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The HKQF is underpinned by a robust mechanism of academic and vocational accreditation conducted by HKCAAVQ to assure the quality of qualifications listed on the Qualifications Register (QR). As part of this function, HKCAAVQ promulgated the standards and criteria of the Four-stage Quality Assurance Process in 2008. The standards and criteria set out the minimum requirements in relation to operators and learning programmes for entry into the QR, with reference to the outcome-based Generic Level Descriptors (GLD) of the HKQF.

Since the launch of the Four-stage Quality Assurance Process in 2008, the education and training landscape has changed significantly and there have been a number of important developments. In the light of these developments, and others that are anticipated to happen in the near future, it is timely and useful to initiate a review (Review) to consider whether the accreditation standards and criteria in the different sets of Guidelines (and corresponding Guidance Notes) of HKCAAVQ, including those for Institutional Review (IR), reflect the expectations of the Hong Kong society, and ensure such expectations are clearly articulated in the accreditation standards and criteria.

In 2013, HKCAAVQ completed a review of the Four-stage Quality Assurance Process with a number of refinements. The current Review therefore focuses only on the accreditation standards and criteria. It should also be noted that while HKCAAVQ’s accreditation standards and criteria make reference to the prevailing GLD (a set of outcome standards in the QF), the GLD are outside the scope of this Review.