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Adult learning and skills: For Learners

Understanding an adult learning and skills inspection report

An adult learning and skills inspection report has information that inspectors have gathered during an inspection. It describes the institution and is based on an inspection lasting normally between three and five days. The report presents inspector’s findings and gives basic information about the provider. Many different types of providers are inspected across adult learning and skills.

The inspection report evaluates how well a provider is doing, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the type of provider the report may look at different areas such as apprenticeships, foundation learning and functional skills. What’s in it depends on the areas being inspected. It will:

  • have information about the effectiveness of a provider’s work and what they do well
  • give recommendations on how they might improve
  • detail how good a provider is in particular aspects. Those overall judgements use a four-point grade scale:
    • grade 1 (outstanding)
    • grade 2 (good)
    • grade 3 (satisfactory)
    • grade 4 (inadequate).

The inspection report looks at how learners have progressed into further education and employment in relation to their starting point. It takes into account: 

  • self-assessment
  • support, guidance and encouragement
  • how well learners’ needs and interests are met and their results
  • the quality of provision
  • leadership and management
  • different subject sector areas.

Initial teacher education

On a multi-phase inspection the report will have a section for each phase inspected (primary, secondary and further education; some inspections only look at one phase). Each section will have:

  • inspection judgements – using the four-point grade scale described above
  • information about the provider’s overall effectiveness and capacity for further improvement
  • key strengths, required actions and recommendations.

Further information

  • For further information about inspections, go to Inspecting adult learning and skills on the left.
  • For further information on the different areas inspected, go to Types of adult learning and skills Ofsted inspects on the left.