Guidance handbook for theinspection of work-basedlearning providersfrom September [email protected]
Every possible care has been taken to ensure that the information in this document isaccurate at the time of going to press. Any enquiries or comments regarding thisdocument/publication should be addressed to:Publication SectionEstynAnchor CourtKeen RoadCardiffCF24 5JW or by email to [email protected] and other Estyn publications are available on our website: www.estyn.gov.wales Crown Copyright 2019: This report may be re-used free of charge in anyformat or medium provided that it is re-used accurately and not used in amisleading context. The material must be acknowledged as Crown copyrightand the title of the report specified.
ContentsPageIntroduction1Purpose of the guidance handbookLegal basis for the inspection of work-based learning providersPolicy background111Part 1: Inspection arrangements2IntroductionContextPrinciples of inspectionCode of conduct for inspectorsExpectations of providersHealth, safety and wellbeing issuesResponding to a safeguarding allegationApproach to inspectionThe Virtual Inspection RoomThe inspection teamContacting the provider before the inspectionPlanning the inspection and preparing the teamDuring the inspectionAfter the inspectionAssuring the quality of inspections22233444555771011Part 2: Making judgements12The Common Inspection FrameworkMaking judgementsAbout the providerSummaryRecommendationsWhat happens next?121313141414Inspection areas15123451516182021StandardsWellbeing and attitudes to learningTeaching and learning experiencesCare, support and guidanceLeadership and managementEvidence baseThematic focus2324
Guidance handbook for the inspection of work-based learning providersIntroductionPurpose of the guidance handbookThis guidance sets out the way the inspectorate will conduct inspections of workbased learning providers from September 2019. It sets out the inspectionarrangements for providers and offers guidance to inspectors on making inspectionjudgements.Where the inspection identifies important concerns in relation to standards, quality ofeducation and training or leadership and management, then the inspectorate willconduct follow-up activity in the provider to support improvement. Guidance on thedifferent types of follow-up activity is available on Estyn’s website.Work-based learning providers can use this guidance to see how inspections workand to help them in strengthening their own self-assessment and improvementprocesses.Further information and guidance about inspections can be found on theinspectorate’s website www.estyn.gov.walesLegal basis for the inspection of work-based learning providersIn the post-16 sector, the Learning and Skills Act (2000) requires the Chief Inspectorto report on: the quality of the education and training provided the standards achieved by those receiving education and training the quality of leadership and management, including whether the financialresources made available to those providing education and training are managedefficiently and used to provide value for moneyPolicy backgroundWhile not governed directly by the following policies and conventions, the guidancehandbook takes account of the following: the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act /people/future-generationsact/?lang en the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the WelshGovernment in 2004 as the basis for policy-making for children and youngpeople /CRC.aspx1
Guidance handbook for the inspection of work-based learning providersPart 1: Inspection arrangementsIntroductionThis section is set out in a way that reflects the sequence of work before, during andafter a core inspection.The reporting inspector (RI) is responsible for the conduct and management of theinspection and for the inspection report. While this guidance focuses mainly on therole of the reporting inspector, all team members must comply with the sameinspection requirements.ContextThis guidance relates to the core inspection of work-based learning providers. Estynregularly inspects aspects of post-16 education and training through other activities.Some of this inspection work results in published evaluations, while other activitydoes not result in published evaluations.Work-based learning link inspector work. Each provider has a link inspector whomeets annually with senior leaders to discuss topical issues related to education andtraining, as well as college progress. The link inspector visits result in oral feedbackand dialogue during the visit. The link inspector work informs thematic inspections orsector summaries in the Annual Report.Thematic reports. Each year, the Welsh Government asks Estyn to producenational reports on a range of themes. Estyn will often visit a sample of providers orsurveys all providers as part of this work. The visits result in oral feedback andnational reports feature individual providers, where relevant, with case studies ofeffective practice.Principles of inspectionInspectors will: ensure that inspection is of high quality and responsive to the needs of alllearners ensure that judgements are secure, reliable, valid and based on first-handevidence involve providers fully in the inspection process, including the opportunity for theprovider to select a nominee use the provider’s improvement priorities as the starting point for the inspectionand to identify key issues for investigation in order to make judgements on thevalidity of its findings include peer inspectors in the inspection process keep to a minimum any requirements for documentation and preparation by theprovider gain the learners’, staff and governors (where appropriate) perspective and thatof other stakeholders2
Guidance handbook for the inspection of work-based learning providers apply the principle of equality for Welsh and English to all our inspection work,providing bilingual services whenever they are appropriate be constructive in identifying and supporting providers with important aspects orweaknesses that require improvementCode of conduct for inspectorsInspectors should uphold the highest possible standards in their work. All inspectorshave to meet the standards of Estyn’s code of conduct. When conducting theinspection, inspectors will: carry out their work with integrity, courtesy and due sensitivityevaluate the work of the provider objectivelyreport honestly, fairly and impartiallycommunicate clearly and openlyact in the best interests of learnersrespect the confidentiality of all information received during the course of theirworkIt is important that inspectors judge the effectiveness of provision and leadership ontheir contribution to outcomes and not on the basis of any preferences for particularmethods. The key to the judgement is whether the methods and organisation are fitfor the purpose in supporting all learners to achieve high