United Kingdom - Legislation to support quality assurance

In the United Kingdom there are differences in the structure and functioning of the VET systems in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are also differences in how these systems are quality assured

In Northern Ireland, the Department for Employment and Learning has published its quality improvement strategy, Success through Excellence (2007). This sets out a framework for quality assurance which supports the further education and training system in a way that:

  • is responsive to the needs of learners, employers and the wider community;
  • is built on continuous self-improvement through well-embedded and rigorous self-evaluation and improvement planning at provider level;
  • establishes a coherent framework of support and guidance for providers, focusing on self-improvement, leadership and management, and continuous professional development.

A key partner for the Department is the Education and Training Inspectorate. The Inspectorate’s framework focuses on self-assessment and self-improvement. At a system level, the key indicators for Northern Ireland include the pattern of enrolments and achievements as these are particularly important for the economy.

Further information on the strategy can be found at www.delni.gov.uk/qualityimprovementstrategy. See www.etini.gov.uk/index/improving-quality-raising-standards.htm for information about the approach to inspection, while a system-level quality improvement plan can be found at www.delni.gov.uk/index/publications/r-and-s-stats/del-quality-and-performance-analysis.htm.

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