Underground training

NFRS apprenticeship programme gets positive Ofsted result


Apprentice firefighters in Nottinghamshire are receiving good quality training, according to the first Ofsted inspection since the programme started in September 2019.

The report on Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority's programme published today (Tuesday 20 April) follows a monitoring visit on 30 and 31 March.  It states that 'Significant progress' has been made in meeting all the requirements of successful apprenticeship provision, 'Reasonable progress' has been made in ensuring that apprentices benefit from high-quality training that leads to positive outcomes and 'Reasonable progress' has been made in ensuring effective safeguarding.

The report praised:

  • the work to attract applicants from under-represented groups

  • the effective curriculum

  • intensive, well-planned theoretical and practical work

  • the exacting standards

  • frequent and thorough monitoring of learning

  • the experience and qualifications of trainers

  • high-quality online learning materials

  • support for any apprentice who falls behind

  • a strong safeguarding and welfare culture including access to professional support.

The inspectors suggested the following improvements:

  • robust internal scrutiny should be fully integrated into quality assurance systems

  • apprentices' areas for development should be routinely captured

  • apprentices' English and maths skills should continue to be developed

  • apprentices' reviews should focus more on the underpinning learning

  • apprentices could know more about identifying signs of radicalisation.

The full report can be read on the Ofsted website.

Head of Risk Assurance and Operational Training Leila Henry said: "This is the first visit we have had from Ofsted and we were extremely pleased to receive the 'Significant progress' accolade for one of the requirements.  I am happy that the inspection team has recognised the good quality of the apprenticeship programme we are running at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and we are looking forward to integrating the learning form the monitoring visit to enhance our apprenticeship programme even further."

New apprenticeship providers normally get an Ofsted monitoring visit within their first two years and are judged as having made 'Insufficient progress', 'Reasonable progress' or 'Significant progress'.  They then normally get a full inspection within the following two years.

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