standards and strong levelsof wellbeing.Inspectors should inform Estyn of any perceived or actual conflicts of interest as soonas they receive notification that they are on the inspection of the provider.Expectations of providersIn order that inspection and regulation are constructive and beneficial, it is importantthat inspectors and providers establish and maintain a professional workingenvironment based on mutual courtesy, respect and professional behaviour. Weexport inspectors to uphold Estyn’s Code of Conduct but we also expect providers to: be courteous and professionalapply their own codes of conduct in their dealings with inspectorsenable inspectors to conduct their inspection in an open and honest wayenable inspectors to evaluate the provision objectively against the CommonInspection Frameworkuse Estyn’s electronic systems for managing inspections as requiredprovide evidence that will enable inspectors to report honestly, fairly and reliablyabout the providermaintain a purposeful dialogue with the reporting inspector and other inspectorsrecognise that inspectors need to observe practice and talk to staff, learners andother stakeholders without the presence of a manager or senior leaderdraw any concerns about the inspection to the attention of the reporting inspectorin a timely and suitable manner through the nominee or senior managerwork with inspectors to minimise disruption and stress throughout the inspectionensure the health and safety of inspectors while on their premises3
Guidance handbook for the inspection of work-based learning providers maintain the confidentiality and meetings and inspection findings until the finalpublication of the reportAt the point of the inspection notification, providers should review the composition ofthe inspection team. It is the responsibility of providers to highlight any perceived oractual conflicts of interest prior to the start of their inspection.Health, safety and wellbeing issuesInspectors will carry out inspections in accordance with the inspectorate’s guidanceon inspecting safeguarding. If they observe anything that they think constitutes intheir opinion, a real risk to the safety of staff, visitors or learners, inspectors shouldalert managers at the provider. In all cases, inspectors should make a separateelectronic note of the risk and that they informed managers of it. Inspectors shouldreport on obvious risks relating to health, safety and wellbeing under inspection area4 (care, support and guidance). Where these risks are a serious concern, inspectorsshould include a short comment in the report and a recommendation in the report.Estyn will send a wellbeing letter to the provider asking them to outline how they willaddress the shortcoming.Responding to a safeguarding allegationIf an inspector becomes aware of a safeguarding allegation//suspicion in respect of achild, young person or vulnerable adult, they should follow the procedures as set outin the current version of ‘Estyn’s policy and procedures for safeguarding’, which isavailable on Estyn’s website.Approach to inspectionThe starting point for inspection is the provider’s assessment of its own performanceand priorities, supported by relevant evidence. Inspectors will not inspect all aspectsof work in depth during a core inspection. They will sample evidence to test theprovider’s own assessment of its work.The progress learners make from their starting-points and the standards they achieveare the key measures of the quality of the education and training they have receivedand of the effectiveness of the leadership and management of the provider.Inspection will focus on the needs of learners, their attitudes to learning and theimpact that the provision makes on supporting their progress and the standards theyachieve.The inspection period and number of inspectors may vary according to the size of theprovider.Each inspection reports will cover all inspection areas covered by the commoninspection framework.We will carry out inspections in line with our Welsh Language Policy, available fromthe inspectorate’s website www.estyn.gov.wales and supported by supplementaryguidance on inspecting the development of learners’ Welsh language skills.4
Guidance handbook for the inspection of work-based learning providersThe Virtual Inspection RoomThe inspectorate will use an electronic system, called the ‘Virtual Inspection Room’(VIR), for managing many aspects of the inspection. It is a web-based system thatallows providers to upload information before the inspection and to downloadguidance from the inspectorate about the inspection process. The VIR is also theplace where providers can access the emerging questions from the reportinginspector at the start of the inspection and the post-inspection questionnaires.The inspection teamInspection teams will be led by a reporting inspector (HMI), additional inspector (AI),with other team members drawn from among HMI, peer inspectors (from anotherwork-based learning provider) or additional inspectors. Additional inspectors may beon secondment or contract to the inspectorate. Subject to resources, we will invite amember of Wales Audit Office onto our inspection team. This has been standardpractice since 2010 on Estyn’s inspections of local government education andtraining services due to the increasing complexities of local government finances andgovernance. The same is now true of the work-based learning sector so a similarrationale now applies.We will also invite, whenever possible, an international peer inspector/reviewer fromone of the education and training inspectorates in the UK, Eire or Europe, namelyETI (Northern Ireland), Education Scotland, Ofsted, Quality and Qualifications Ireland(QQI) or the Netherlands Inspectorate of Education. They will be able to bring aninternational benchmarking perspective to the inspection, facilitate the sharing ofhighly effective practice and enable better networking of work-based learningproviders in Wales with their international peers.The reporting inspector manages the inspection team and is the first point ofreference for everyone involved in the inspection.We will invite providers to select a senior member of staff, called the nominee, towork with the inspection team. In practice, most providers accept the invitation, but itis not a requirement. The nominee should have sufficient seniority to act as a linkbetween the provider and the inspection team but need not be the leader of theprovider. Providers can access the guidance for nominees on preparing for theinspection from links within the initial contact form (ICF), completed by the InspectionCo-ordinator (IC) and available via the VIR.Contacting the provider before the inspectionThe provider will receive 15 working days’ notice of the inspection.Following this, the inspectorate will contact the provider by telephone to set up thearrangements fo