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ESFA ‘off-the-job’ recording change shows benefit of Aptem

Workplace training

Deborah Talbot

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have changed the off-the-job ILR data field from optional to mandatory. Providers will now be required to record planned hours to demonstrate ESFA compliance.

According to FE Week, the amendment was introduced because of a National Audit Office report in 2018 which flagged the recording of off-the-job training as a ‘red risk’. The report said that the ESFA did “not yet have an effective way of identifying where apprentices are routinely receiving less training than they should.”

Apprenticeship rules require apprentices to spend 20% of their paid working week on off-the-job training. Off-the-job training stipulates that the apprentice is learning new skills, knowledge and behaviour relevant to the apprenticeship standard on which they are enrolled.

While off-the-job training requirements have proved to be controversial, the government has been keen to stress its flexibility. Department for Education Guidance states that off-the-job training can include:

“The teaching of theory (for example, lectures, role-playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training); practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competitions; learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments.”

Reacting to the announcement, Mark Dawe of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) said in FE Week that the new rules were unduly onerous and that assessing the quantity and quality of off the job training should remain with Ofsted.

While the new regulation does add to providers’ workloads, Aptem has the solution.

In Aptem, all learning events are captured with automated recording which, in turn, provides the data you need to be ESFA audit-ready.

Richard Alberg, CEO of MWS Technology Ltd. said:

“Providers are being left in no doubt that they must collect and evidence off the job training time for each learner. Aptem is uniquely equipped to help with this.

“Aptem’s automatic recording function means that, with us, providers are one step ahead – they are already set up to meet the ESFA’s new requirements for off-the-job training.”

The team at MWS Technology Ltd. can offer a demonstration of Aptem to show the benefits of the technology to training providers. You can book a demonstration on this link, email us at or phone us on 020 7870 1000.

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