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Home > Education > Approval and monitoring of programmes > Approval process

Approval process

We visit programmes we approve to ensure they meet our education standards and that individuals who successfully complete the programme are able to meet the relevant proficiency standards.

Approval process statistics


As the Education annual report 2015 shows, three years of approval visits to social work programmes ended in the 2014-15 academic year, resulting in fewer approval visits and fewer programmes being considered.

How can I arrange an approval visit?

For new programmes, you send us an approval visit request form not less than six months before the proposed visit.

What happens at an approval visit?

When we carry out an approval visit, we are represented by a panel of visitors. At least one of the visitors selected to review a programme will be a professional appropriate to the profession or entitlement that the programme is concerned. We also ensure that the panel includes a lay visitor wherever possible.

Throughout the visit, we meet and ask questions from senior managers, students, placement providers and service users and carers and education provider staff. All our discussions relate to our standards.

One day visit agenda (exemption and prescribing programmes) – information and template

Two day visit agenda – information and template

Three day visit agenda (multiprofessional) – information and template

What happens after an approval visit?

At the end of the approval visit, our panel makes a judgement about whether, or to what extent, the programme meets our education standards, and make the appropriate recommendation on programme approval to our Education and Training Committee. The Committee makes the final decision on programme approval. The post visit process usually take at least three months. Education providers may wish to consider the dates of the Committee's panel meetings when arranging dates for an approval visit.

When we have approved a programme, we grant it ‘open-ended approval’. The programme is then subject to our monitoring processes.

For more information:

Please read through the Approval process supplementary information for education providers publication which provides detailed information about the approval process.

So you provide correct information while undertaking the approval process, please read our guidance about how to advertise your programme.

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