One of the central aims of the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB) is to improve the quality of adult and vocational education. Institutions are required to set up and maintain a quality assurance system. This statutory provision is based on the self-regulating ability of the institutions. They must be able to monitor the quality of their teaching and correct any shortcomings. Within the adult and vocational sector, the Inspectorate monitors:
- the quality of teaching;
- the quality of examinations;
- the regularity of expenditure, financial management and the financial position of schools.
The quality of adult and secondary vocational education is viewed collectively, as in the Inspectorate’s reports.
Schools for secondary vocational (MBO) education bear primary responsibility for the quality of their teaching. They are monitored by the Inspectorate which issues inspection cards. These are publicly available and can be used to check how the school performs in terms of quality.
The Inspectorate supervises the quality of education and examinations at institutions for adult and secondary vocational education.
Publication of the Inspectorate’s findings on school quality
Not only does the Inspectorate monitor the quality of institutions for adult and secondary vocational education, it also encourages them to provide the best possible standard of teaching. One of the ways it does so is by publishing the results of its inspections on its website.
The inspection framework for adult and secondary vocational education can be found here (only in Dutch available).
Approaches and Methods for Quality Assurance
Institutions for adult (VAVO) and secondary vocational (MBO) education bear primary responsibility for the quality of their teaching.
Institutions themselves are responsible for the quality of the examinations they set, including examination instruments and/or services purchased from third parties. The Inspectorate monitors the quality of examinations in secondary vocational education on the basis of quality frameworks which are regularly updated. The national examination standards pursuant to section 7.4.4 of the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB) are incorporated in the framework. If an institution sets its own exams, their quality is inspected on site. Institutions can also contract examination bodies to do this. These bodies are also supervised by the Inspectorate.
Intensified supervision of examinations in adult and secondary vocational education
If serious shortcomings are found in the quality of examinations at a particular institution, the Inspectorate may decide to intensify its supervision of examinations. More information about this form of intensified inspection can be found on the school’s inspection card or in a separate Inspectorate report about examinations.
The inspection framework describes the Inspectorate’s methods, the specific indicators evaluated during inspections, and the standards that schools must meet in order to pass the inspection. The framework thus offers guidance to schools and school boards. The inspection framework for adult and vocational education sets out the procedures for inspecting teaching and examination quality at government-funded and non-government-funded institutions (in so far as they provide recognised secondary vocational courses), and financial regularity at government-funded institutions.
The inspection framework applies to the education and training provided by institutions under the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB). The inspection framework for secondary education applies to programmes provided under the Secondary Education Act.
In addition to supervising the educational institutions, the inspectorate also supervises the The Foundation for Cooperation on Vocational Education, Training and Labour Market ("Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven"). The Foundation for Cooperation on Vocational Education, Training and Labour Market (SBB) connects the business community / professional field with secondary vocational education (MBO). SBB has been performing the statutory tasks for the qualification structure and practical training.
- ensuring that the number of internships is adequate, recognizing (assessing) training companies (MBO and VMBO) and promoting their quality;
- supporting the aforementioned tasks by conducting research and carrying out additional activities to promote the link between education and the labor market.
The inspection looks at the results of the performance of SBB's statutory tasks. They also provide an opinion on the quality of the performance of the statutory duties and the safeguarding thereof. The supervision is risk-oriented and proportionally structured on the basis of information from the MBO sector and accountability by SBB. More information can be found here (only in Dutch).
Under the Education Inspection Act (WOT) institutions themselves are responsible for the quality of teaching. The Inspectorate’s statutory tasks are also laid down in the WOT.
Under the terms of the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB), the competent authority of an institution is required to set up a quality assurance system. This is to ensure that institutions pay systematic attention to their own performance and how they can improve it.
All secondary vocational institutions have a supervisory board, which is responsible for internal supervision of the institution and, in particular, its executive board. This separation of supervisory and executive tasks is an important principle of good governance.
Evaluation of teachers
The inspection framework also addresses the quality of teachers, in particular their didactic skills. Pupils must receive instruction, supervised learning activities which must be sufficiently structured, practical exercises and feedback on their progress.
Every two years, a large survey entitled JOB monitor (only in Dutch available) is held among secondary vocational (MBO) students, asking them to rate various aspects of their course, including their teachers.