Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) has been awarded Gold by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in recognition of its outstanding quality of teaching.

We join the University of Newcastle as the only full-time HE providers in the North East achieving gold, putting us in the top 20% in the UK.

We were awarded Gold for consistently delivering outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students and also demonstrated ‘outstanding levels of satisfaction with assessment and feedback, and high levels of student satisfaction with teaching and academic support.’

Following its decision to award Gold to CCAD, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Panel highlighted, in particular, the college’s evidence of:

  • Outstanding employment outcomes linked to an effective strategic focus on exceptional education for creative careers
  • Impact on student outcomes and satisfaction arising from the College’s encouragement of staff to maintain their professional practice, and from close links to the creative industries
  • A range of initiatives to engage the student voice, with excellent practice in responding to issues raised by students
  • Investment in dedicated teaching, learning and working spaces for creative students, which enhance all aspects of the student experience
  • Personalised learning, supported by a rigorous engagement with student progression, with particular emphasis on transition.

TEF gold logo

What does TEF mean to prospective students?

  • The Teaching Excellence Framework – the first scheme of its kind – recognises excellent teaching and learning across the UK’s world-class higher education sector.
  • In order to be considered for a TEF rating, higher education providers have to meet demanding national quality requirements. The TEF measures excellence above and beyond this.
  • The full list of ratings for each higher education provider is published at, together with the metrics, statements of findings and the submissions provided in support of the assessments.
  • The TEF awards are decided by an independent panel of experts, including academics, students and employer representatives. Universities and colleges are assessed against a set of measures which use national data and evidence submitted by the university or college.
  • The TEF measures teaching excellence in three key areas:
    • Teaching quality: teaching that stimulates and challenges students, and maximises their engagement with their studies
    • Learning environment: the effectiveness of resources and activities (such as libraries, laboratories and work experience) which support learning and improve retention, progression and attainment.
    • Student outcomes: the extent to which all students achieve their educational and professional goals, in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • The metrics measure student satisfaction, retention, and progression to employment. The metrics take account of differences in student characteristics, entry qualifications and subjects studied. This allowed the assessors to judge teaching excellence and outcomes for the specific students taught in each university or college.
  • The TEF rating for a given provider is:
    • Gold for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK
    • Silver for delivering high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education
    • Bronze for delivering teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.
    • Providers that meet rigorous national quality requirements but which do not yet have sufficient data to be fully assessed may opt-in for a provisional
  • An award will be valid for up to three years.
  • For more information on the TEF visit the HEFCE website