Employer & Training Provider Quality Assurance

Developmental support, reviews and coaching focusing on the quality of provision and business for ESFA funded and non-funded post 16 education, learning and skills providers & employers

At ESS we provide a service that focuses on post 16-sector specific individualised coaching support, advice and guidance for providers working in the education, learning and skills sectors.

We provide developmental review processes, coaching and support, which ranges from one-to-three day reviews through to medium and long term work with provider organisations.

These reviews and coaching support programmes are not a ‘quick fix’ and we do not believe in undertaking ‘mock inspections’. Our work and support with a provider organisation is long lasting and sustainable and positive impact to further develop or improve the way in which a provider works with and supports its learners, apprentices and employers whilst meeting compliance regulations for good practice.

We work closely with out providers to improve or further develop their quality of provision and education, leadership and management structures and practice, the effectiveness of their infrastructure and business processes, including organisational growth, change management and increased business outturn strategies. We help to embed regulatory and inspection frameworks that all ESFA and privately funded providers in both the public and international sectors, may have to adhere to in order to provide a good quality of provision, education, learning and skills and experience for their learners, apprenticeships and employers.


If you are prime provider accessing public funding for education purposes you will fall under the Inspection Framework for ESFA funded provision.


In addition if you are delivering public funded training as a sub-contractor or partner to a prime organisation, you will also be subject for an Inspection as part of the lead provider’s inspection of their provision.


ESS are able to provide specific support for employers who are recipients of an apprenticeship standards levy funding robust or receive training for their workforce from a post 16 training provider organisation. We undertake deep dive rigorous quality assurance and improvement checks on each training providers prior to introducing them to their employer network?

Our support and guidance will ensure that a training provider has received an independent and up to date quality audit and coaching support to help ensure robust oversight of effective deployment and use of their funds and which then opens up the opportunity to be introduced to the ESS employer network which has positive benefit to each member for both networking sharing of business and strategic organisational growth priorities and opportunities.


The ESS team of strategic coaches and advisers have longevity and a track record of proven success in helping organisations to improve their quality systems and practices, placing the learner, their curriculum offer and quality of education at the heart of an organisation. (Adviser profiles and references Available On Request). All advisers are formal auditors and current inspectors with the range of government bodies.

This will give you the opportunity to address your internal priorities for improvement or further development and any areas of concern that you have identified to provide you with the best most effective platform to embed the inspection frameworks for good leadership, management and operational practice and in order to meet a Public Body or Independent Audit/Inspection which  focuses on the Quality of Provision and Education.


  • Strategy Development
  • Organisational Change Management and Re-structures
  • Leadership and Management Coaching Programmes
  • Policy Development
  • Quality Improvement Support, Reviews and Coaching
  • Annual Coaching and Performance Development Reviews
  • Quality Assurance Arrangement sand Compliance Processes
  • Employer Engagement and Partnership Development
  • Sourcing Funding
  • Recruitment
  • Partnership Management
  • Learner Finder

For further information and confidential discussions with regard to potential support and coaching, please email quality@essassist.co.uk or Get In Touch using the online form.

Please contact us on 01977 705203 or Get In Touch using the online form if you wish to receive further information.

"Excellent to deal with. Would not hesitate to recommend to others looking for support."
John Moulton JM Recruitment Education & Training
"Stuart has a vast knowledge and is able to think outside of the box. This has helped my company to secure places on funding portals that without his help would have been a mountain to climb. I look forward to working with him again in the future."
Lorna Carter-Blake MD at DA Training and Consultancy
"Stuart and his team at ESS have been excellent throughout the process of securing our own direct funding contracts. Their knowledge of funding streams and support throughout the process has been vital in helping us gain approval. Stuart took the time to fully understand the business and was pro-active in finding funding streams that would help the business grow. I would highly recommend Stuart and his team if you are looking for support and guidance on funding and applications."
Will Koller Director - Skills College UK
"Stuart is one very educated and experienced consultant in the training and development sector. I am a client of Stuart and will be so for many years. His understanding of the funding landscape and the operational requirements of both established training providers and new start ups is exceptional. Credit to his year of experience. Stuart took the time to get to know me personally and my requirements and knew where to direct me by getting to know "me". Thank you Stuart, looking forward to working with you more in the future."
Paul Dunn PT Skills
"I am pleased to endorse the services of ESS Assist and Steve Dobson​ in particular. I have been very impressed with the service they provide. They go the extra mile and have excellent communication skills. Steve is extremely knowledgeable and has applied his 20+ years of public procurement to our advantage enabling Manatec to receive DWP training requests daily. I have no hesitation in recommending their service."
Roger Dixon MD of Manatec
"We had tried to access unemployed funding for many months for our learners. Thanks to Steve Dobson and ESS we were delighted to access funding from the DWP. ESS and Steve come highly recommended."
Shakeel Desai MD of Get Set Academy
"We were delighted with ESS. They successfully undertook the application and then they expertly assisted us to get a number of contracts from the DWP which has helped our organisation immensely. I just wish I’d have known about this funding sooner."
Kathryn Northly MD of Approach Training Safely
"We were delighted with Ian Peacock the ESS M&A team. They advised us through the whole process and brought to the table a wealth of personal knowledge and experience resulting in a successful sale."
Jamie Carragher Former Liverpool FC star player
"I want to thank Steve Dobson for his help and support over the last few months to get Chrysalis details on to the DWP Portal. He has been extremely professional and patient, training me in the use of and ensuring my full understanding of the system. Trying to ensure I get the best possible outcome. Throughout the process, he has been flexible with his time and on hand at very short notice in some instances to support me. I would highly recommend his services as he goes over and above to help. "
Philippa Charlton Stewart Chrysalis Training Services Ltd
"Maureen's review and the feedback report has been immensely useful and we have taken the feedback into the revised SAR. The structure and recommended contents provide a much crisper and focused approach, thank you so much."
Chris Wood Creative Process Digital
"Thanks very much for all your guidance and support during the recent work we have done together to set Pitman Training Birmingham Group up on the DWP procurement system. I have personally found you extremely approachable, helpful and without hesitation willing to give advice and share your expert knowledge. Once again thanks for offering an outstanding service. "
Dan Goodall Pitman Training, Birmingham
"We are delighted to have known ESS and Steve Dobson. Within a short period of engaging ESS, Steve has used his many years of experience and expertise to help us in training and accessing DWP Funding programme. We would like to thank ESS and indeed Steve Dobson for the invaluable work he has done in our company and highly recommend the services of ESS."
Ken Ewuzie Director, Beyond Learning Ltd
"Maureen, thank you so much for everything you have done for us. You have been priceless. "
Thomas Cartwright Director, 1st2 Achieve Training Ltd
"We have recently gained Enhanced Preferred Supplier Status with the DWP through ESS and specifically with the help of Steve Dobson. It has been a very simple process and I can't thank Steve enough for what he has done so far. The ongoing support has been great for myself and the team. Steve often works out of hours to facilitate meetings and to give advice for any problems that we have. Although we have only recently got started, we have already seen a return on our investment. We are very much looking forward to what the future holds and we will be continuing to use ESS & Steve for any future consultancy needs."
Cohan Tyler Managing Director, CST Training