Apprenticeship Prior Learning

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Ceribland 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • CRobinson
    Participant

    Hi

    I’m hoping someone will be able to clarify whether you must reduce the duration of the apprenticeship programme as well as the negotiated price if you are applying percentage of RPL?

    I have placed the query with the service desk who have quoted

    ‘Applying prior learning to an Apprenticeship programme reduces the funding for the programme, this is done by reducing the agreed price with the Employer accordingly. The duration on the programme however cannot go below a year, a year is the minimum duration of an Apprenticeship as stated in the funding rules.
    P45 An apprenticeship must provide for training that lasts for a minimum duration of 12 months. For example, to satisfy this requirement, an apprentice who starts their training on 1 August 2018 must still be receiving training on 31 July 2019 and an apprentice who starts on 1 August 2019 must still be receiving training on 31 July 2020.’

    This suggests that the price just needs to be reduced and the learner must be on programme for at least 12 months.

    However, the clarified guidance March 2019 Apprenticeship: Initial Assessment to recognise prior learning document section 8

    ‘ESFA funding rules state that the apprenticeship content, duration and price must be reduced where the individual has relevant prior learning. Prior learning must be factored into the price that is negotiated between the provider and the employer: apprenticeship funding must not be used to pay for, or certify, the delivery of existing knowledge, skills and behaviours as this represents poor value for money. There are audit checks to ensure a price reduction has been made to account for prior learning and the reduced training content required. To meet the ESFA funding rules, the training element within the apprenticeship must have a minimum duration of 12 months with at least 20% off-the-job training.’

    This guidance suggests that you have to reduce both the price and duration of which section 9 overrides.

    The example I provided was if a learner was undertaking a programme with a typical duration of 12 months, they were assessed as having 25% prior learning. The negotiated price would be reduced by 25% but if we reduced the duration by 25% this would make the learner ineligible for the provision.
    If we just reduced the price to the employer but delivered the programme over the minimum duration of 12 month, would the learner be considered to be eligible for the programme?

    Many Thanks

     
    #367856

    MelBCU
    Participant

    Also whilst you are asking about PL, please can I double check with someone…?

    According to the funding rules:
    “Judgement of an apprentice’s current level
    Each apprentice must undertake skills testing of English & maths irrespective of providing evidence of their Level 2 in these subjects. This can be completed as part of the induction and current assessment tools based on the national literacy and numeracy standards and core curriculum must be used to do this, e.g. BKSB diagnostic assessment testing.
    If an apprentice does not have acceptable evidence of previous attainment of Level 2 English and/or maths, i.e. GCSE certificates (or approved equivalent), you should carry out a judgement of their current level. You must use current assessment tools based on the national literacy and numeracy standards and core curriculum to do this, e.g. BKSB diagnostic assessment testing.”

    Does this mean that it is NOT necessary to track down GCE/CSE/GCSE certs as long as diagnostic testing has been done. What are the lowest acceptable percentages please?

     
    #367880

    Martin West
    Participant

    Hi Mel,
    That is not from the current funding rules, but this is:

    Judgement of an apprentice’s current level
    P136 If an apprentice does not have acceptable evidence of previous attainment of English and/or maths you should carry out a judgement of their current level. You must use current assessment tools based on the national literacy and numeracy standards and core curriculum to do this.

     
    #367886

    MelBCU
    Participant

    Hi Martin

    Thank you. So that would include BKSB diagnostic testing? What are the lowest acceptable percentages please?

    Kind regards
    Mel

     
    #367894

    Martin West
    Participant

    Hi mel,
    I am not an expert, but I believe that Bksb initial assessment (Maths and English) only gives an indication of their current level in English and maths.
    If bksb says working at level 2 then that’s GCSE grade C or above standard
    If it says level 1 – then that’s a grade D or below
    If it says Entry level 3 then that’s a pretty basic level well below GCSE standard.

    Further diagnostic assessment at level 1/2/3 or Entry level 1/2/3 can be undertaken based on the initial assessment results level using bksb but this should be administered and the results interpreted by a suitably qualified individual and should be reviewed against prior attainment.

    The percentage score indicates the percentage of questions answered correctly and the pass rate is 75%.
    HTH

     
    #367909

    MelBCU
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your swift responses Martin. I really appreciate the support and advice.

    Kind regards
    Mel

     
    #367913

    stewartsegal
    Participant

    Just a word on prior learning. Just because someone has some prior experience (we all have whatever job we are doing especially when you look at behaviours) does not mean you have to make a reduction in duration and price. That is a professional judgement as to whether the learner has the required’competence’ in the particular skill or behaviour to the required level. They may be able to do a job but need to relearn some skills or they may need to improve those skills to ensure they have a chance of reaching a distinction. If you believe the learner does have skills that would reduce the learning below 12 months then they would not be eligible. However if you believed they didnt need all the learning but needed additional embedding of skills that would take 12 months then they would be eligible. Its all your judgement so keep the evidence. Do not make the assumption that if someone has some prior experience or learning the duration and price need to be automatically reduced but it does require proactive management. Cant wait to hear the response from the service desk……good luck!

