What a difference two years makes
HMIE visited in 2004 and ordered action on 15 separate points covering the way the college was run and no fewer than 40 in the subjects inspected.
In a follow-up report published last week, inspectors said good progress had been made in addressing all of these issues. The Scottish Funding Council, on whose behalf inspections are carried out, will now decide if any further action is necessary.
Among criticisms levelled during the initial inspection were the absence of adequate milestones and targets, inadequate co-ordination on planning for guidance, lack of opportunities for staff to update their industrial experience and the need for staff to be more self-critical when evaluating courses.
* Orkney College has won the confidence of HMIE in all three main areas - effective learning and teaching, progression for students and the quality of its management. Of seven cross-college elements, three are rated very good - leadership, access and guidance - and the others good.
The five subject areas inspected scored either very good or good. In the case of the progress students were making, all five were judged to be very good. Roger McClure, the funding council's chief executive, commended the college for doing so well, particularly in learner progress.
The main weaknesses highlighted were in health and safety, quality improvement and staff training in child protection. Inspectors drew attention to "lapses" in implementing health and safety arrangements fully in courses on construction and land-based industries.