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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Awarding body

core definition

An awarding body is an organisation that issues an educational award, following formal assessment, and includes bodies that certify professional competence, thus including higher education institutions award councils and professional bodies.

explanatory context

Diploma mills award non bona-fide diplomas in return for a payment. They lack credibility as they are 'awarded' with little or no assessment of learning or competence.

In some cases, awarding bodies are limited to extra-institutional councils that award national qualifications. For example, the Employer's Guide to Qualifications in the UK states:

Awarding bodies are responsible for developing, writing and assessing qualifications. They used to be known as exam boards. After a series of mergers and takeovers, there are only four main awarding bodies in England – OCR, Edexcel, AQA and City & Guilds (OCR and BCC, 2007).

analytical review

The QEPSE-Leonardo (2011) Glossary states:

Awarding body: A body issuing qualifications (certificates or diplomas) formally recognising the achievements of an individual, following a standard assessment procedure.

Anerkennungsstelle: Eine Stelle, die Qualifikationen (Zeugnisse oder Diplome) ausstellt und formell die Leistungen einer Person nach einem standardisierten Bewertungsprozess anerkennt.

associated issues

related areas

See also

accreditation body


OCR and British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), 2007, Employer's Guide to Qualifications, Cambridge, OCR., available at, accessed 20 September 2012, page not available 31 December 2016.

QEPSE-Leonardo, 2011, Glossary, available at, accessed 5 March 2011, not available 29 January 2012.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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