The role of a nominee in an Ofsted inspection

If you have been following our recent blog series for Apprenticeship Training Providers over the last few weeks, we hope you have found How Can a Provider Best Prepare for a NPMV and Preparing for a Full Ofsted Inspection as an Apprenticeship Training Provider useful.

In our next two installments, we will be looking at what makes a good nominee, how nominees can prepare themselves for an inspection and the role they have within the inspection when the time comes. To do this we will:

  • consider the skills and qualities needed to fulfil the role of nominee
  • review all that is needed to be in place before an inspection
  • look at how to prepare for the initial call
  • consider the role of the nominee during the inspection itself, to manage the process well

It is important that staff undertaking the role of a nominee have a good understanding of the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) as described within the Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook. A copy is available here.

Aspiring Nominees

Firstly, someone aspiring to be a nominee needs to read through the section of the handbook which describes the responsibilities of the nominee (paragraphs 98 -99).

These include:

  • informing learners and employers about the inspection
  • informing learners, employers, parents, carers and staff that they can give their views through the relevant online questionnaires
  • attending team meetings, in particular the final grading/ judgement team meeting
  • coordinating feedback arrangements in particular at the end of the inspection
  • providing information for the lead inspector to support inspection planning
  • liaising with the lead inspector and ensuring that documents and other information are available, and that staff can attend meetings
  • briefing the provider’s staff about arrangements.

So, who should be chosen to be the nominee?…

The Skills and qualities of a nominee

The handbook suggests the nominee should:

  • have a detailed understanding of the provider’s programmes and operations, including, where appropriate, those of subcontractors
  • be sufficiently senior to ensure the cooperation of staff at all levels
  • have authority to carry out the role with autonomy
  • be able to ensure that the inspection accurately reflects the quality of the provision.

To do this the nominee needs to have the confidence to:

  • question and, where appropriate, challenge inspector judgements and findings.
  • provide alternative evidence where necessary to mitigate any weaknesses identified and provide examples of strengths.

What qualities and skills does one need to successfully fulfil the role of a nominee?

The nominee needs to:

  • be articulate and able to express themselves clearly and concisely
  • be objective and able to take a calm evidence-based approach to the inspection findings
  • have a detailed understanding of the range of provision, the self-assessment, and the quality of teaching and learning.
  • have a good understanding of any weakness identified in any previous reports and in particular how those weaknesses have been addressed
  • have sufficient authority and confidence to challenge the inspectors when required and to ensure the cooperation of staff at all levels before, during and after the inspection
  • be able to cope under pressure. The activity will be intensive and may involve long hours
  • be honest and open about the provider’s weaknesses
  • be well organised with project management skills as they will need to help plan the inspection and ensure that all the arrangements are in place
  • be diplomatic and persuasive as they will need to be able to put forward a well-argued case that is evidence based.

The nominee needs to be able manage the following timeline:


Next week, we will be posting about preparing, planning and managing the Ofsted inspection….


Should you need immediate assistance in reviewing your provision, preparing for you NPMV/full inspection, or compiling your QIP, please do not hesitate to contact us to start a conversation.


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