The UCO's Academic Quality Framework.                                                    

Welcome to the UCO’s Academic Quality Framework (AQF). This document sets out our procedures for the management of academic quality and standards in teaching and learning at the UCO. It has been produced in line with our Strategic Plan, the School's Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy and by the key external reference points provided by the Quality Assurance Agency's UK Quality Code:


The UCO uses the processes and activities that are the subject of this Framework to support, assure and enhance quality at the UCO. It brings together into one convenient source comprehensive information about our quality processes and explains what it is we do, why we do it, and how it is done.

A summary and the recommended audience for each section of the Framework is provided below for ease of reference.

Should you have any questions about the AQF or require any of the documents referenced within the AQF, please contact the Quality Team: quality@uco.ac.uk 




AQF Section 00: Welcome and Introduction

Summary:  Welcome to the Academic Quality Framework, Welcome for Student Readers, an introduction to and how to use the Academic Quality Framework.

Recommended Audience: All members of the UCO.




AQF Section 02: An Overview of Teaching and Learning at the University College of Osteopathy

Summary:  This section outlines the UCO's history and charitable status, the UCO's Mission and quality aims, the UCO's governance and academic structures, quality assurance and enhancement and the use of external reference points, internal quality assurance and enhancement, the UCO's Course Portfolio, academic resourcing, assessment and monitoring, student support and the Student Voice, managing information and the student record, and communication at the UCO.

Recommended Audience: All faculty, academic management staff and students.




AQF Section 03: The Assurance and Enhancement of Academic Quality and Standards in Teaching and Learning at the UCO

Summary:  This section details the responsibilities for assuring and enhancing quality at the UCO as well as aligning with procedures in place at our validating partners, which adhere to national frameworks. The UCO’s governance structures are explained in the context of ensuring that responsibilities for quality are clearly defined and owned throughout the UCO.

Recommended Audience: Academic staff, particularly Course Leaders and Heads of Areas, and members of relevant UCO committees.




AQF Section 04: Course & Unit Approval and Modification

Summary:  This section details the processes that the UCO uses to design and approve new courses. It also details how changes may be made to courses and units following approval.

Recommended Audience: Course and Unit Leaders, Heads of Areas, and members of UCO committees, including Student Representatives.





AQF Section 05: Annual Monitoring & Reporting

Summary:  This section details the monitoring activity that takes place at the UCO and the processes used at the UCO for reporting annually on courses, facilities and services, including those for Professional, Statutory & Regulatory Bodies, i.e. the General Osteopathic Council to ensure that courses, units, facilities and services remain current and effective.

Recommended Audience: Course and Unit Leaders, Heads of Areas, and members of UCO committees, including Student Representatives.




AQF Section 06: Periodic Review

Summary:  This section details the Periodic Review processes used at the UCO for course and institutional revalidation including those for Professional, Statutory & Regulatory Bodies, i.e.the General Osteopathic Council.

Recommended Audience: Course and Unit Leaders, Heads of Areas, and members of UCO committees, including Student Representatives.




AQF Section 07: Academic Regulations

Summary:  This section details the UCO's Academic Regulations which ensure that the academic awards delivered and conferred by the UCO are comparable in standard with awards granted and conferred throughout the university sector in the United Kingdom. This section includes regulations on:

  • Awards & Courses
  • Admission & Registration
  • Assessment Regulations for Taught Degrees
  • Conferment
Recommended Audience: All members of the UCO.




AQF Section 08: Student Recruitment and Admissions

Summary:  This section details the School's student recruitment and admissions processes and responsibilities for these.

Recommended Audience: Academic management staff, members of Course Teams and applicants to the School.




AQF Section 09: Student Guidance and Learner Support

Summary:  This section details the responsibilities and services available at the UCO to ensure that students are provided with appropriate guidance and support, including details about the Student Support Department, the Registry Department, the Finance Department, Library and ICT Department and Academic Tutors.

Recommended Audience: All students and staff involved in the provision of support to students.




AQF Section 10: Student Voice

Summary:  This section details the engagement of students in monitoring and enhancing their student experience and the Student Voice mechanisms in operation at the UCO that enable students to provide feedback and suggestions, including the Student Representative system.

Recommended Audience: All students and staff.




AQF Section 11: External Examining

Summary:  This section details the purpose of External Examiners and the moderation of courses, the processes for selecting and approving External Examiners and the roles and responsibilities regarding External Examining, including annual reporting.

Recommended Audience: A staff involved with the assessment and examination of students on taught courses, particularly Course Leaders, and External Examiners.




AQF Section 12: Boards of Examiners

Summary:  This section details the different types of Boards of Examiners in operation at the UCO and their role and responsibilities.

Recommended Audience: A staff involved with the assessment and examination of students on taught courses, particularly Course Leaders, and External Examiners.




AQF Section 13: Staff Recruitment and Development

Summary:  This section details the mechanisms by which the UCO assures itself that all teaching faculty have the necessary skills, commitment and knowledge to teach effectively, including staff selection, line management, standards, development and performance management.

Recommended Audience: All staff.




AQF Section 14: The Professional Doctorate in Osteopathy (Validated by the University of Bedfordshire)

Summary:  This section outlines the quality assurance process for this particular course.

Recommended Audience: All Professional Doctorate in Osteopathy academic staff and students.




AQF Section 15: Access to Higher Education & Pre-Entry Courses

Summary:  This section outlines the quality assurance process for these particular courses.

Recommended Audience: All foundation level academic staff and students.





AQF Section 16: Collaborative Activity

Summary:  This section details the quality assurance processes for developing, approving and monitoring collaborative activity at the UCO.

Recommended Audience: All academic staff and students.





AQF Section 17: School Policies and Procedures

Summary:  This section provides information about the UCO's academic policies and procedures, including their alignment to external reference points and how they are reviewed and published.

Recommended Audience: All staff and students.




AQF Section 18: Glossary of Terms

Summary:  This section includes a glossary of terms used throught the Academic Quality Framework.

Recommended Audience: All staff and students.







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