Inspection of other organisations by the Dutch Inspectorate
Inspection of municipalities, childcare and toddler playgrounds
The Inspectorate carries out supervision of a number of tasks assigned to municipalities by the central government. This concerns the supervision and enforcement of childcare and conducting annual consultations on the policy on educational disadvantage. Municipalities must conduct these consultations on promoting integration, preventing segregation, combating educational arrears (including VVE) and registration and admission with school boards and childcare organizations.
Young children should feel safe and be given the space to develop. Municipalities therefore have the task of guaranteeing the quality of childcare and toddler playgrounds. The Dutch Inspectorate supervises the performance of the tasks of municipalities. Our goal is to promote the performance of municipalities and thus help to further improve the quality of childcare and toddler playgrounds. The report is sent to the Parliament.
Pre-school and early childhood education (VVE) is intended for toddlers and preschoolers with a (language) developmental delay. The Dutch Inspectorate assesses the quality of VVE in daycare centers (pre-schools) and primary schools (early years) and examines whether agreements have been made in the municipality about VVE.
Inspection of higher education
The Dutch Inspectorate assesses and promotes the quality of higher education on a systemic level. We also monitor financial legitimacy, efficiency and continuity and compliance with legal regulations by higher education institutions. In the event of serious incidents, we can initiate an investigation at an institution for higher education.
We divide our duties in higher education into the following aspects of supervision:
- assessing and promoting the quality of the higher education system
- assessing and promoting the quality of the Dutch accreditation system
- assessing and promoting the financial legitimacy, efficiency and continuity of government-funded institutions
- incidental investigations at institutions in the event of serious complaints or signals
- advice on accession applications
- Assessing whether the programs of the educational institutions meet all requirements to allow them to use the title of 'university’ or ‘university of applied sciences’ and the correct awarding of degrees in higher education
Investigations into compliance with legal requirements can occur in any of these areas. At system level, it is not only about quality, but also about promoting compliance with relevant statutory regulations at several institutions, or within the accreditation system. At institutional level, this concerns compliance with relevant statutory regulations. If quality is at stake in the event of incidents, the accreditation company ‘NVAO’ can initiate an investigation at the request of the Minister.
The supervision concerns both education at government-funded institutions and non-government-funded legal entities for higher education. However, financial supervision only concerns government-funded institutions, with the exception of advice on the right of legal entities to award degrees, for which the financial continuity is also tested. The Inspectorate can also investigate the financial continuity of legal entities in the event of incidents involving the interests of students.
We systematically monitor developments in the quality and financial state of higher education. We report annually on the state of higher education in the State of Education report. We strive for a balanced identification of both positive and worrisome developments, preferably in a comparative perspective: trends over time or in an international comparison.
We organize supervision of the system on the basis of long-term programs. Information about these program lines and the published reports can be found under Thematic research in higher education (only in Dutch).
The supervision of the accreditation system takes place on the basis of a separate supervision framework. This contains the method of supervision and the assessment framework, i.e. the quality standards that the accreditation system must meet.
This supervision concerns the Dutch part of the Dutch-Flemish accreditation system of the quality of the functioning of the accreditation system in the Netherlands. The reports on the quality of the accreditation system can be found under Thematic research in higher education (only in Dutch).
In higher education, the Inspectorate works closely with the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO) and the Higher Education Efficiency Committee (CDHO). The aim of the collaboration is to realize a logical, effective and coherent system of external assurance in higher education. The collaboration has an impact for universities, universities of applied sciences and private providers of higher education. You can read more about this collaboration on the page Cooperation inspection with NVAO and CDHO (only in Dutch).
The financial supervision of government-funded higher education institutions consists of supervision of financial legitimacy and efficiency and of financial continuity. Financial supervision is aimed at the management of institutions and not at individual programs and faculties.
Institutions in higher education are not legally obliged to report any incidents and/or abuses to the Inspectorate. An exception applies to sex crimes. If this is (possibly) the case, the board of the institution must, in a number of cases (see Article 1.20 of the WHW), consult with the confidential inspector. For other incidents and/or abuses, such as irregularities with exams, institutions can always choose to report these to the Inspectorate of their own accord via the contact form.
The Education Inspectorate plays a role in the recognition of legal entities for higher education. More information can be found on the NVAO website.
Organisations may not just use the name ‘university’ or ‘university of applied sciences’ and may not award degrees unjustly. The Inspectorate monitors the correct use of the names and the correct awarding of degrees in higher education. In response to signals received, the Inspectorate carries out an investigation to see whether there has been a violation. If that is the case, the Inspectorate will address the offender. If it appears that the violation continues, an enforcement process will follow in which a penalty report will be drawn up. The minister can then impose a fine on a natural person or legal entity that incorrectly uses the name university or university of applied sciences or incorrectly awards degrees. If you suspect that this is happening, you can report this to the inspection via the contact form.