We have had a number of recent enquiries from Apprenticeship Levy paying employers who are considering becoming approved training providers in their own right (Employer Provider). We thought it might be helpful to provide some information and guidance for any business considering this as an option.
Over the last couple of years, there have been large scale reforms of apprenticeship delivery. These changes have seen Standards start to replace Frameworks, the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and changes to funding that have seen the introduction of co-investment of apprenticeship programmes.
Becoming an apprenticeship training provider
As well as fundamental changes to the funding and delivery of apprenticeships, the government has also opened the door to new training providers to help it reach its target of 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020.
The open door has also seen the ability for businesses to become apprenticeship providers to their own staff. It is a model of delivery that will work for some businesses. Effectively, you establish an apprenticeship delivery team, develop training and learning programmes that form the basis of an apprenticeship and manage your apprentices according to your business requirements.
However, there are a few things that need to be considered before embarking on this journey.
Investment to become an Employer Provider
If you are considering this option then you will also have to invest in your apprenticeship delivery staff.
You will need as a minimum:
- Trainers and assessors
- Quality assurance and compliance staff
- Maths & English tutors
- Data Administrators
Compliance and Assurance
As an employer provider you will also need to consider compliance and assurance. You will be subject to ESFA audits and OfSTED inspections. All apprenticeship delivery must be conducted against OfSTED criteria which are set out in the Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook. If your framework or standard has a requirement that apprentices complete a QCF Diploma as part of the programme, you will also need to register with an awarding body, get approval and then, once your programmes are underway, you will be subject to external verification visits.
How do we become an Employer Provider?
- Get Advice – speak to us at Yorkshire Apprentice (01423 740440)
- Apply to become an Employer Provider – you will need to sign up to the ESFA Bravo Solution portal and submit an application to join the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP), which will allow the ESFA to complete due diligence checks on your organisation and directors, financial checks and an assessment of your organisation’s capability to deliver high-quality apprenticeship training
- Contract with ESFA – once you have successfully joined RoATP, you will then be invited to enter into a contractual agreement with the ESFA.
- Develop Apprenticeship Programmes – you will now need to develop the apprenticeship programme – we always recommend taking a blended approach to delivery. It is also important to consider how you will address all of the skills, knowledge and behaviour requirements in a standard.
- Apprenticeship Delivery – you should now be in a position to start delivering apprenticeships within your organisation. Ensure you record your 20% off the job training and make sure your delivery is compliant with OfSTED requirements.
- Data – you will need to submit a monthly return to the ESFA. There are a number of different mechanisms to do this, BUT, it must be accurate data. Data returns are used to assess quality and the information may be shared with OfSTED.
Although this list is not exhaustive it does, we hope, provide some idea on how to become an employer provider.
Can Yorkshire Apprentice help?
Yes, we can! In the first instance, if you are considering the Employer Provider route for you apprenticeship delivery, then give us a call. We can talk through the options and give you some help in getting started.
Please call us on 01423 740440