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DWP Ofsted Inspection Discontinued

The announcement we've been waiting for has been made.

In a short and anonymous looking notice to providers DWP have made a major announcement that could impact on many thousands of DWP customers.  There will be no more Ofsted/Estyn inspection or LSIS improvement support.

The under resourced (and often under qualified) DWP Provider Assurance Team will apparently apply a light-touch to some of the quality issues that formed part of inspection.  As the existing Quality Assessment Questionnaire is just a reflection of the old common inspection framework, this will change and there will be new guidance for self assessment.

Although this is a totally expected development in the governments economy drive, and many in the industry have somewhat cynical views of the effectiveness of Ofsted, it is still a worrying development.  

Good providers will continue to assess their provision, develop their improvement plans and improve their own service to customers, because that's what good providers do.  However, we know that when you are within an organisation it is difficult to be objective.  Again, good providers won't have a major problem with this and will continue to invest in quality and continuous improvement.  But what about those providers who only never saw Ofsted as an opportunity, but always saw it as a threat?  What about those providers who only ever worried about the quality of their service a couple of months before an Ofsted inspection, so threw money and resources at the area to be inspected to ensure they got a decent grade?  

We do hope that this short term cost saving measure isn't going to have long term repercussions for the people accessing DWP provision and that the level of customer service is not going to suffer as a result.  Ofsted was a driver for quality and ensuring customers got a good deal.  Fingers crossed DWP can take up this role and continue to drive the industry to improve.

But if they can't ... we're still here to help those providers who want to take forward improvements in their organisation.  We won't desert you!!!

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