Guidance

Further education and skills inspection handbook

Guidance on how further education and skills providers are inspected under the common inspection framework.

Documents

Further education and skills inspection handbook

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Details

This handbook describes the main activities Ofsted inspectors undertake when they inspect further education and skills providers. It sets out the main judgements that inspectors will report on.

It can also be used by providers and other organisations to inform themselves about inspection processes and procedures.

The handbook is to be used alongside the ‘Common inspection framework: education, skills and early years’.

The mythbuster document sets out facts about Ofsted’s requirements and dispels myths that can result in unnecessary workloads in colleges.

Published 2 August 2016
Last updated 4 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. Replaces support and challenge visits with monitoring visits for requires improvement providers and in other circumstances following the consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/inspection-visits-to-further-education-and-skills-providers-judged-to-require-improvement (allowing for transition). Notifies that the inspection time-frame for good providers will be ‘within five years from the last inspection’ following the September 2015 to August 2018 three-year window. Minor additions between paragraphs 58 and 91 to reflect up-to-date situations and practice. Limited changes to the grade descriptors for inspecting apprenticeship provision.
  2. Amended footnotes 6 and 11 to clarify re-inspection in certain circumstances.
  3. Minor additions to take into account section 41 of the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 which comes into effect from 2 January 2018. This requires Ofsted to comment on careers guidance in inspection reports of colleges.
  4. Change to the arrangements for sharing reporting letters resulting from support and challenge visits. Other minor updates and clarification.
  5. Ofsted will inspect apprenticeships funded through both the apprenticeship levy and ESFA. Minor changes to the apprenticeship inspection evaluation criteria and grading characteristics.
  6. New document added - Ofsted inspection: myths.
  7. First published.