Information about timelines, what happens at an inspection and how to prepare.
Quality assurance inspections
Last updated: 28 November 2019
An inspection is one of the ways that we collect evidence about how your course meets our education and training standards.
We will always carry out an inspection to approve a new course or for the reapproval of an existing course.
An inspection is an onsite visit from our inspection team. The team will usually include an education quality assurance officer and two inspectors.
Before the inspection, we will discuss the agenda with you to make sure that you are able to facilitate the visit.
The inspection date will depend on the evidence you submit and whether we decide you are ready for an inspection.
When we feel that you are ready, we will contact you to discuss provisional dates for the inspection. We will work with you and try to meet your requirements when deciding the date.
Inspections will vary in length depending on the purpose of the inspection, but will usually take three days.
What inspections involve
Inspections often include meeting with people involved in the course, such as:
- training placement providers
- people with lived experience of social work
As part of an inspection, we might want to observe and ask questions about teaching, placement provision, facilities and learning resources.
During the inspection, we will ask questions based on the evidence you have submitted to us. This will help us decide whether your course meets our education and training standards.
At the end of the inspection visit, we will discuss our observations with you.
Prepare for an inspection
You should talk to us regularly, so that we can support you through the inspection process. This is to make sure that:
- you know what to expect
- you can facilitate the meetings needed
- you have involved the right people, and that they will be available on inspection days
- we can answer any questions you might have ahead of the inspection
You may want to involve students, placement providers, employers, staff and people with lived experience of social work as soon as possible to make sure that they feel informed ahead of the inspection.
The inspection is the final opportunity for you to demonstrate that the course meets our education and training standards. For this reason, please make sure that you have submitted all relevant evidence in advance.
While we may ask for further information, there are limits to how much evidence can be considered during the inspection.
If you do need to submit evidence at this stage, it will likely delay the process significantly.
As we move towards implementing our 2020 education and training standards, our processes will change.
We will continue to develop our guidance documents throughout the next year.