Apprenticeship Support Services

Apprenticeships – new provider support packages

Gillian Forrester helps new Apprenticeship Training Providers deliver their programmes successfully giving them the best chance of success with Ofsted and avoiding the mistakes of many other providers. As a Further Education professional with over 27 years’ experience in Apprenticeships, Training and Development, Gillian has worked with local, regional and national apprenticeship providers across the UK.

Step 1

Are you ready to deliver? 

In this first stage, Gillian will review all aspects of safeguarding, learner recruitment processes, learner induction, curriculum intent and implementation. Your processes and procedures are the foundation of successful apprenticeship delivery and yet, they are often overlooked by providers which affects completion rates.

Across 2-days, Gillian will work with your team (at all levels of the organisation) to share her experience and insight from providers across the UK, review and make recommendations for change on your processes, procedures and documentation to give you the highest chance of a successful start on your programme delivery.

Step 2

Your first monitoring visit

Ofsted carry out monitoring visits to all newly-directly funded providers to ensure the delivery of high-quality apprenticeship training for all apprentices (delivering levels 2 – 5 apprenticeship programmes of learning).  Monitoring visits will normally be carried out within 24 months of the start of the direct funding by ESFA or through the apprenticeship levy.

During stage 2, Gillian will work with you to prepare you for that first monitoring visit. To ensure your documentation, processes and staff knowledge are all up to date and to ensure you know what to look for and how best to present your provision.  Ofsted inspectors will want to ensure the quality of what you’re doing meets and hopefully exceeds minimum standards, Gillian’s knowledge and experience around this is critical in helping you to succeed at your first visit.

Step 3

Keeping Positive Progress

Consistency is key, and to ensure a successful programme delivery, you need to be up to speed with how your delivery is going for your staff and learners and how to identify any challenges on the road ahead.

Gillian can work with your staff (on site or remotely via Skype or telephone call) to help you keep an eye on progress, providing feedback and suggesting changes to your approach to give you the maximum chance of success.

Step 4

Preparing for your first full inspection

Observations, process and policy reviews, safeguarding reviews, role play, learner voice, staff engagement, ILP reviews and more make up the preparation required to get you ready for your first full inspection.

For new providers the thought of an Ofsted inspection can be daunting and the process, if not prepared for correctly, can be really hard work. The timing of your very first full Ofsted inspection will very much depend on the judgements made within your initial monitoring visit.  Providers should expect to receive their full inspection within 24 months of the publication of the report of their monitoring visit.  However, where a provider has received one or more ‘insufficient progress’ judgement the full inspection will take place within 6 and 12 months of the publication of the report

A full review of the quality of your apprenticeship provision (which can be used to inform the writing of the self-assessment report and quality improvement plan) can be undertaken to ensure that you are working towards the implementation of high-quality apprenticeship provision which ensures positive outcomes for new apprentices.

In this final stage, Gillian will work with you for 3-4 days (or longer if required) to cover off all of the critical aspects associated with a full inspection. You’ll finish working with Gillian feeling confident, prepared and optimistic about your first, infamous Ofsted inspection.

Avoiding Re-application is critical

Being unsuccessful at either initial monitoring visit or first full inspection can damage reputation and cause additional pressures on the workforce and your apprentices. As a new provider you want to give your staff, learners and stakeholders a positive, smooth experience without the troubles of ‘have we done this right?’ ‘what will Ofsted say’ etc.  With more and more providers receiving temporary bans from recruiting new apprentices, following early monitoring visits, this is causing huge issues for providers.  The Education and Skills Funding Agency has released an updated version of the register of apprenticeship training providers for July 19, which shows 41 providers are currently banned from taking on apprentices and it seems that this list is growing week by week. 

Bouncing back from an ‘inadequate’ judgement at the initial full inspection is difficult and challenging for new providers.  Often new providers just do not realise the significance of certain factors within the requirements of high-quality apprenticeship provision.   So, getting the right support from an experienced partner from the beginning means you’ll avoid disappointment and will get it right first time.

  So Be prepared. Get help, support and advice before Ofsted come to call.

Get ready for Monitoring visits or Ofsted Inspections.

For further details contact Gillian direct on 07795569444 or e-mail


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