England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also have different inspection and regulatory bodies for the regulation of qualifications and provision in their TVET sectors.  These are shown on the image above.

  • TVET provision is quality assured through robust external and internal processes.
  • All providers who receive government funding have to meet the same quality requirements regardless if they are public sector FE Colleges, Employers or ITPs.
  • Each nation has similar but different grading systems.  

For example, these are the grades awarded by inspectors in Northern Ireland. Providers who require improvement at any level will be supported to make these improvements and inspected regularly until they have achieved a higher standard.  

Very Good
Important area(s) for improvement
Requires significant improvement
Requires urgent improvement

Safeguarding and Prevent

Inspections also assure the safeguarding of learners, even beyond the physical college environment, including all students aged 14-18 and vulnerable adults. This requires providers to have written safeguarding policies and associated training for learners and staff. Where safeguarding concerns over the welfare of learners are identified these will trigger immediate measures even if the provider is generally assessed as high quality

Safeguarding also includes the area of ‘Prevent’ which requires colleges to play a role in preventing people being drawn into terrorism. This includes colleges developing approaches and materials to informing staff, governors and learners of their ‘prevent’ obligations.

Quality assuring qualifications 

Awarding organisations set requirements for training providers for effective systems that ensure fairness, accuracy and consistency when delivering, assessing and quality assuring regulated qualifications. 

Awarding organisations are, in turn, accountable to qualification regulators - Ofqual (England), Qualifications Wales (Wales), CCEA (Northern Ireland) and SQA (Scotland), to ensure that the different quality assurance requirements of each qualification meet national standards. 

Staff involved in qualification delivery, assessment and verification are required to undertake professional development and meet minimum national standards for their roles.