About CVU

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The Council of Validating Universities is the only body in the UK specialising exclusively in good practice and standards for that aspect of higher education which concerns the validation of programmes of study by universities and colleges (‘awarding institutions’) for delivery by other colleges or organisations (‘partner institutions’). The term ‘collaborative provision’ is often used to describe this form of partnership.

Foundation and Remit

The CVU was formed in 1982 and registered as a charity in 1996. It became incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee on 28th October 2004 (Company Number: 05272761). It is a non-statutory body comprising representatives from higher education institutions and other related organisations in the United Kingdom.


To advance education, including training and research, in particular by:

  • keeping under review the concerns of degree-awarding institutions within the United Kingdom in relation to collaborative activity
  • identifying and promoting good practice in collaborative validation.

The CVU defines ‘collaborative provision’ as the process whereby a degree-awarding body judges one or more programmes of study, courses, or modules offered by another body to be appropriate to lead to a qualification and/or credit of that degree awarding body. The programmes of study may be designed and developed by either the degree-awarding body or the the other body or a partnership of the two.

Collaborative validation therefore embraces the accreditation of institutions, the franchising of courses and other forms of academic association.

The CVU will continue to work closely with the various agencies in higher education concerned with quality assurance and will enhance its links with further education colleges and private providers of higher education.


As well as running several events every year to disseminate good practice and share information of interest to our members the CVU:

  • publishes a Handbook for Practitioners which aims to complement the QAA’s UK Quality Code for Higher Education and provides helpful, informative and authoritative guidance on procedures and good practice. Please e-mail cvu@the-bac.org for further details.
  • commissions research projects on topics of interest to members and publishes the findings.


networking mergeAn important feature of CVU is networking. This occurs through the regular workshops and seminars on specific topics and we have a Members’ Forum providing speedy consultation on any issue on which views and information may be helpful to members.


The CVU makes every effort to respond to periodic consultations by QAA, HEFCE and other HE organisations on issues which may have an impact on our members.