Apprenticeship funding rules August 2022
Summary of changes
Significant points of note 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, with the usual deduction for statutory annual leave.
- Eligible Costs: There have been some changes as a result of the Eligible Costs review, including 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, including 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.
While still not finalised, there are some actions you may want to consider now to update your Aptem programmes for your August 2022 starts.
Considerations for Aptem programme build to maintain compliance with new funding rules
Revisions to your programme
You may want to consider creating an August 22 version of your delivery programmes to adopt some of the new requirements. You can do this by cloning your existing programmes and updating the relevant sections.
Below, we have suggested some questions you should consider:
- Do your on-programme progress reviews meet the requirements of P59-60?
- Are they scheduled to be carried out at least 12 weeks?
- Are you using the self-service review functionality to ensure that there is a meaningful three-way discussion involving the provider, employer, and the apprentice? If not please see links to our help centre article and webinar on this topic.
- Are you checking progress of the apprentice against their agreed Training Plan and OTJ hours? If not, you may want to consider using the learning progress section of a review to support this.
- 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? This could be done through custom questions in the review document.
- Are there sections to discuss any concerns from the provider, employer or apprentice? You could use a custom section, editable by the employer or apprentice, to capture these concerns in advance of the review.
- 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?
- Have you set the review to be signed by all three parties and do you have process in place to make sure this happens? The signatures tab can help you monitor reviews which are awaiting signatures.
- 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?
- If you are not already using the skills radar functionality in Aptem, you may want to check out if this could support these requirements.
- If you already use Aptem’s skills radar, you may want to revisit these to make sure they give you assessment against both the KSBs of the relevant apprenticeship standard and an indication of occupational competency, so you can evidence that the individual requires significant new knowledge, skills, and behaviours in order to be occupationally competent in their job role.
- Does this need to be revised to ensure the right data is collected 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? You may want to consider using the custom questionnaire in your onboarding step and the PLR step to link to the Learning Record Service early in the journey.
- 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? If you use the “Individual Support Needs” section of a review, this will populate the compliance documents.
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.
- This eligibility review could also be used to meet the requirements of P24 – 25 related to recognition of prior learning and experience. If you use the “prior learning” section of the review, this will populate the compliance documents.
- 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. Aptem is developing a new solution for this but in the interim, you could indicate this in the activity title since this will pull through to compliance documents.
- 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?
- Aptem will be creating a new compliance document for the new Training Plan to replace the current Commitment Statement.
- This will need to be added into your new programmes once available and may need to be reissued and re-signed. Creating new programmes for your new funding year will make these documents easier to reissue.
- New programmes will also mean that it is easier to replan your delivery in light of the 2022-23 funding rules without impacting current learners.
- Until the new document is available, the current Commitment Statement could be used to gather signatures for the start of learning.
- You could use the additional information section to state that the Commitment Statement has been renamed as the Training Plan from 1 August.
- You could also use this section to outline the frequency and mode of delivery. If you have any activities that are employer led, these can be flagged here or by adding something to the activity title.
- The minimum OTJ calculation will show as per the old funding rules – again a statement could be placed in the additional information to mitigate this and outline the new minimum calculation.