Ofsted seeks the employer's verdict

Online tool allows businesses to rate provision by colleges

First it gave parents the opportunity to rate their children's schools online; now Ofsted is allowing employers to give their verdict on FE providers through a new website.

Employer View, launched last week by the watchdog, has been created to allow firms to rate provision by colleges and other providers that train their employees (including apprentices) or provide students for work experience or work placements.

Employers will be asked to rate providers on a number of measures including the quality of their communication, monitoring of employee progress and training provision, as well as the feedback and support they receive.

The responses, which can be viewed by any member of the public, will be monitored by inspectors and poor feedback could trigger an inspection of a provider. The findings will also be discussed with institutions during the inspection process, but submissions will be made confidentially.

Lorna Fitzjohn, recently appointed Ofsted's national director for FE and skills, said she hoped the website would "facilitate a dialogue between employers and providers that will improve the provision of further education and training".

"The tool will inform inspectors' understanding of the effectiveness of provision, increase employers' engagement in education and training, and help them and employees to choose the provider that is right for them," she added.

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