This article answers the Frequency Asked Questions around system access when planning for an external inspection like Ofsted, ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency), EPA (End Point Assessment) or EQA (External Quality Assurance).
Can I give external parties such as Ofsted Inspectors access to Aptem?
Yes, you can. If they need access to view learner work and feedback, you can setup an account to enable this. We have included the recommended steps below.
In your group structure, set up a parallel group called Ofsted/ESFA/EPA or similar.
Create an administrator account using either a generic email or the correct email address for the external party so they can register with Aptem. You may want to set you a dummy administrator account first so that you can check that your selected roles give the external party the visibility they need.
Allow access only to the parallel group.
Add permissions: View All in Assigned Group and Trainee Assessor are recommended for an Ofsted Inspector. Additional roles may be required for different visit types such as ESFA audit where access is needed to ILR (Individualised Learner Record) (see below)
Only tick the access to console button, not classic, unless external party will need to access ILR information.
Activate the account and check permission level.
You can then add those learners the inspectors wish to view into your parallel group in addition to their main group. This will ensure that tutor and employer access is not impacted during the visit.
Once the visit is complete, you can disable the accounts and remove the learners from the parallel group.
Will external parties be able to see all learners?
No. By setting up a parallel group and only allowing access to that group inspectors will only be able to view learners in that parallel group. You need to allocate the “View All in Assigned Group” permission since they will not have direct case owner responsibility for the learners, but they will only be able to access learners that have been added to the parallel group. You will need to remind the external party to select ‘view all learners’ in the console filters and not just ‘my learners.’
Can I just give inspectors access to everything in Aptem?
Whilst the answer is yes - you can, we recommend allowing access only to those learners that they have requested to sample and using only the permissions required for their role. Otherwise, you risk unwanted system changes being made by mistake, especially if they are new to Aptem. Do not forget you will need a member of your team to show them how to use Aptem to ensure that they can view what they require. By limiting access, you make this process as simple as possible to support your inspection since you are only presenting the subset of data they have requested to see.
Why should we limit their access to console only?
By only providing access to console, you ensure the best user experience as inspectors can access everything they need from within console, supporting a straightforward process to view learners' details, work, and feedback.
What if inspectors ask to see reporting?
We recommend that you either provide a short demonstration of the reporting functionality within Aptem delivered by one of your team or export the relevant reports that they require to see either from Power BI, UGR (User Generic Reports) or OGR.
What if inspectors want to see all learners?
Again, this is best achieved by a superuser giving a system demo so that you can explain the groups and filters set up in the system. However, if you do want to give access to all learners, we would recommend that you still limit the roles allocated to avoid any unwanted changes within the system.
What happens when the inspection is over?
If you have used an account that you control via a generic email address, you can leave this account active if you wish, but you may want to change the password in the account settings. Otherwise, you could cancel the subscription and reactivate it as and when you need it. If you have used the inspector's own email addresses to set up the account, do not forget to cancel their subscription and then archive the account. You can also remove the parallel group from your learners' accounts after the inspection and leave the group open for the next one.
What about other types of external audit?
For other audits such as external verification or ESFA audits we would recommend the same process as above - create a parallel group for this and call it, for example, EV visit, ESFA audit or anything similar and provide the same permissions. For an ESFA audit, you may have to provide the “Manage ILR” permission and access to classic to allow the ILR to be viewed. If this is the case, only provide the Manage ILR permission along with the two others mentioned above. Also ensure that any learners being sampled have had their ILR QA verified. This will prevent any unwanted changes to your data by mistake as the ILR records will be locked and cannot be edited by the auditor.