Employers – what can you expect, when Ofsted inspects?

Jos Parsons, Principal Officer, Further Education and Skills

Do you have an apprentice or are you thinking of employing apprentices? If so, the organisation that provides their training is likely to be subject to an Ofsted inspection.

The Ofsted inspection will be of interest to you as the employer of the apprentices. That’s because Ofsted inspections assess the quality of the training provided to your apprentices, which is then summed up in a published report.

Employers have an important role to play in making sure that their apprentices are well-trained. Ofsted wants to work with employers to help to make sure that apprentices get good quality training.

Below are five things you should know about Ofsted inspection.

1) You can leave your view of the training on Employer View

Employer View is a website where you can leave your views on the training provider. It asks you a range of questions. These include: ‘would you recommend this provider to other employers?’ And ‘do employees receive the support, feedback and employability skills they need to help them progress?’

You can take the survey at any time, regardless of whether there is an inspection happening. You can also see what others have said about your training organisation.

Your response will provide valuable information for inspectors to help them to understand if the provider is training your apprentices well.

When the training provider is notified of their inspection, they should let you know, as the employer, that the inspection is happening and invite you to give your views on Employer View, if you haven’t already done so.

2) Ofsted may contact you

An Ofsted inspector might contact you to hear your views on the training your apprentice receives. The inspector will be interested in how well your apprentice is being trained for their role and acquiring the skills they need now and beyond their apprenticeship, whether you consider the training is suitably adapted to the needs of your organisation and whether you receive regular feedback from the training provider.

These discussions are confidential. Anything you say will not be attributed. What you tell the inspector helps them get a fuller picture, so it’s important to be honest.

You can speak with an inspector at any time during an inspection if there’s something particular you want to discuss. You don’t have to wait for them to contact you. The training organisation will put you in touch with the inspector.

3) Ofsted might visit your apprentice on-site

Inspectors visit a selection of apprentices at their workplace. This helps them understand how the apprentice feels their training is going and how the provider is helping them to become an active member of their workplace.

If an inspector asks to see your apprentice, please do give them a few minutes and a quiet place to chat.

4) Ofsted may observe some of your on-the-job training

Remember you’re not being inspected, but inspectors might ask to see some of your on-the-job training at your premises. This is so they can understand how the off-the-job training feeds in and complements what you do.

The inspector is there is to hear your story, so please do help them to get an honest picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your training provider.

5) You can view inspection reports on training providers

You can see the report on your training provider – or on those you might consider using - on the Ofsted reports website.

The report front page gives you the Ofsted grading of the quality of apprenticeships and a summary of key findings.

If you wish to find out more about our work on further education, please contact us at [email protected]

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