The process of evaluating the effectiveness of their own provision by all further education colleges and providers of adult training and education in the UK, in particular to inform the judgements of Ofsted and the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI). It is based on the principle that providers are accountable for monitoring the standard of what they offer, and for improvements to it, which was set out in the 1999 White Paper Learning to Succeed.
Self‐assessment began as a preparation for inspection by Ofsted or ALI, though managers reported that they recognized the benefits of the process and its outcomes, both as a means of assessing their progress towards meeting the goals of their strategic plans, and because the information gathered could be used as evidence for a number of quality assurance purposes. The process is continuous, and results annually in the production of self‐assessment reports.
The self‐assessment process is intrinsically linked with the roles of those who plan and fund post‐compulsory education, the Inspectorate, and the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA). The summary report, together with the quality improvement plan that derives from it, was central to the Annual Planning Review held between a provider and its local Learning and Skills Council, and to the drawing up of three‐year development plans. Since May 2005 representatives of the Inspectorate have undertaken annual assessment visits to providers, during which they measure what is reported against evidence of changes in performance; from this, they draw conclusions about the institution's capacity to offer a high‐quality service. One of the key purposes of the QIA is to support providers in responding to students' and industry's needs, including working where provision has been assessed as inadequate by the Inspectorate.
http://readingroom.lsc.gov.uk/lsc/2005/quality/goodpractice/quality-improvement-self-assessment.pdf Provides a link to Quality Improvement and Self‐Assessment (2005), which sets out guidance for learning providers.