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New apprenticeship providers: how to prepare for Ofsted

Here’s the lowdown on Ofsted inspections for new providers.

New apprenticeship providers: how to prepare for Ofsted  

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Ofsted inspections are a big deal in the world of apprenticeships – especially if you’re a new provider.  

Not only is the whole system brand new, you’ve now got less time to prepare your first inspection. Instead of the standard 3 years, new training providers now have their first monitoring inspection within their first 2 years of delivery.  

Here’s the lowdown on Ofsted inspections for new providers: the what, when, why and how you can prepare. 


Instead of a full-blown inspection, new providers now have an Ofsted monitoring visit. Inspectors won’t look at the whole common inspection framework, just a few key themes: leadership, the quality and outcomes of training, and safeguarding. They want to see that you have clear plans in place to deliver programmes and make a positive impact on apprentices.  

You can find out more about each theme here 


Ofsted will visit you within 24 months of you receiving funding. This means the 24 months are recorded from when you first start delivering funded learning not the date you got a place on the RoATP. You may have joined the Register way before you started delivering, so check your dates so you know when to expect a visit.  


The number of registered training providers in the UK has trebled, so monitoring visits were introduced to assess how new providers are progressing. You won’t be graded as outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate – instead, inspectors will judge your progress against each of the themes and make a judgement overall. You’ll be judged as either: 

  • Insufficient progress 
  • Reasonable progress  
  • Significant progress    

As you’re a new provider, Ofsted will look the steps you’ve made to deliver quality programmes and ensure apprenticeships have positive outcomes. Monitoring visits are new to everyone, so it’ll come as no surprise that some new providers are struggling. In fact, a quarter of apprenticeship providers that have already had their monitoring visit have been rated ‘insufficient progress’. An insufficient judgement could really impact the reputation of your organisation, so preparing for Ofsted should be your top priority.  

How can you prepare? 

You’ll only be given 2 days’ notice, so there isn’t a huge amount you can do in the run-up to your visit. But what you can do is improve the quality and transparency of your day-to-day delivery and make sure you have audit-ready evidence to show inspectors.  

One of the best ways to do this is to use learning software. By delivering learning online, you’ll have a live record of training delivery, assignments, feedback and careers advice to show Ofsted. You’ll also be able to show the impact training has on learning outcomes – which is exactly what Ofsted wants to see.  

At OneFile, we’ve built our learning software with Ofsted in mind. It has everything you need to deliver apprenticeship training online and show Ofsted that you’ve made significant progress against each of the themes during your monitoring visit.  

To find out how OneFile supports Ofsted monitoring visits, download our free guide. We’ll explain each theme in detail and show how OneFile can help you improve your judgement. 

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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.