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‘Positive about Inspection’ by Mike Tilling and Paul Nash


Positive About Inspection
Author: Mike Tilling and Paul Nash
Publisher: Gower
Date: 2000
ISBN: 0566 08316 7
Format: A4 Paperback 29 Pages

This booklet has been produced by the authors to accompany their manual ‘Standards-based Training and Development’. That manual is based on the Training Standards Council’s (TSC) 1998 report ‘Raising the Standard’ but written also to be suitable for anyone wishing to assess their own training provision. This booklet puts back the link to the TSC and is intended for those who are providing training under government-funded contracts and therefore expect to be inspected.

Chapter 1 is a short introduction that includes a recap of the seven aspects dealt with during an inspection – training and assessment, trainees’ achievements, and resources, which are each dealt with under each occupational area – and the four generic aspects of equal opportunities, trainer support, management of training and quality assurance.

Chapter 2 contains 2 pages of ideas for preparing for inspection; Chapter 3 is just one page on the role of the nominee; Chapter 5 is another couple of pages about using the outcomes of an inspection.

Chapter 4 is the real substance of the booklet. It mixes a description of the inspection process with commentaries in the form of journal entries by a provider and an inspector. This allows the reader to become aware of both sides of the story and is far more interesting than writing about the process as an observer would have been.
There are several very useful checklists in this chapter, giving an invaluable insight into the aspects that inspectors will want to assess – so you can prepare thoroughly beforehand! The narratives also work well in getting across the reassuring message that inspectors will give positive feedback as well as critical comment, so that the organisation should listen and use all of it and not focus simply on what they perceive to be bad news.

Although the authors write that this booklet is for training providers expecting inspection, it seemed to me that it would still be very useful to anyone who wants to self-assess. They certainly convinced me that the TSC has established a very thorough process of assessment, which I am sure would provide an excellent basis for someone who wants to act as their own inspector.

My only quibble with them is that they refer to the booklet as a book, which I thought was a bit over the top for 29 pages with large typeface and plenty of blank space.

Reviewed by Julie Hay, Chief Executive of training consultancy A.D. International
Email: [email protected].

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