Ofsted inspector

Alternative titles for this job include Her Majesty's Inspector, HMI, regulatory inspector

Ofsted inspectors visit, inspect and report on the quality of places of education and learning, and children's social care services.

Average salary (a year)

£44,464 Starter


£72,665 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 variable

You could work

evenings away from home

How to become an Ofsted inspector

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly

Direct application

You can apply directly to become an inspector if you've got the relevant qualifications, skills and experience.

You'll need:

  • a degree in a subject like education, childcare or social work
  • qualified teacher status (QTS) to inspect schools
  • a track record of improving standards and services
  • up-to-date knowledge of the job, including recent developments and statutory requirements

You'll also need at least 5 years' experience of leadership in a job like headteacher or senior manager in children's services to become an HMI - Her Majesty's Inspector.

More information

Further information

You can find out more on how to become an inspector from Ofsted.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • observation and interviewing skills
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
  • active listening skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

You'll also find it useful to have a driving licence.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You'll be employed directly by Ofsted as an HMI - Her Majesty's Inspector, or regulatory inspector. You could also work as an Ofsted inspector on contract to Ofsted.

As an HMI, you'll take lead inspector and team inspector roles. You'll work in one or more of these areas:

  • schools
  • further education and skills
  • children and families services
  • early years and childcare

Your day-to-day tasks in all inspector roles may include:

  • getting ready for inspections by reading briefings
  • talking to staff about previous development plans and progress
  • finding out the views of other professionals, children and parents
  • observing and rating teaching or care provision against national standards
  • checking the welfare and development of the children
  • recording what you see and hear
  • making sure premises are suitable
  • giving information and evidence to team meetings
  • producing detailed written reports
  • giving feedback to the education or children's service provider

Working environment

You could work from home, at a college or at a school.

Career path and progression

You’ll be recruited and trained by Ofsted.

With experience as an HMI - Her Majesty's Inspector, you could become a senior HMI or regional director. Regulatory inspectors may also become regulatory inspection managers or HMI.

You could use your knowledge and experience to move into a senior role within your own area of work.

Current opportunities

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