The 2017 Inspection frameworks

What exactly is quality? And how do we inspect quality? What do we expect of governing bodies with regard to quality assurance and financial management? This is what the 2017 Inspection Frameworks are all about. These frameworks describe our approach and assessment framework that we apply during our inspections.

Despite being largely similar, a different inspection framework applies to each educational sector. The differences between the frameworks are generally related to sector-specific legislation.

Each inspection framework consists of:

  • an assessment framework: What does the Inspectorate inspect?
  • an approach: How does the Inspectorate conduct its inspection?

Supervision in higher education works differently: no inspection framework is in place.

In the 2017 Inspection framework, we define five quality areas:

  • (i) educational process
  • (ii) school climate
  • (iii) learning outcomes
  • (iv) quality assurance and ambition 
  • (v) financial management.

This breakdown allows us to answer three fundamental questions about the schooling pupils are receiving:

  • (a) are they learning enough (learning outcomes)?
  • (b) are they being taught well (educational process)?
  • (c) are they safe (school climate)?

Together, our findings in these three areas reveal the overall standard of education the school is providing in the classroom. The other two areas, quality assurance (coupled with ambition) and financial management, reflect quality of provision – by which we mean the school’s performance in these domains combined – and its continuity. We define the overall quality of a school’s educational provision as the aggregate of its performance in all these areas.

Each standard is operationalized. The statutory criteria determine whether a school is judged “Adequate” (Voldoende) or “Inadequate” (Onvoldoende), whilst fulfilment of its own self-defined quality factors - those displayed or aspired to by the governing body – makes the difference between “Adequate” and “Good”.

For more information on the inspection process, please consult the 2017 Inspection Frameworks for each sector. The 2017 Inspection Framework for primary education and The 2017 Inspection Framework for secondary education are available in English.