Understanding Ofsted’s approach to monitoring and inspecting apprenticeship programmes

Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 13:36


On Wednesday 5th December 2018, Learning & Skills Events, Consultancy & Training (LSECT), ran a seminar to help training providers to understand Ofsted’s approach to monitoring and inspecting apprenticeship programmes. The seminar also aimed to help make Ofsted more transparent to providers, by setting out what they are trying to achieve and what they expect from providers and employers regarding apprenticeships. 

The event featured guest speaker Chris Jones, from Ofsted, who helped attendees understand proposed changes to Ofsted’s policies. These included the move away from The Common Inspection Framework (CIF), where each part of an apprenticeship programme is assessed individually, to the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) in which all elements of an Apprenticeship programme are evaluated as a single entity.

What was discussed?

During the seminar, Chris Jones outlined Ofsted’s concerns that, due to the recent growth within the sector, there are now twice as many providers and employers. As a result, there is twice as much work for Ofsted to do.

For this reason, Ofsted wants employers to take greater control of their apprenticeships, and for overall communication between providers and employers to improve. This will facilitate a greater degree of monitoring from all parties, to ensure that programmes are the very best they can be, and that any issues are resolved quickly.

In addition, Ofsted would like providers to:

  • Consider the impact of an apprenticeship programme, and how it meets the needs of its particular industry.
  • Consider the appropriateness of an apprenticeship programme and whether it is suitable for businesses to be sending their trainees on.
  • Be clear on what an apprenticeship is, and that a clear definition is drawn between an apprenticeship and a top-up course.
  • Continually monitor the skills, knowledge and behaviours that an apprentice is gaining throughout their programme.
  • Help apprentices improve their functional English and maths skills, where they are vocationally relevant.

What can you do to prepare for inspection and how the NSAFD can help you?

As a provider, the best way you can prepare for an Ofsted inspection of your apprenticeship programmes, is to take a look at your current working practices and ensure that they meet Ofsted’s expectations of how a training provider should behave. You can also prepare by making sure that you are compliant with all the latest Government legislation, and that all of your paperwork is both complete and up to date. Your communication with partner businesses must be good, and it’s important to ensure that apprentices are well matched to apprenticeship programmes.

At the National Skills Academy of Food & Drink (NSAFD), we are committed to helping you get through your Ofsted inspections. To that end, we will be running a workshop in the New Year to discuss best practice for Training Providers in the light of Ofsted changes.

We will let you have details of the workshop nearer the time.

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