This chapter describes the quality assurance arrangements to which UK higher education institutions were subject prior to 1992; the Government’s proposals for changing these (in the 1991 White Paper) and how these were modified through interaction with the representative bodies; the differences of view about quality assurance between the representative bodies; and the relationships between the HEQC, CVCP and the funding councils’ assessment units.

Although there were some common elements before 1992, the two sectors of higher education were subject to very different quality regimes. (For a more detailed account of the immediate historical background to the 1992 changes see Perellon, 2001.)