Quality Audits

Our quality audits use the Environment Rating Scales (ECERS, ITERS, FCCERS and SACERS) to provide:
  • A detailed profile of quality, including strengths and areas for development
  • A framework for improving quality based on concrete and achievable steps
  • Evidence for self-evaluation and for completing the Ofsted SEF
  • Scope for a repeat audit to evidence improvement over time
An audit within one room/group takes up to a day to complete and is based on observation of practice. The resulting profile provides information on:
  • The physical environment and resourcing
  • How well staff support children in the prime and specific areas of learning
  • The quality and appropriateness of routines (e.g. mealtimes, group times)
  • The extent to which children’s individual needs are met

Feedback and Support
Following an audit, we can provide feedback and support to meet the needs of the individual setting or project, including assistance in developing areas identified for improvement. For practitioners, leaders/managers and local authority consultants already trained in ECERS/ITERS, we also offer the option of joint observations.

  • We have worked with a number of local authorities and settings/schools to develop quality improvement projects, including audits of provision to provide a baseline for improvement alongside training for practitioners, and repeat audits to capture evidence of quality improvement over time. Current and past projects include:

    • Tower Hamlets Early Learning for Two Year Olds Pilot Project 2011-2012
    • Brent Nursery School ‘ECERS/ITERS hub project’ 2013-2014
    • Newham/ Sheringham Nursery School ‘Centre of Innovation’ project 2013-2014
  • Our specialist observers are fully trained to use the Environment Scales consistently and accurately, and are moderated on a regular basis. We use the UK addendum to the ECERS and ITERS (download here).

  • We have developed our own software to support Environment Rating Scales data analysis, reporting and evidencing of change. For settings, this allows the results of an audit to be presented visually (e.g. via graphs and charts) as well as numerically, and supports detailed analysis and reporting of observation data (e.g. to summarise all evidence relating to ‘communication and language’ or ‘inclusion’). Where multiple observations have been completed, it also enables analysis of improvements over time across different areas of provision. The software provides an invaluable resource for supporting quality improvement and evidencing change for the Ofsted SEF and other self-evaluation formats. For local authorities and other organisations responsible for groups of settings (e.g. chains), the software allows analysis of trends at the group level, for example to identify common strengths and areas for development to the inform the planning of training and support. Please see the ‘data’ page for further details.