In the Higher Education Sector a wide range of third-party organisations can be involved in the relationship between a student and his or her Higher Education Provider. These third-party organizations are often referred to as 'professional, statutory, and regulatory bodies' (PSRBs). Approaches to third-party involvement vary, incorporating processes described as recognition; validation; accreditation; regulation; standards-setting; registration; or franchising: this list is not exhaustive, and these terms may have subtly different meanings in different contexts.

Recording the existence of arrangements such as those described above is a requirement for the Key Information Set (KIS) record, which includes accreditation granted to courses by PSRBs. During the development of that record, an approach was been agreed by the HE Public Information Steering Group whereby HESA maintains a definitive list of accrediting bodies and associated statements describing their accreditations, and administers an annual process through which bodies may apply to be added to this list.

Through correspondence with colleagues at the Centre for Recording Achievement who are responsible for the Higher Education Achievement Report it was decided that HESA would offer PSRBs an opportunity to provide text for section 5.2 Professional status of the Higher Education Achievement Report, as this will minimise the work required from HE providers to populate HEAR records. Where no additional text has been provided, HE providers are encouraged to use the KIS text for the HEAR.

Accreditation Information

HESA maintains information on accrediting bodies and their accredited statuses in an Accreditation Table. The current accreditation information table for KIS can be found at Accreditation list.

Details of the processes for maintaining the information in this table (including the application processes) can be found at: Accreditation guidance.

An up-to-date list showing which HE Providers are currently using which types of accreditation is available to download as a part of the Unistats Dataset.