of a student-led incubator programme
  • Introduction of live web-casting of lectures


Clarify the purposes and operation of the peer observation process

(Expectation B3).

Develop a guide to peer observation (following consultation with staff and students).  This to include a statement of the rationale for and purpose of peer observation.  Appropriate staff training to be provided. 

Following the introduction, before the last two monitoring visits, of the peer observation policy (which is written as a guide to the process), the policy continues to be implemented and staff to receive training on this at induction.


The College considers this action is now completed although it will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the way that peer observation operates within the College.


Review and Enhancement Committee


Action plan by each school based on results of peer observation.

Questionnaire to staff on the effectiveness of the policy and analysis of the results of this.


Analysis of student feedback on teaching in APMR.


The evaluation of the process identified a number of changes to teaching practices which resulted from the peer observation process.



Adopt a systematic approach in the identification and provision of learning

resources (Expectation B4).

Academic Planning Committee to develop, and Academic Board to approve, a procedure which provides a systematic approach to the provision of learning resources ensuring that this commences at programme development stage and ensures proactivity (in addition to responding to feedback) throughout the life of a programme 

Following the approval of the procedure for identifying learning resources this was communicated to staff and students and a new role of Vice-Principal (Operations) created.  


The policy has been implemented and is being used.  


The College considers this action (the development and approval of a procedure which provides a systematic approach to the provision of learning resources) is now completed although it will continue to evaluate its effectiveness and to ensure it enables the College to enhance its programmes and the learning of all students.


Academic Planning Committee -  now the Executive Group


End of year student feedback




A major refit of 3 floors of 190 High Holborn, designing them specifically for students while still allowing them to study within a workplace setting.


The report affirms the actions being taken to integrate Escape Studios into the College's processes

and procedures (Expectation A3).

Integration took place in accordance with existing action plan.

The integration work had been completed at the time of the last monitoring visit.




Monitoring and evaluation of each area of operation of Escape Studios is now integrated into the overall Pearson College London committee structure.



Sharing of good practice (see for example above under DCTs/signature pedagogy and the Apprenticeship Challenge) 


Alignment of the peer observation process (see above) and overall evaluation of the process.


Escape Studios undergraduate students  located at 190 High Holborn with the Business School students (as a result of over-arching view of learning resources)


Policies apply consistently across all programmes.


Escape staff benefit from overall policy regarding staff development eg 3 members of Academic Staff were sponsored to undertake a PgCert in HE.