Frequently asked questions

Q1: What is Learner View?

A: Learner View is an online questionnaire that gives learners the chance to tell Ofsted about their further education and skills provider. It is open to all learners at these providers, regardless of their age or which course they are doing. From September 2012, Ofsted may use the information to help make decisions about which providers to inspect and when. Learners’ views will also be available to inspectors at the point of inspection.

Q2: Why do we want the views of learners?

A: Learners’ perceptions are crucial in coming to a view about the effectiveness of a provider. These views will form part of the jigsaw of information we use to form our overall assessment of a provider when we inspect, and when it comes to making decisions about which providers to inspect and when.

Q3: How will Ofsted use the information from Learner View in inspections?

A: When we inspect a provider the information from learners will help us to hear what learners think and to know what questions to ask providers. We will discuss learners' views with the provider as part of their inspection. This is important as they need to be aware of the issues to help them to improve. However, each learner’s response is confidential, and we will not tell the provider the names of any of the learners who completed the questionnaires or share any information which may reveal their identity.

Q4: Will the results of Learner View be published?

A: The results of the ‘closed’ Learner View questions will be visible on the site for any provider where a sufficient number of learners have completed the questionnaire. The ‘closed’ questions are the ones where learners are asked if they agree or disagree with something. When we are about to inspect a provider we will add a further two ‘open’ questions to the questionnaire asking learners what they like best about their provider, and what their provider could do to improve. We will not publish this information on the site.

Q5: Are all providers on Learner View?

A: Most of the further education and skills providers we inspect are on Learner View, including further education colleges; providers delivering work-based learning including apprenticeships; and community learning providers. Other forms of education and training – for example school sixth forms; education and training delivered through prisons; training funded by the Department for Work and Pensions; and National Careers Service guidance – do not currently feature on Learner View. Privately-funded providers such as private colleges and language schools are not included on Learner View.

Q6: Why do learners have to register to use the site?

A: This is part of site security. The site requires learners to enter an email address and a password to complete the survey. If someone fills in the survey for the same provider more than once using the same email address the previous entries will be overwritten. On registration users have to verify their application via their email account. Other security measures are also in place to identify abuse.

Q7: What happens if a learner wants to change their email address?

A: Once a learner has registered they will be able to access their profile page where they can change their email address, password and the number of providers they attend.

Q8: When can learners give their views to Ofsted?

A: Learners will be able to submit a survey about the provider they attend at any time. If they submit another survey at a later time using the same email address to log in then their previous submission will be overwritten.

Q9: Can learners give views about more than one provider?

A: Yes, when a learner registers they are asked how many different providers they are learning with. They can register and give their views for up to three different providers.

Q10: What information can learners give to Ofsted?

A: Learner View asks learners to give their opinions on a range of aspects of their learning provision, from whether the lessons/training sessions are well taught to if they would recommend the provider to a friend.

Q11: What happens if learners want to write comments?

A: Learners are able to write comments against selected questions at the point at which the provider is being inspected, but not during the rest of the year. The comment boxes will be visible once the provider has been told that they are going to be inspected the following week, and during the first two days of the inspection.

Q12: What happens if learners want to make a complaint about a provider?

A: Learner View does not replace the current arrangements for raising a complaint or notifying the appropriate body regarding concerns about safety or well-being. In order to find out more about how to contact Ofsted regarding a complaint please visit the complaints section on the Ofsted website.

Q13: Will learners be able to view the results of an individual provider?

A: Yes, results will be published in real time and will be available on Learner View. However, for an academic year we will not publish the results for a provider until 10 learners have completed the questionnaire for that provider.

Q14: How will Ofsted ensure that views are anonymous?

A: All submissions will remain anonymous. Providers will not have access to email addresses; nor will the risk assessment team or inspectors within Ofsted, who will receive data only.

Q15: What will happen to the information a learner gives?

A: Information about a provider from the Learner View responses may contribute to a provider’s annual risk assessment to help decide if and when the provider should be inspected. The risk assessment process uses a range of information including outcomes data, any concerns raised with Ofsted, and any other information Ofsted holds about a provider. The views of learners are a part of the jigsaw of information. In addition, if the Learner View responses give rise to a significant concern about a provider Ofsted may conduct a review of all the information we hold about a provider. The responses from Learner View will be taken into account but will not trigger an inspection on their own.

Q16: Will providers be able to see the results from the survey?

A:  Yes, results will be published in real time and will be available on Learner View. This will allow the comparison of results between providers and over time.

Q17: How can a provider contact Ofsted about Learner View?

A: Please email

Q18: Will Ofsted be publishing ‘league tables’ of results?

A: No, we will only be publishing the results for each individual provider. However, as results are published on Learner View in real time people will be able to compare the results for different providers if they wish. Ofsted may also publish aggregated data for England as a whole, and use this data in other areas of our work such as surveys, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector’s Annual Report, or other publications.

Q19: What questions are learners asked in the Learner View survey?

A: Learners will be asked to rate their view on the following 11 questions, from strongly agree through to strongly disagree, or by comment:

1. My course/programme meets my needs

2. I receive the support I need to help me to progress

3. I am treated fairly

4. My lessons/training sessions are well taught

5. My work is assessed regularly

6. I am given feedback that helps me to improve

7. My course/programme is preparing me for my chosen next steps (this may be in to employment, another course, university and so on.)

8. Would you recommend this provider to a friend?

9. I am enabled and empowered to use technology and online resources to support my learning


10. What do you like best about your provider? (this is an ‘open’ question where learners can leave their comments, but is only available for providers who are about to be inspected)

11. What could your provider do to improve? (this is an ‘open’ question where learners can leave their comments, but is only available for providers who are about to be inspected)

Q20: Some details about my provider are incorrect (for example, the address or telephone number) – how can I get these details updated?

A: All education provider data on Learner View comes from GIAS, a Department for Education database. Providers can amend their details by logging into the Secure Access Portal and entering GIAS via their account home page. Providers not registered on GIAS should contact