Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): residential provision of further education colleges

7. Notice

The length of notice given before an inspection and the information we request.

7.1 Notice of an inspection

Further education colleges are notified of an inspection of their residential provision up to 3 hours before the inspection.

The lead inspector telephones the nominated contact at 9am on the morning of inspection and the inspection usually starts at midday the same day. This is confirmed by email. Please see letter template.

At the initial telephone call, the lead inspector speaks to the principal or, if this is not possible, the member of staff in charge of the residential provision. The telephone call and email confirmation informs the college of:

  • the start and end dates of the inspection
  • the names of the lead and other inspectors, if applicable
  • brief information about the inspection process, how to obtain documents from our website and links to the national minimum standards and Ofsted’s complaints procedure

The lead inspector also gives a form requesting information to support the inspection.

We ask colleges to provide access to premises and records, as well as space for the inspector to work. Inspectors may need some help to navigate the system where records are electronic. Hard copies of files don’t need to be provided unless already used by the college, although inspectors may ask for specific reports or documents to be printed.

7.2 Request for information at an inspection

When the lead inspector notifies the college of an inspection, they will send a form for the college to complete that gives information to support the inspection.

Inspectors also request:

  • details of meetings that will occur during the inspection that the inspector may be able to attend
  • information about the young people who are resident at the college, so the inspector can choose which records and cases to track and sample in order to review the progress and experience of the young people staying at the college.

The college can update any data previously given to Ofsted. Inspectors accept any evaluation the college has made of its provision, in whatever form they wish to present it. This does not need to be sent to Ofsted prior to the announcement of the inspection.

Some of the information is stored by Ofsted for data analysis purposes. No personal data will be stored.