During the Covid-19 pandemic, BAC conducted all of its inspections online. The online inspections have proved to be successful and have enabled BAC to continue its inspection and accreditation activities in a robust and effective way for the benefit of its providers.
As a result, of carrying out inspections online, we have learnt a lot and have recognised the significant benefits of the online approach. The benefits include greater flexibility in setting the inspection dates, enabling us to leave a day free between the inspection activities for reflection and additional evidence gathering; being able to move quickly from one activity to another on the chosen online platform and, of course, the environmental benefits of working remotely. In addition, there are, of course, many benefits of carrying out inspection activities onsite, for example the greater ease relating to observing face-to-face classes and carrying out reviews of premises.
Because BAC recognises the benefits of both online and onsite inspections, we are going to make use of an inspection approach that will utilise the best of both methods, namely hybrid inspections. BAC’s hybrid inspections involve the use of both online and onsite inspection activities. We will, however, also retain the options of carrying out inspections totally onsite as well as totally online.
Decisions about what approach to use will be based on a set of objective criteria, in order to ensure consistency. The criteria include any relevant government restrictions in place, including those relating to Covid-19; whether the provider is a new applicant for accreditation or an existing accredited provider; the nature of the provision i.e. whether the teaching is delivered in the classroom or online, whether it is practical in nature and the extent to which the staff are working remotely rather than in the provider’s premises.
We will review each provider on an individual basis in order to determine the method that will work best for the provider, in order to carry out a robust and effective inspection. The Chief Inspector has discretion to make the final decision regarding the most appropriate inspection approach to follow.