Further Education Colleges

The CPLD Quality Mark is effective in FE Colleges because it focuses on educational matters relevant to your specific context.

The QM incorporates the current college improvement agenda and best practice in CPLD ensuring that you have the best possible model against which to audit and develop your practice, and the positive feedback gained from assessments demonstrates this is the case.

How does it work in practice and what do you get?

Stage 1: Audit and Development work

First, you purchase the Toolkit, in electronic form, to support the development of your setting. This Toolkit contains:

  1. Guidance Notes on how the QM works and what to do to successfully improve your practice and provision.
  2. The full QM Framework for Bronze, Silver and Gold levels – this is the road map for improvement.
  3. The Audit and Development Tool – this helps you to audit how good your current practice is and guides development to achieve your target level.
  4. A guide to assessment and accreditation.
  5. Free feedback on your Audit and Development Tool at any time.
  6. Free telephone and email support for 2 years or to your assessment.

It is important to realise that you can do the audit and development work at your own pace with our support as necessary, though once started school leaders have told us that it is better to keep the momentum going. Our Toolkit scaffolds your development work and treats you as experienced, independently minded professionals – it does not dictate what you must do.

Stage 2: Assessment, Accreditation and Certification

Second, you apply to us for assessment. You will be guided on how to prepare for a successful assessment and you will be told in advance what will be assessed so that you can be well prepared. Your assessor will provide as much support as you need for this over the telephone and via email.

It is important to realise that assessment is very different to inspection and managers and staff have told us that it is a much more positive and development experience, though rigorous.


There are two payments – one for the Toolkit to get you started and one for assessment when you are ready, thus allowing you to spread the costs.

Stage 1 – The Toolkit

Stage 2 – Assessment

The purchase price for each Stage is linked to college size or whether a particular section/function within the college want to conduct an assessment.    Please call or email for a quotation so that we can get this right for you.


The dedicated assessment guide within the Toolkit explains this process in detail but it essentially involves:

Step 1. Submitting your Audit and Development Tool, at your chosen level, for scrutiny – this tells us whether you are ready or not and we provide you with feedback and any additional guidance if necessary.

Step 2. You receive an ‘Assessment Plan’ telling you how to prepare for a successful assessment – this will involve a mixture of document scrutiny and staff interviews triangulated to your Audit and Development Tool.

Step 3. The assessment visit with feedback

Step 4: A report, accreditation letter and certificate.