Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 22 September, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


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Authorised Validating Agency (AVA)

core definition

An AVA is an organisation or consortia licensed to certify, authorise or authenticate programmes of study.

explanatory context

The term AVA is primarily used in the UK in the context of access to higher education programmes.

For example, the London Open College Network was a partnership of adult, community, further and higher education institutions licensed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education as an Authorised Validating Agency to validate Access to higher education programmes and to award the QAA-Recognised Access certificates (LOCN, 2004)

analytical review

The University of Portsmouth (2010), for example, reports that:

the Southern Area Access Validating Agency (SAava) (formerly HAVA) is licensed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to validate Access to HE Diploma programmes and is a member of the Federation of Independent Access Validating Agencies.

associated issues

An example validation process by an AVAwas the LOCN validation of applications for formal recognition of Access to HE programmes. The following stages were involved:

·        Preparation of programme submission.

·        Submission of programme to an Access Validation Panel (whose members come from further, adult and higher education from relevant curriculum areas and with expertise to ensure informed peer group appraisal. Its function is to consider the programme and make recommendations)

·        Approval by the Access Validation Panel.

·        Confirmation by the Access Validation Committee and Quality Assurance Committee. (The Access Validation Committee consists of senior members drawn from further, adult and higher education. It reports to the network Quality Assurance Committee a recommends approval programmes based on panel outcomes).

·        Registration with UCAS for inclusion in the national register of QAA-Recognised Access programmes.

·        Inclusion in the London Access Courses Directory.

Note that the organisation is now called the Open College Network, London Region with a website:, accessed 20 September 2012.

related areas

See also



London Open College Network (LOCN), Access validation,, accessed Oct 2004. No longer at this address, 3 Februry 2011.

University of Portsmouth, 2010, Southern Area Access Validating Agency (SAava), available at, accessed 3 February 2011, SAava no longer operating September 2011.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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