This case study of Hong Kong Polytechnic describes the introduction of systematic course validation in a British type education system with staff who are predominantly Chinese. The authors offer an insider perspective, as they are both observers and participants. They examine how staff resistance was addressed, and the changes in the validation process as staff experience and confidence developed. The ways in which internal and external validation processes may hinder and support each other are reviewed. It is suggested that an interactive model, involving open academic dialogue between validators and validated, is appropriate for both internal and external validation.