The Centre Manager’s View

After months of planning, we finally got ‘that’ call.  I have to admit, my heart sank a little bit, having never been through an Ofsted inspection even as a secondary school teacher (I’m not sure how I managed to dodge them!).  I do remember, though, the panic and mayhem that went into the preparation.  Yes, I was still a little worried, hoping that our preparation had paid off, but not quite knowing how rigorous and formal it would be.

However, none of this last-minute cramming into the early hours or being called into work for the entire weekend.  Oh, no.  We had this!

The inspectors arrived on Tuesday morning at 8.30 on the dot and had their initial meeting with our Managing Director.  Then it was my turn.  I did mention that perhaps I ought to be a bit more nervous and scared but there was really no need to be.  You couldn’t have met two nicer gentlemen who quickly put me at my ease.

Then the questions started flowing. Thank heavens for all that preparation. 

As the Centre Manager, the majority of the inquisition fell to me.  Now, I’m not the most confident person you’ll ever meet, and I do doubt myself quite often, but the whole Ofsted process gave me a real boost.  I found that I was able to answer all their questions and quickly locate any evidence they wanted, right there on my laptop.  As the days went on, I found it to be an empowering process; I definitely knew everything I should and was able to talk about the company and its learners confidently.

By the end of the process, I felt really good about myself and the work that Profile are doing to open doors to a better future for our learners.

Andrea Keeley | Centre Manager

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

There is nothing better to focus your mind on your training business than an impending first Ofsted inspection. This is what happened about 8 months ago. We knew we were in scope for an inspection so felt we needed to plan for it. My wish for my staff was that when the call came, we would be in a position to say, “bring it on”.

I’m pleased to say this was exactly what happened, and it turned out to be the most positive experience myself and all of my team have had.  This was down to a number of reasons.

  1. We were fully prepared
  2. We knew we did a good job
  3. We had good evidence to back this up

But how did we get ourselves into this position?

We started to plan by looking at the Common Inspection Framework (CIF) and identifying what provision looked good and outstanding. We then looked at other good and outstanding reports to identify what Ofst ed looked at in practice. We also worked with an ex-inspector who carried out a mini inspection on our delivery evidence. After we had carried out these exercises, we were able to come up with an Ofsted action plan, where members of the management team were tasked with gathering and checking evidence to ensure it was effective at meeting the CIF.

Another activity we felt was important was to engage with some Ofsted Nominee training. The Centre Manager and I attended the training in London, which fully prepared us for the job ahead. After the meeting we were able to add to the Ofsted-ready plan.

By the time September arrived we felt confident that we were a very ‘Good’ provider and we could evidence this through all aspects of our provision. It was through the effective planning and preparation we had carried out that made sure we were fully prepared for the visit and looking forward to shouting about it. Therefore, the key to a successful Ofsted inspection is Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.

 

Andrea Webb | Managing Director

FE Week

Some further excellent news for us with regards to Ofsted.

We have been mentioned in FE Week who have said:

“It was also ‘good’ news for Kent-based independent learning provider Profile Development and Training, which received a grade two after its first full inspection.

Inspectors said staff had “built successfully on a strong past record of achievement under subcontracting arrangements and made a good start to their direct provision,” and praised tutors for their “excellent understanding and extensive experience”.”

To read the full article go to https://bit.ly/2ROj5Vy

We are GOOD!

It’s official – Profile Development and Training Ltd is a ‘GOOD’ provider.

A few weeks ago, on an early Friday morning, we got ‘the call’ from OFSTED to let us know we were going to have our first full inspection. For most providers, this can send them into a tail spin of panic, but not us; we have been waiting for this moment for a while now. Tuesday morning arrived and so did the inspectors.

We knew we were in scope for a first visit, as we have had our adult loan provision since 2016 and are now in the third year of delivery and, as of May 2017, we have accessed Levy funding. As I said, we were very ready and the whole experience was very positive for us as a company and personally to each and every member of the team.

The inspection went without any problems and my team and I will be passing on our experiences of how we made sure we were prepared for this in subsequent blogs over the coming weeks.

However, for now, this is why OFSTED say we are ‘GOOD’:

  • Managers and tutors have ensured that the recently introduced apprenticeship standard for teaching assistants is designed well to help apprentices develop exactly the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need.
  • Strong governance arrangements ensure a good focus on continually improving quality and ensuring that apprentices and learners make the best possible progress.
  • Leaders and managers monitor the performance of staff effectively. They share best practice among tutors, and provide constructive feedback following observations of training, to help tutors improve.
  • Learners and apprentices develop rapidly new practical skills, which they apply in the classroom.
  • Tutors have an excellent understanding and extensive experience of supporting teaching and learning which makes adults’ and apprentices’ learning enjoyable, meaningful and relevant.
  • Tutors quickly establish very positive relationships with their learners and apprentices, and give them regular, constructive and encouraging feedback on their progress, which helps them improve.
  • Learners and apprentices receive good-quality information, advice and guidance which help them to make well-informed choices about their programmes and next steps.

For more information on what our report says about us please click here.

 

Andrea Webb | Managing Director