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External standards

Our processes and programmes are scrutinised by external experts to ensure we operate to the highest standards. Attaining and retaining these external certifications also gives us constant feedback and the opportunity to continually improve.

We understand and comply with all our legal requirements, but there are a number of other areas we have identified as important to go above and beyond what is being done in our sector.

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Management standards

Man leading a meeting 

Information security management

We take the responsibility to manage and protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your data very seriously. In order to reassure the effectiveness of our Information Security and Data Management program we maintain the following externally audited accreditation:

  • ISO/IEC 27001 - This is the world's best-known standard for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS).
  • Cyber Essentials Plus - This is the UK Government backed scheme that helps us protect against a range of common cyber threats and demonstrate your commitment to cyber security to external auditors.

Business continuity management

We are audited on an annual basis to ensure we are aligned with ISO 22301. We have won awards regarding our learner support during the COVID period.

Matrix accreditation

We have gained this for the high quality of our careers and information advice and guidance given to learners. Matrix is the international quality standard for organisations that deliver information, advice and/or guidance (IAG).

Quality Assurance Agency rating

In recognition of the high quality standards we hold ourselves to, the Quality Assurance Agency awarded us with their highest rating in November 2021. In particular:

  • MyKaplan

    They praised our learning management system, MyKaplan, for its ease of use and comprehensive content. They found that students particularly liked its flexibility, the ‘chat with tutors’ function, videos and recap materials.
  • Teaching kit

    They valued the availability and responsiveness of teaching staff, citing examples of the quick responses and support provided in the evenings and at weekends.
  • Apprenticeship Advisory Panel

    We have an active Apprenticeship Advisory Panel, which was recommended as a useful means of communication for students and staff to secure improvements to the programme and student experience. Student members felt that their voice was always heard in the panel meetings.
  • Kaplan communication and support

    Students confirmed that Kaplan followed up with surveys, sometimes communicating personally and then implementing clear improvements. They also confirmed that there was clear guidance on identifying and accessing additional support.

A copy of the report can be found on the QAA website.

We submitted an annual return in September 2022. Following its review by the QAA, it judged that Kaplan had demonstrated that it was continuing to maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of student learning opportunities.



In June 2022, we had a full Ofsted inspection, and while we had progressed in several areas, there were still improvements to be made, which resulted in a "requires improvement" grade. This result was incredibly disappointing, but since this took place, we have created a project team that is working on the remaining areas where Ofsted felt improvement was needed. Read our report.


Ofsted took over responsibility for Level 7 apprenticeships (these had previously been covered by the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency).

Ofsted amended the Education Inspection Framework which they use to assess all education establishments.


In October 2020 we had an interim visit focussed on how we were dealing with COVID which went well.


In August 2019 Ofsted came for a monitoring visit where they stated we had made reasonable or significant progress in all areas.


Until 2018 we were graded as “Good” by Ofsted for our apprenticeship delivery. The implementation of apprenticeship standards put apprenticeship processes we had in place under strain. In July 2018 Ofsted visited us again and at this visit we both agreed that there were some areas of our delivery that required improvement.

You can access all Kaplan’s Ofsted reports on the Ofsted website.

Our other areas of governance