The Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council have set up an 11-member review group to advise on the future development of SHEFC's quality assessment system.
The remit specifies the need to take account of developments south of the border, where Sir William Fraser, former vice chancellor of Glasgow University, has been appointed head of the joint planning group that will begin in January of next year to establish a single quality agency.
The Scottish remit also stresses SHEFC's wish to "retain a system based on institutional self-evaluation, peer review, assessment of cognate areas and the publication of results in widely disseminated reports", and highlights the requirement on SHEFC to use assessment results in its funding decisions.
COSHEP has already made it clear that it wants to see a single quality assurance system covering the whole of the United Kingdom.
The group will advise on the criteria and methods for assessment, and what means of reporting is most appropriate to Scottish higher education; the appointment and training of assessors; and ways in which assessment and audit could be streamlined to reduce the administrative burden on institutions.
It meets for the first time next month and is due to report next September. The chair is Sir Ronald Miller, a former member of SHEFC and former executive chairman of Dawson International plc.