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Regular Monitoring Activity

13 December, 2022
Our regular monitoring activity provides a formal mechanism for the ongoing monitoring of education programmes. We require providers to report on their performance against the Standards for Education and early identification of issues that may impact on the delivery of their programmes. Monitoring may result in a risk-based or focused inspection should areas of concern be identified. 

After piloting the new risk-based and evidence-led QA process in the 2018/19 academic year, we acted on the feedback received from EAs and education providers to develop our monitoring process which is now conducted online. Furthermore, after a review of the 2018/19 monitoring activity, we made significant improvements to the QA process for the 2019/20 academic year, for example, education providers were able to submit evidence after submitting their return. All documentation is now subject to an initial review by the EQA team before being sent to the EAs for analysis. 

As part of the EA assessment, each Requirement was scored based on the evidence provided by the education providers. A range of decision tools matrix was specifically created alongside research and intelligence colleagues to risk assess monitoring questionnaires and supporting evidence. These range of decision tools designed with support of our research colleagues, to risk assess monitoring and supporting evidence, were used to increase transparency and consistency in our decision-making. Internal meetings were also held to further ensure consistency across decision-making.

In the 2020/21 academic year, targeted monitoring activity was a priority to the EQA team. 

Looking ahead, we have undertaken work to improve the process for the 2021/22 period. This includes:

• introduction of a student questionnaire
• using a new online survey system which allows for document uploads.

We will continue to review the monitoring process following the next cycle.

Activity between 2019-2021

The table below sets out the number of providers who were required to return the monitoring form during this period:

Regular monitoring 2019-2021     
Dentistry (BDS)Dental hygiene and therapy (HT)Dental technology (DT)Clinical dental technology (CDT)Dental nursing (DN)Orthodontic therapy (OT)
1 programme7 programmes2 programmes0 programmes2 programmes1 programme


Activity between 2020-2021

In the 2020/21 academic year all providers were subject to COVID-19 targeted monitoring QA activity as detailed in the section above.

Both EAs and providers were given the opportunity to give feedback on the targeted monitoring process.


With the introduction of the decision matrix, we were able to determine the level of risk associated with programmes more effectively, whilst following a standardised approach. The EAs received training on how to conduct their assessment and were given a breakdown of scoring criteria to enable them to make a fair judgement. We found the calibration meetings to be extremely beneficial to this process and this enabled the EQA team to be sure that EAs had the opportunity to discuss the potential outcome in detail. 

Holding a decision-making meeting allowed the EQA team to review all aspects of the EAs assessment, including whether the level of risk was appropriate for each programme. In three cases where a long time had passed since the last inspection, we decided to inspect programme despite their monitoring return showing low risk.

Only one out of 13 providers was scored as high-risk, and this was due to the lack of evidence provided which failed to give us the required assurance.

Regular monitoring outcomes

Of the 13 programmes monitored in the 2019/20 period, we determined that four of the programmes would be subject to regular monitoring and that nine programmes would be inspected:

Regular monitoring outcomes     
 Dental hygiene and therapyDental nursingOrthodontic therapyDental technologyLDS
Regular monitoring3 programmes0 programmes0 programmes0 programmes1 programme
Regular inspection4 programmes2 programmes1 programme2 programmes0 programmes