Getting your self-assessment report and quality improvement plan right is vital. It is vital because it should be used as working document to ensure your provisions is of a high quality but it is also vital because you need to submit it to OfSTED and it needs to be immediately available if you are notified that you are going to be inspected.

From our experience, many providers still do not get the self-assessment process right and in some cases really aren’t aware that it needs to be done.

What does OfSTED say about the self-assessment process?

Inspectors will use self-assessment reports or equivalent documents to assess risk, monitor standards and plan for inspection. If they are not available in advance, the provider should share the latest report/plan(s) with the lead inspector following notification of the inspection.

Where a report is not available at the risk assessment and planning stage, inspectors will use readily available data sources.

During the inspection, inspectors will compare their findings with the provider’s self-assessment.

Ofsted does not require self-assessment to be provided in a specific format. Any assessment that is provided should be part of the provider’s business processes and not generated solely for inspection purposes.

Providers need to be very clear that that self-assessment report and quality improvement plan are needed. If you cannot produce this at the time of inspection it will demonstrate to OfSTED that you do not have a proper mechanism in place to identify risks, assessment your delivery and action plan improvements.

Reading many inspection reports it is also clear that providers have a habit of over-grading themselves as they used paper-based systems to complete their SAR and it is often done in isolation – one person writes and grades the SAR and then may share it with colleagues for comment.

We developed the Outcomes Assessment module in Stedfast to address this particular weakness. Stedfast is a collaborative tool designed to streamline the self-assessment process and allow providers to be better prepared for OfSTED inspections.

For more information about the system please visit

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