Summary of changes
Significant points of note about the skills funding rules are summarised below:
- Off-The-Job Training: From 1 August, the minimum volume of hours will no longer be linked to working hours. Instead, it will be based on a consistent figure, irrespective of the hours worked by the apprentice. This will be 6 hours per week for the duration of the practical period. There will still be the usual deduction for statutory annual leave.
- Eligible Costs: There have been some changes as a result of the Eligible Costs review. These include making initial assessment an eligible cost.
- Total Negotiated Price: There is no longer a requirement to report your delivery cost if it is above the funding band maximum. The price entered into the ILR and the apprenticeship service must be the funding band maximum minus the cost of any relevant prior learning or additional adjustment agreed with the employer.
- There are new rules related to initial assessment and recognition of prior learning and experience. This includes the way the costs are reduced.
- There is a requirement to demonstrate some active learning every 4 weeks (defined as Off-The-Job training or English and maths) to justify the monthly payment.
- The Commitment Statement will be renamed Training Plan. There is also clarification on what should be included on the agreed Training Plan. Significantly the link with Off-The-Job training, and a new rule relating to funds at risk if there is not an up-to-date Training Plan which demonstrates progress being made.
- There is a new progress review section which documents the minimum requirements for this activity.
- Apprentices on a level 2 apprenticeship who are required to undertake English and maths at level 1 are only required to work towards level 2 English and maths where they have time remaining to make meaningful progress once they have achieved level 1. This applies to all new and existing apprentices regardless of start date.
- There are also new rules related to flexi-job apprentices, and contents of the evidence pack.
Considerations and questions to maintain compliance with new funding rules – revisions to your programme(s)
There are some actions you may want to consider now to update your programmes for your August 2022 starts.
- Do your on-programme progress reviews meet the requirements of P59-60?
- Are they scheduled to be carried out at least every 12 weeks?
- Are you ensuring that there is a meaningful three-way discussion involving the provider, employer, and the apprentice?
- Are you checking progress of the apprentice against their agreed Training Plan and OTJ hours?
- Is there somewhere to document any slippage against the volume of planned Off-The-Job training or to discuss any Off-The-Job training evidence outside of your control?
- Are there sections within your programme to discuss any concerns from the provider, employer or apprentice?
- Are you outlining any update to the agreed Training Plan following the review? If this was considered to be a material change, you can update the individual learning plan and reissue compliance documents to reflect this change.
- Are actions agreed and documented in the review?
- Is your review signed by all three parties and do you have process in place to make sure this happens?
- Do you need to amend this in line with the new requirements?
- If you were charging above the funding band maximum, you may need to amend your TNP1 and TNP2 values in the ILR template.
- You may also want to check the rules relating to what can be funded (P102-105) to make sure that you can evidence the costs reported in the ILR.
- How are you planning to meet the requirements in P23?
- Are you collecting the right data to inform decisions on eligibility?
- English and maths assessment – does your assessment of English and maths cover the requirements in P24.2.1? Have you built this into your onboarding steps so you can gather evidence early to inform your discussions with the employer?
- How are you collecting information on prior learning and experience?
- How are you collecting information on learning difficulties and disabilities? Are you using information provided to identify reasonable adjustment linked to any declared learning difficulties and disabilities?
Eligibility Review and Recognition of Prior Learning and experience
- P24.4 clearly identifies the need for a documented discussion with the individual and their employer about the job role, the desired learning outcomes, the results of the initial assessment and how this information will inform a tailored Training Plan.
- This could be achieved through a robust eligibility review with the provider, learner and employer and signed by all parties. Aptem has drafted a template here.
- Are you planning to make any changes to your curriculum delivery to meet the new rules?
- Are you planning to change your planned Off-the-Job hours in light of the new 6 hours per week rule? This should be done prior to enrolling learners on the programme since it will feed into the planned hours in the ILR and the breakdown in the training plan.
- Does your training plan give sufficient detail to evidence active learning at least every 4 weeks?
- Is the frequency of progress reviews in line with the new rules?
- Do you use activities such as shadowing and mentoring towards OTJ hours? If so, they need to be part of the agreed training plan.
- If any part of your planned training is part of the employer’s responsibility, this needs to be flagged.
- Is your training programme designed and delivered so that you can show, on request, your up-to-date Training Plan and current progress towards this plan?
For information on how Aptem customers can use the current system to maintain compliance with the new funding rules please refer to the article in our Help Centre. We are here to help and support you when navigating the new skills funding rules.
We also ran a webinar for our customers where we demonstrated a draft eligibility review, watch on demand.