Session title: Preparing for Live Self Assessment

Understanding why it so often goes wrong – and how to put it right        

Typical inspection issues

  • Leaders’ and managers’ evaluation of the college’s performance is inaccurate and does not focus sharply enough on the long-standing weaknesses.


Half-day session.

Information for event organisers

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 mistakes that have significant consequences for the effectiveness of their quality improvement activities.

In this session, using their own self-assessment reports, delegates are guided through a process of identifying five categories of commonly made mistakes in self-assessment writing and four endemic mistakes when writing development plans. Then through a short exercise, staff practise a formula for writing effective judgements that collectively will produce a roadmap to outstanding for every aspect of their provision. This session often enables providers to realise the changes they need to make to systems, paperwork and the culture surrounding self assessment. It is an ideal session for establishing the need for change and the intrinsic desire to invest in the change journey.

Publicity information for potential delegates

Imagine creating an approach to self assessment so considered and comprehensive that it effectively writes your development plans for you – including your SMARTI targets; a system that removes the opportunity to make the most common SAR-writing mistakes; a system that becomes more colourful, polished and robust each time you use it – making your life and work progressively easier.

Live Self Assessment changes the experience of quality improvement from the often bureaucratic, form-filling approach created by inspection frameworks to a meaningful learning journey. Moving from the traditional annual historical self-assessment model, Live Self Assessment enables staff to assess and improve the quality of learners’ experiences whilst they are still with you.

This session will enable staff to:

  • use their understanding of Live Self Assessment to challenge their status quo
  • identify the five most common SAR-writing traps in their own reports
  • identify the four most common issues with development plans
  • use the formula for writing judgements to produce impact-focused text
  • rework incorrectly written judgements
  • avoid bureaucracy and develop a new culture in which self assessment can thrive.

What the delegates say

  • ‘Very enjoyable – held a large group for a whole day – impressive.’  Ashton-under-Lyne Sixth Form College
  • ‘I finally understand self assessment which has never been correctly explained. I understand how and why.’  Bexley College
  • ‘Thoroughly enjoyed an outstanding session. 4½ hours seemed like 30 mins!’  Cambridge Regional College
  • ‘Your contribution marked a major shift in the way our managers have been thinking about self-assessment. Chalk the day down as a major success!  Farnborough Sixth Form College
  • ‘Writing judgements which are objective: the practical session on this was excellent.’   Huntingdonshire Regional College
  • ‘Finally SAR writing seems worthwhile!’  New College Nottingham
  • ‘Have confidence in delivering an SER [SAR] which is intended for my own organisation and front line staff and not a third party.’  Workforce Training

Have a look at what other providers said about this training. Click here, then ‘Filter by session’, and select the title for an overview of providers’ feedback. You may then wish to ‘Filter by provider’ to see further details of the impact it has had on individual staff. These comments can be invaluable when generating curiosity about forthcoming training.


Preparing for Live Self Assessment is a half-day session and would combine well with the following courses in a staff development day:


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