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Report Claims Learners Benefit from Inspection

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A new study claims that 85% of adult learning providers believe that the overall quality of their training provision has improved since their most recent inspection.

Meanwhile, 90 per cent claim that improvements have been sustained after inspection

The come from a cost-benefit analysis looking at the long-term value of inspection to adult learners.

It found that around half of the providers surveyed said that between 40 to 100% of their improvement activity could be directly attributed to inspection. Seventy per cent believed that the inspection helped them to give a better service to learners.

The report, which used statistics collected by the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) and verified by independent consultants, also looked at wider benefits of inspection. As well as bringing accountability and assurance that public money is being spent appropriately, learners also derived economic benefits from inspection: as a greater number went on to achieve their qualifications, and therefore benefited from wage premiums and the reduced risk of unemployment.

Inspection doesn't come cheap: the cost varied from an average of £17,897 for work-based learning providers to £133,575 for further education colleges. The report estimated that the cost of a single work-based learning inspection would be outweighed by the economic benefits to learners after four to five years.

David Sherlock, Chief Inspector of Adult Learning, said that the evidence was "overwhelmingly positive".

"It proves two things – learners earning power is improved by ALI inspection and, over time, the learning providers we are inspecting do a better job because of our involvement." he said. "It’s a powerful argument for the long term benefits we offer to individual learners and the economy."

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