Ofsted inspect the quality of apprenticeship training that is delivered by training providers to ensure it is high-quality and meets the needs of employers and apprentices.
There are two different kinds of Ofsted Inspections:
New provider monitoring visits
New training providers should expect a monitoring visit by Ofsted within 24 months of enrolling their first apprentices. Providers are given 2 days’ notice of the visit.
During monitoring visits, inspectors make judgments on the progress made by the new provider. The outcomes and the report of these visits are then published on Ofsted’s website.
The outcome of the monitoring visit will determine the timing of the first full Ofsted inspection and, where necessary, any intervention action taken by the ESFA according to their policy.
It is important to remember that monitoring visits only indicate progress. Providers that are awarded ‘reasonable’ or ‘significant’ progress in their new provider monitoring visits do not always achieve ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ grades at their first full inspection. Progress must continue to be made, particularly on any weaknesses identified by Ofsted inspectors to achieve a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ grade at full inspection.
Full Ofsted inspections will be scheduled within 24 months of the first monitoring visit. Inspectors grade the:
- quality of education and training
- leadership and management
- behaviour and attitudes
- types of provision offered.
Consequences of being graded inadequate
Providers receiving an ‘inadequate’ grade for overall effectiveness will be removed from the RoATP. Their funding is stopped once any apprentices that remain with the provider complete their training.
For further information see the ESFA’s guide on how it removes inadequate training providers from the RoATP.
Education Inspection Framework (EIF)
This framework sets out Ofsted’s inspection principles and the main judgements that inspectors make.
Ofsted use a 4-point grading scale in all inspections to make the principal judgements:
- grade 1 – outstanding
- grade 2 – good
- grade 3 – requires improvement
- grade 4 – inadequate
Ensure you are familiar with the EIF and have procedures in place to evidence you meet all the criteria.
Safeguarding and Prevent
One of the key remits of Ofsted is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. Ofsted ensure that providers have effective procedures for keeping children and vulnerable adults safe from abuse, neglect and exploitation
The Prevent strategy, published by the Government in 2011, is part of the Governments overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. The aim of the Prevent strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Your Organisation should ensure that those responsible for governance ensure that you fulfil your legal duties and responsibilities in relation to the ‘Prevent’ strategy and safeguarding.
Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement Plans
Ofsted will periodically write to all providers to request that they provide a copy of their self-assessment. Providers can send their latest self-assessment to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
You should ensure that you have a current self-assessment report or equivalent. This should include an evaluation of the impact of actions taken to date.
Ofsted Inspections – Top Tips
- Ensure you know how Ofsted will contact you to inform you about an inspection. Notification normally takes place up to 2 working days before the inspection unless the inspection is unannounced.
- Make sure you have an Ofsted Nominee. Each provider is invited to nominate a senior member of staff to act as the provider’s main link with the inspection team.
- Make sure you understand and work to the EIF. Make sure you have read and embedded the EIF across your training and education.
- Keep your self-assessment report up to date. Have a Self-Assessment Report and Improvement Plan and make sure they are current.
- Undertake mock inspections. Arrange regular reviews of your Ofsted processes to ensure you are prepared and can access information quickly and easily.