On 31 March 2023, the Department for Education released the 23/24 Apprenticeship Funding Rules. We partnered with compliance specialist, David Lockhart-Hawkins, to walk through the new planned rules, focusing on key changes and clarifications of the funding rules, and the potential impact on providers in implementing the new rules.
Q and A transcript
The following is a transcript of the questions asked during the webinar, along with the answers provided by product experts. For any further information, do contact your Implementation Consultant, Customer Success Manager or Aptem Support.
Will these rules apply to apprentices starting from September 2023 ?
These rules will apply to all learners starting a programme from 1st August 2023.
If my apprentices are working towards assignments but over the weekend, can they claim these hours back?
The rules cover this as follows:
68.7. Training which takes place outside the apprentice’s normal working hours;
68.7.1 If off-the-job training must, by exception, take place outside of these hours, the apprentice must agree and be compensated for this arrangement (e.g. time off in lieu or an additional payment). The majority of the training must not be delivered in this way."
OTJ - exclusion of revision: Surely you only revise when you don't have the knowledge?
Looking at the rules, revision cannot be counted towards OTJ as it is not considered new learning
How do we know what changes have been made to annex a?
Currently the only way we have found is to compare both side by side - there is no summary of change for this area.
Is there no longer any room for "Naturally occurring" OTJH if everything has to be planned?
You need to have a good look at the, off the job policy document. The angle here is you need to know what tasks are unnecessary and what subject tariffs are necessary. You might want to give those subject areas more time in your plans.
Under IA where is states if the employer is not present, they need to later sign to agree, if they are present is the signature from the employer just the enrolment pack completion/apprenticeship agreement?
This could also be achieved using the current review functionality in Aptem. There is guidance on this in our help centre following this requirement being introduced in last year's update.
How would the ESFA audit the "discussion" to make sure that it happened in person, virtual on in absence of the employer. Can we do this via a review in Aptem?
This can be achieved using the current review functionality in Aptem. There is guidance on this in our help centre following this requirement being introduced in last year's update: Outline template for eligibility review.
Active learning breaks - The calendar month rule applies to the 23/24 AY, if we have a learner who started on 1st April 23 on the 4 weeks active learning - 22/23 rules, once we hit 1st August, would the active learning rule then revert over to the new calendar month rule for this learner or will they still need to be held on the 4 week 22/23 active learning rule.
Currently there is nothing in the rules to suggest that anything would be applied to retrospectively, so a learner who started on 1st April would be subject to the 22/23 rules for their whole programme. They would be looking at the 4 week active learning rule and not the new calendar month rule.
Why are progress reviews and on-programme assessments excluded?
A progress review is a three-way discussion, between the provider, employer and apprentice, which must take place on a regular basis (at least every 12 weeks) to review the progress of the apprentice in relation to the agreed training plan. An on-programme (or formative) assessment is a periodic or modular assessment that might be required for a mandatory qualification. Progress reviews and on programme assessments do not impart new learning, which is why they are excluded.
Is it possible to have a warning on the dashboard that counts down the number of days until some OTJ must be recorded? Based upon calendar months.
Thank you for this feedback, which we will pass on to our product team. The Product Management team review all requests to determine whether it is something we will look to include in the product at some point in the future. While we cannot advise if or when this request may be implemented, we would like to thank you for raising this matter with us and allowing us to include it in our product review and planning process.
Am I right in then saying that revision workshops would not than class towards off-the-job hours?
Revision workshops cannot count towards off-the-job as it is not new learning of knowledge, skills and behaviours. To count towards off-the-job, it must be considered new learning. Please refer to the Department for Education Off the job guide for clarity.
In terms of 4 visits per year, minimum every 12 weeks. Our model is 4 visits per year, within a 3-month cycle. Sometimes this could lead to there being 12 weeks and 4 days for instance as if visit beginning March, the 12 weeks would be up before the end of the "visit cycle" by end of May, but their visit would be scheduled for beginning June. Also, holidays and absence can have a significant impact on this. Is the priority every 12 weeks, or 4 times per year in a "reasonable period"?
Reviews should be diarised an agreed upon very early so that it's very clear when they're going to occur. So things like holidays don't get in the way because the importance of them is clear in the journey and in the training plan. Have the progress reviews inherent within the chapters at the programme.
Will Aptem allow different types of hours to be recorded?
Please could you advise what different types of hours you would like recorded and how this would benefit your current delivery?
Hours:- OJT, Functional Skills (FS), Non-OJT / EPA Prep etc (excl OJT), Reviews.
Thanks for the clarification, which we will pass on to our product team. The Product Management team review all requests to determine whether it is something we will look to include in the product at some point in the future. While we cannot advise if or when this request may be implemented, we would like to thank you for raising this matter with us and allowing us to include it in our product review and planning process.