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Our quality standards

External accreditation and assessments are an important way of validating our position as a university operating at the highest quality standards.

We are dedicated to providing a first-class learning and teaching environment for our students and ensuring our staff feel valued and supported throughout their careers.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)

UK Quality Assured

The QAA, an independent body entrusted with monitoring and advising on standards and quality in UK higher education, has confirmed the quality and standards of our provision.

The team of QAA reviewers visited the University in 2020. They confirmed that the University meets the requirements of the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) Part 1 for internal quality assurance, and the relevant baseline regulatory requirements of the Quality Assessment Framework for Wales.

This is a positive judgement, which means we have robust arrangements for securing academic standards, managing academic quality and for enhancing the quality of the student experience.

Read the full report.

Athena SWAN and Project Juno

Athena Swan bronze award

The Athena SWAN Charter is a recognition scheme for UK universities who are working to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics.

Our Bronze level award was first awarded in 2009 and was renewed in 2014 and 2018.Currently, 4 of our academic schools (Biosciences; Psychology; Dentistry; Physics and Astronomy) hold Silver awards and a further 11 hold Bronze awards.

The Institute of Physics created Project Juno to recognise and reward schools of physics that can demonstrate they have taken action to address gender equality in the discipline.

Our School of Physics and Astronomy holds Project Juno Champion status.


We ranked 7th in Stonewall's 2022 Workplace Equality Index, and also achieved a Gold Award recognising the standard of our work in this area. We were the top university in the 2022 Index and our LGBTQ+ network for staff and postgraduate students, Enfys was Highly Commended.

We did not submit to the 2023 round, an active decision taken at a time where we are refreshing our structures and processes for equality, diversity and inclusion. If we submit to future rounds, relevant updates will appear on this page.

Our commitment to the LGBTQ+ community is longstanding and remains non-negotiable.

HR Excellence in Research Award

We are committed to providing a positive experience for research staff. We evaluate this through national frameworks which support researchers.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers outlines 7 principles underpinning recruitment and recognition and complements the European Charter and Code for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.  Our Concordat Plan outlines the action we are taking to embed these principles.

Our HR Excellence in Research accreditation recognises our implementation of these principles. Our 2022 overview report and targeted Action Plan for 2022-25 reflect our current progress and aims. Read the report and action plan.

ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised standard that sets out a framework for an effective environmental management system.

This system allows us to manage the aspects of our business that have an impact on the environment – and helps us to determine the relevant laws we must comply with – so that we’re continually fulfilling our environmental obligations and improving our performance.

ISO 45001

Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series ISO 45001 is an internationally recognised standard that helps us to promote a safe and healthy working environment.

It outlines a framework that allows us to identify and control our health and safety risks, reduce the potential for accidents, assist with legislative compliance and boost our health and safety performance.

ISO 45003

ISO 45003 is a new international guidance standard designed for the management of psychosocial hazards in the workplace. Its main aim is to reduce the incidence of mental health issues amongst staff by promoting organisational wellbeing.

In 2022 Cardiff University became the first UK university to achieve compliance with this standard.

Living Wage Employer

Living Wage Logo

Cardiff University became Wales's first university to be accredited as a Living Wage employer in 2014.

Agreeing to be a Living Wage employer means that everyone working at Cardiff University, regardless of whether they are our employees or employed by third-party contractors and suppliers, receives the Living Wage as recognised by the Living Wage Foundation.

The Living Wage, which is paid voluntarily, is independently-calculated each year and based on the cost of living.