Quality audit has become the dominant means of assessing the quality of university teaching and learning. This paper addresses this international trend through the analysis of academics’ perception of quality audit. It presents a new way to understand quality audit through the interpretation of how frontline academics in England perceived and valued the audit culture and its practice. The paper reveals that quality audit was regarded as symbolic regulation instead of power control over the work of individual academics. The increased awareness of the importance of good teaching practice was related to the fact that the internal audit process set up within the institution worked more effectively and was seen as more legitimate than the external one. There is evidence that academics’ notions of professionalism have affected their attitudes towards the audit and its related quality mechanisms.
- quality audit