Self Assessment

The Live Self Assessment model challenges the traditional approach to self assessment – the annual look back at the quality of last year’s provision. Typified by the need to justify one’s self to senior management, funding organisations or inspectorates, traditional self assessment can often feel overly bureaucratic. Writing with a third party in mind leads many staff to make five key mistakes that have significant consequences for the effectiveness of their quality improvement activities. These mistakes also undermine the effectiveness of the development plan it produces.

Each provider’s journey to achieving a judgement of outstanding for its Capacity to Improve will depend on its starting point. The Centre for Creative Quality Improvement can help you identify the training your team needs to achieve your ideal, from how to write, to a whole-organisation approach to quality improvement.

Stage 1: Preparing for Live Self Assessment

Using their own self-assessment reports, delegates are guided through a process of identifying five categories of commonly made mistakes. Then through a series of short exercises, delegates practise a formula for writing effective judgements that will enable them to produce a roadmap to outstanding for every aspect of their provision. (Read more)

Stage 2: Data Springboard

Success rates are the weakest piece of data we have for quality improvement. They’re typically used as weaknesses, for instance:

  • poor retention rates
  • poor high-grade pass rates
  • success rates below national average.

They are correspondingly used in development plans as visions of success, such as:

  • Pass rates to be 5% above national average.

However, all of the above statements can lead providers into serious difficulties, risking not only failure to resolve the organization’s weaknesses, but actively distracting staff from working on the correct resolution strategies. (Read more)

Stage 3: The CCQI Self-Assessment Strategy

Traditional, historical self assessment can often be distorted by staff feeling they need to overly focus on ‘what they do well’, at the expense of discovering what is holding them back from delivering outstanding, transformational learning experiences to all their students. This distortion is often present in the whole library of reports, from course level to whole-college.

At the heart of our new Self-Assessment Strategy is one simple question that should help staff purge their system of bureaucracy. Of everything they write, they should ask:

What have we learnt from what we’ve just written?

With this at the heart of their work, staff should produce invaluable analysis of the difference they make to students and a comprehensive guide for their onward journey to outstanding.

The CCQI Self-Assessment Strategy is a process for choreographing the right learning-conversations, supported by forms to simply to guide and capture the learning. (Read more)

Stage 4: The Quality Standard

If you use the Common Inspection Framework as the centre of your quality system, you risk several fundamental issues.

  • It is an ephemeral document, making you change your system every three years.
  • It reinforces the notion that staff are writing their self-assessment reports for an external audience rather that for themselves.
  • Two of the most important steps of the learner’s journey are missing – completely.

Providers must determine for themselves what outstanding impact will look like for each step of the learner’s journey: from recruitment to progression. With their impact-focused Quality Standard in place, staff can then begin the most creative part of their work – the devising of the implementation plans needed to achieve their high aspirations for outstanding learning impact. (Read more)


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.