In Latvia, administrative supervision and control in the field of education is ensured by the State Service of Education Quality – an institution supervised by the Ministry of Education and Science.
State Service of Education Quality performs following functions:
- License programmes of a general and vocational education;
- Ensure quality assessment of general and vocational (except higher professional education) educational programmes, educational establishments and exam centres;
- Keep the data bases and registers of institutions of education and science;
- Carry out state monitoring (supervision) in education and science;
- Realize the certification of pedagogues private practice;
- Analyse self estimate reports of educational establishments and monitor development of accreditation commission recommendation;
- Provide and coordinate assessment of professional competence in non-formal education system, give an accredited educational institution or accredited examination center rights to assess professional competence in non-formal education system;
- Provide the process of using trust phone in education and science;
- Organize and coordinate the research of education quality;
- Review claims of private persons;
- Counsel private persons, local authorities, educational and scientific establishments;
- Recommend suggestions for state and local authorities and other institutions for providing, improving and observing normative acts in education and science;
- Cooperate with other state and local institutions, non-governmental organizations;
- Analyse the activities of educational establishments and give proposals for amendments of law and improvement the organization of educational establishments;
- Enforce administrative sanctions in accordance with the procedures of administrative law;
- Supervise sport specialists and sport educational establishments;
- Realize other functions mentioned in normative acts.
State Service of Education Quality participates in:
- OECD surveys' and analysis work in Latvia;
- Development of education quality system in Europe including European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training;
- European education controlling institutions co-operation;
- Provision of European education inspectors work;
- The European Commission project „European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network” (EMKAPT);
- EU Fund project „Development of qualification system and efficiency of vocational education and promotion of quality”;
- EU Fund project „The evaluation of study programmes in higher education and proposals for promotion quality”;
- Experience Exchange.
Requirements for appointment
In Latvia, inspectors have a civil servant status; therefore all formal mandatory requirements for civil servants apply also to the post of inspector (see below). Besides, the State Service of Education Quality defines other requirements such as higher education, work experience in teaching and school management. In addition, knowledge of foreign language(s) is an advantage. There are no differences in requirements concerning different levels of education; also the length of the experience necessary is not determined.
The State Civil Service Law states that one may apply for a civil service position if he/she:
- is a citizen of the Republic of Latvia;
- is fluent in the Latvian language;
- has higher education;
- has not reached the age of retirement determined by the law;
- has not been convicted of deliberate criminal offences, or has been rehabilitated, or for whom the conviction has been set aside or extinguished;
- has not been dismissed from a civil service position by a court judgment in a criminal matter;
- has not been found as lacking capacity to act in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the law;
- is not or has not been in a permanent staff position in the intelligence or counter-intelligence service of the U.S.S.R., the Latvian SSR or some foreign state;
- is not or has not been a participant in organisations prohibited by the law or by an adjudication of a court; and
- is not a relative (a person who is married to, or in kinship or affinity of the first degree with, or a brother or sister) of the head of an institution or a direct supervisor. The Cabinet of Ministers may determine exceptional cases if a relevant institution cannot otherwise ensure the fulfilling of prescribed functions.
As civil servants, inspectors have the right and they are obliged to master training programmes offered by the School of Public Administration, which co-ordinates and ensures the process of civil servant training.
No later than three weeks before the expiry of probation term (usually 6 months) of a candidate appointed to a civil service position for the first time, his or her suitability for the work in the civil service shall be assessed. In the case of positive assessment, the head of the institution shall propose to the Administration that the status of civil servant be granted to the candidate. If the assessment is negative, the head of an institution must dismiss the candidate from the civil service position because of his or her failure to pass probation.
Conditions of service
The activities of the inspector are defined by the description of the post, and the rights and obligations are stated also in the Education Law and the statute of the State Service of Education Quality. As the inspectors have a civil servant status, alongside general labour legislation, also the provisions of the State Civil Service Law relating to employment relationships apply to the Inspection officials. The staff of State Service of Education Quality is submitted to the principle of rotation. However, it does not refer to the transfers of inspectors, but its activity areas. In accordance with the head's order, inspector of the respective area may be replaced by another one.