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Improvement and Development Service

Driving Positive Change through Expert Interventions

*The IDS was previously the Sector Support Service (SSS)

The LSIS Improvement and Development Service offers a range of support to underperforming providers and those aspiring to improve to help them develop and improve the quality of their provision. It offers a tailored package for organisations, drawing upon the advice, guidance and expertise of experienced practitioners with a proven track record within the sector, including those who are trained to mentor and otherwise support the further education sector with innovative ideas and by sharing their expertise.

The service helps organisations to improve and build the capacity to sustain continuous improvement through a range of activities drawn from across LSIS strands, including the following.

Organisational Health Checks (OHC)

Through an Organisational Health Check, a team works with providers to identify key issues, using a SWOT analysis, to offer objective feedback on current and future strategic requirements. The team, made up of trained senior practitioners from across the further education and skills sector, tailors the health check to each organisation's needs. Organisational Health Checks are offered on a priority basis for any organisation that has not received an Ofsted inspection in the past two years, providers aspiring to improve and those who believe an external view can support their vision and aims.

To apply for a check you will need to complete the IDS and OHC application form and send it to

Specialist Adviser support

Specialist adviser support is offered to individual providers where they:

  • have been deemed unsatisfactory by external inspection;
  • are falling below minimum levels of performance;
  • have or are receiving financial recovery support for further education colleges;
  • are satisfactory overall (Grade 3);
  • have a College Merger;
  • are a new main Skills Funding Agency Contractor, previously a sub-contractor, therefore never inspected; or
  • have been inspected as Train to Gain (Grade 3), but now Apprenticeship provider.

Subsidised support is also available to Independent Specialist Colleges who meet our criteria. 

The IDS is open to providers not directly funded by the Skills Funding Agency. For further information including cost, please contact your Regional Development Manager (RDM) or email

Further information

Further information about the Improvement and Development Service is available by contacting the Regional Development Manager for your region or by sending an email to

Regional Development Managers

Application forms and information leaflets

The following documents are available to download which provide more information about accessing services from the Improvement and Development Service:

Please note that in light of the announcement that funding of LSIS by BIS will cease by 31 July 2013 we have begun a managed exit from our delivery of services for the further education and skills sector.

From this point onwards we will not be taking on any new Improvement and Development Service activities and all support we have in progress will be completed by 30 June 2013.

Going forwards all new requests from:

  • Grade 3 providers should be directed to Ofsted.
  • Grade 4 providers should be directed to the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) Relationship Manager.

If you have any concerns or further intervention needs after 30 June these must be directed to Ofsted or your regional SFA leads dependant on your grading.