Understanding the Inspection Requirements for “Outstanding Assessment”

Understanding & meeting the inspection requirements for outstanding assessment of learners in accredited and non-accredited learning

Achieving Grade 1 “outstanding” for overall provision is heavily dependent on the providers’ ability to deliver “outstanding teaching learning and assessment”. There is significant guidance and advice on what constitutes outstanding teaching and learning but less on what constitutes outstanding assessment. Almost all providers will have some form of initial assessment in place and will be carrying out regular reviews of student/learner progress but, to achieve Grade 1, a far more comprehensive and integrated approach is needed.

Providers need to develop systems and approaches which work with identified individual need that can actively support and inform individual learning during each lesson and training session. This level of personalisation is far from easy to achieve but there are ways to enable this level of assessment to be in place in a cost effective and productive manner: the benefits for learner achievement and progression are significant – as are the contributions towards an ‘outstanding’ grade at inspection.

This one-day workshop explores the various elements of assessment and demonstrates how they link together to support and enable improved teaching, training and learning. It highlights the types of approaches inspectors are looking for and provides guidance enabling participants to identity when their own systems are not producing optimal results.

For Whom

This one-day workshop is for managers, teachers and trainers working within FE & Skills provision in both accredited and non-accredited contexts. It will also prove of significant interest and use to those responsible for or involved with observing grading and reporting on assessment practice.

The workshop uses the Common Inspection Framework for FE & Skills as a basis. Much of the information and guidance given is also applicable for those working with other frameworks, including schools, independent provision and longer term DWP/work programmes and has relevance to longer term, internal staff development programmes.

Aims and Objectives

By attending this workshop participants will better understand:

  • The Assessment Requirements of the Common Inspection Framework for FE & Skills
  • what Ofsted Inspectors are likely to expect in terms of assessment during inspection
  • valid, relevant and personalised initial diagnostic assessment
  • individualised planning for learning
  • ways to use diagnostic, formative and summative assessment to improve success
  • ways to use highly effective questioning to drive learner self assessment
  • the importance of tracking progression and linking back to assessment
  • ways to improve the capture of destination data


1.Assessment, the CIF and Ofsted Inspection

  • The ways in which the term “assessment” is interpreted and used
  • Areas and aspects that have greatest relevance to CIF FE & Skills
  • The key areas that Ofsted Inspectors will typically focus on, during inspection

2.Initial Diagnostic Assessment

  • The signs of effective systems and the symptoms of ineffective ones
  • Moving towards ‘Outstanding’
      • Ensuring ‘Best Fit’
      • Course specific initial diagnostic assessment (CSIDA)
      • Benefits for Management
      • Benefits for Students
      • Benefits for Students
      • What to asses
      • Spiky Profiling
      • Developing Effective CSIDAs
  • Using APL
  • Special Needs

3. Assessment for Learning

3.1 overview

  • Transfering initial assessment into classroom practice
  • Assessing progress
    • learning outcomes
    • target-setting
    • individual learning plans
    • individual versus group learning
    • in-session progress tracking
      • one-to-one session
      • group or classroom settings

3.2 delivering progress

  • meeting all learners’ needs
  • stretching, challenging & supporting learners
  • creating independence

3.3 developing and using learner self assessment (IPSATIVE)

  • Understand the concept
  • Benefits & Advantages v Disadvantages

3.4 formative assessment

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Questioning Techniques and Practice

3.5 summative assessment

  • Techniques that work
  • Ofsted Expectations

4.Tracking Student Progress

  • What, where, when, why and how
  • Evidencing for Inspection
  • Using progression outputs to measure effectiveness of assessment
  • Improving Progression Opportunities
  • Improving destination data

5. Summary and Action Planning

  • What Inspectors want to know and see
  • What teachers, trainers and managers need to focus on
  • Agreeing clear benchmarks of what ‘good’ and ‘better’ assessment looks like
  • Analysing and evaluating own practice and action-planning
  • Ensuring good practice is shared and used throughout the organisation