Access 1st is a DSA QAG registered assessment centre. This means that we meet the criteria set out in the DSA QAG quality assurance framework, which is a requirement for DSA QAG registered Assessment Centres and Equipment Suppliers across the UK. Access 1st provide DSA needs assessments to students across London.

In 1990 the government acknowledged that the amount of additional financial support required by disabled students was dependent on the impact their disability had on study. An individual, independent assessment of study needs was necessary to determine the specific support needs and the level of funding to be awarded from the Disabled students Allowances to pay for it.

In the early days of DSA, local authorities carried out their own needs assessments based on evidence provided by the student. It soon became apparent that local authorities lacked the required expertise to carry out effective needs assessments, so several independent organisations were set up to provide needs assessments on behalf of the local authorities.

In order to ensure that students received competent and effective needs assessment service, the then department for education determined that a quality assurance group should be created. The quality assurance group (QAG) created a quality assurance framework (QAF) to ensure that all assessment centres meet certain minimum standards. QAG became a not for profit regulatory company in 2006 and changed its name to DSA QAG.

The DSA QAG website as well as listing accredited centres and suppliers aims to ensure that the student perspective is central to the standards that members are required to uphold. Students using the services of Assessment Centres and Assistive Technology Suppliers can rate their experience both through a star rating and individual comments.

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