Inspectors have backed moves to replace college inspections with a university-style system of accreditation within four years.
Chief inspector of colleges Jim Donaldson launched a consultation paper on the "lighter touch" proposals earlier this year.
Colleges have overwhelmingly supported moves to replace inspections with an accreditation system. More than 90 per cent of colleges endorsed the principle of accreditation, as well as detailed proposals for reform. And 88 per cent voted for a move towards the new system within the current four-year inspection cycle - 60 per cent opted for the system to be introduced by 2000.
Full details of the consultation will be published before proposals are finalised.