Further education's chief inspector is to retire at Christmas.
Terry Melia, who took up the post in 1992, will step down just as the first four-year cycle of college inspections draws to a close.
He has just overseen the development of a new inspection framework to take the sector into the next millennium.
The announcement comes as FEFC chief executive Sir William Stubbs prepares to leave to become director of the London Institute.
Dr Melia will continue to chair the new Further Education Staff Development Forum, set up to review qualifications of college staff and devise a new training framework.