app for learning, messaging and rating

How to prepare for Ofsted inspections

Well, the whole point of Ofsted inspections is that you can’t prepare for them.

How to prepare for Ofsted inspections

app for learning, messaging and rating

The old adage says that ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’ – but Ofsted inspections are designed deliberately to catch you unaware, in order to get an accurate snapshot view of your centre.  

The Department for Education spooked several training providers, when it reduced the notice given before an inspection to just two days. But while giving limited time to prepare seems harsh, the approach does make sense. The new Ofsted common inspection framework is designed to assess each organisation as a whole, rather than on a ‘pre-rehearsed’ performance. This allows Ofsted to gain a true understanding of how each centre runs on a day-to-day basis. 

All schools, colleges and training providers are now subject to an Ofsted inspection once every three years.  

Here, OneFile’s experts have shared their top tips on how you can still be proactive, and get ahead of the pack well before an unplanned, ad hoc Ofsted inspection. 

Start early 

Whether you're an Ofsted expert or a complete novice, it’s a good idea to get inspection-ready as soon as possible. Knowledge is power and the more you understand about what will happen on the day, the greater your chances of a strong performance.  

Read up 

Like you would ahead of an exam – revise! Check the Ofsted inspection handbook to find out exactly what you'll be assessed on. This will help you effectively prepare to field questions about your organisation, financial assessments and performance reviews. 

Go digital 

Make sure your website meets all statutory requirements and reflects your organisation in a positive light. Not only will this help you with Ofsted, it’s also a key resource for your staff and learners, so it’s in everyone’s interests to make it the best it can be.  

During your inspection, Ofsted will ask to see evidence of each user's learning journey. With an online eportfolio, learner development is tracked automatically so there's no need to prepare data for the inspection. All information is ready at the click of a button. 

Find out how you can improve your Ofsted grade with OneFile. 

Speak to staff 

Hold regular training sessions throughout the year to identify and mitigate any issues raised by your team, about the organisation or learners.  

Don’t panic 

First impressions really count, and it’s an easy win to make sure your organisation is cleaned and well-organised ahead of any inspection.   

Around 40% of people say they find the whole experience of inspections extremely difficult to manage – but it’s important to keep a cool head.  If you're running your organisation effectively, have followed our tips and are using a leading eportfolio, it’s very unlikely you have anything to worry about. 

With OneFile, you can maximise your chances of always being inspection-ready. 

Ready to get an outstanding grade?Download our free guide to find out what other providers think about OneFile, and how it can help you ace your next inspection.   

Download guide

This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.