This chapter begins by outlining three phases in the development of health care quality assurance: ‘trusting professionals’, ‘codification and control’ and ‘engagement and culture’. Initially, quality is assured by guaranteeing the trustworthiness of individual professionals. The next phase involves setting standards that all professionals must meet, and trying to control outcomes. Finally, quality is assured by engaging with professionals to develop an improvement culture across organisations and systems.

Comparison is then made with quality assurance in university teaching where elements of each phase are discerned. Health care approaches that could be adapted for higher education are identified and the chapter concludes by suggesting that mutual benefit would accrue from regular dialogue between quality specialists in health care and higher education.