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Council of Validating Universities

The Council of Validating Universities is the only body in the UK specialising exclusively in good practice and standards for that aspect of higher education which concerns the validation of programmes of study by universities and colleges (‘awarding institutions’) for delivery by other colleges or organisations (‘partner institutions’). The term ‘collaborative provision’ is often used to describe this form of partnership.

Foundation and Remit

The CVU was formed in 1982 and registered as a charity in 1996. It became incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee on 28th October 2004 (Company Number: 05272761). It is a non-statutory body comprising representatives from higher education institutions and other related organisations in the United Kingdom.


To advance education, including training and research, in particular by:

  • keeping under review the concerns of degree-awarding institutions within the United Kingdom in relation to collaborative activity
  • identifying and promoting good practice in collaborative validation.

The CVU defines ‘collaborative provision’ as the process whereby a degree-awarding body judges one or more programmes of study, courses, or modules offered by another body to be appropriate to lead to a qualification and/or credit of that degree awarding body. The programmes of study may be designed and developed by either the degree-awarding body or the the other body or a partnership of the two.