     
    #367966

    CRobinson
    Participant

    Thanks Stewart

    The response from the service desk referred to P45 of the funding rules, which wasn’t much help at all!

    We have developed a prior learning policy and have had sought external assurance on this. I agree with the prior experience and making sure there is robust evidence that supports the funding and the skills required.

     
    #367968

    itsme
    Participant

    I am absolutely flabbergasted reading these comments (apart from Stewart’s which is spot on). I am assuming that you are currently actively delivering apprenticeships? No wonder we are all having to re-apply to be on the RoAPT!!!! Good grief! These questions and queries are SHOCKING! What on earth have you been doing since the rules were introduced?

     
    #367982

    Sue Bishop
    Participant

    Itsme, I think your comments are unhelpful. We have all been newbies at some point and if you were lucky enough to have someone to hand to answer all your questions and train you, then fab. Sadly, many of us spent our early years delivering apprenticeships as subcontractors and didn’t know the ins and outs of the funding guidance, we were told what we were told by our Primes. If there are training courses for new providers delivered by the ESFA, many new providers didn’t get alerted to them and are struggling with managing ILRs and the complications surrounding the funding. This blog has always been my ‘goto’ whenever I’ve had a query or a memory wobble – before even contacting the service desk, so lets keep comments helpful.

    Sue

     
    #368095

    MelBCU
    Participant

    Good morning “itsme”
    I will always say thanks for feedback however when comments are made and you do not know the full background or situation, I feel it is necessary to say I find your comment somewhat rude and I would be tempted to not use this forum again if I thought that it would incite such comment.
    I am currently trying to learn about the administration of degree apprenticeships. I do not deliver them myself as I am not an academic. I just wanted to try and gain clarity regarding Level 2 English and maths where the apprentice is perhaps older and is unable to locate O Level certs for example.
    Please do not assume…we all know what can happen there!

     
    #368100

    MelBCU
    Participant

    Thank you Sue Bishop! 🙂

     
    #368104

    itsme
    Participant

    Dear all, I would like to apologise for my comment yesterday. I was having a particularly bad day, saw this and should not have written it. Please accept my apologies, I am sorry.

     
    #368114

    MelBCU
    Participant

    Dear itsme
    I hope you have a better day today. Happy Friday 🙂
    Kind regards
    MelBCU

     
    #368118

    itsme
    Participant

    Thank you and you too!! 🙂

    And again, I am really really sorry 🙁

     
    #368124

    Sue Bishop
    Participant

    Itsme, I’m sorry you had a bad day yesterday. You were probably trying to squeeze five days workload into four. Hope you have a better one today. The sun is shining where I am and it’s Friday; that’s a good day in my books 🙂

    Sue

     
    #368148

    Ceribland
    Participant

    Hi MelBCU
    Did you get anywhere with alternative evidence for older apprentices?
    Was the BKSB diagnostic accepted in the end?
    Thanks
    Ceri

     
    #447691

    MelBCU
    Participant

    Ceribland – apologies, your response only dropped into my inbox the other day? BKSB results do not suffice for older apprentices. If they cannot find their certificates or obtain reprints via the GOV system (I know this is restricted at the moment due to COVID-19) they have to retake the English and/or Maths exams before the end of their apprenticeship (the EPA I believe).
    Kind regards, stay safe
    Mel

     
    #447963

    Ceribland
    Participant

    Thanks for this Mel. Do you claim funding for these tests bearing in mind that they probably need little to no teaching and they have already reached level 2 but have mislaid the evidence?

     
    #447997

    Sophie.lampert
    Participant

    Hi Ceribland,

    In case you haven’t found the answer to the above, I asked the question in an AELP conference once and my understanding is that whether you can claim funding depends on what the learner declares their grade was..

    If they declared grade C or above you cannot claim funding as they do not need training.
    If the declared grade D or below you can.

     
    #448462

    Ceribland
    Participant

    I have now received further guidance from ESFA on these points. Their answers are below my bullet pointed questions:

    • Can we use the BKSB diagnostic result to evidence our judgement of their current level and therefore meet the requirement (if at Level 2)?

    Yes, the diagnostic result can be used to evidence the apprentices current level and if they meet the requirement they will no longer need to undertake functional skills.

    • If not, can we claim funding for candidates who take Functional Skills tests but do not have tuition beforehand? Candidates are all provided with access to online support portals but face to face training tends not to take place.

    We will fund an apprentice to achieve up to an approved level 2 qualification in English and maths where they do not already hold a suitable equivalent qualification. This includes funding for the test regardless of whether tuition is required beforehand.

    They further confirmed that functional skills tests can be claimed for those who have lost certificates.

     
    #448806

    Sue Bishop
    Participant

    I don’t know if I’m misreading ESFAs response, but what evidence are you planning to upload to your EPAO as evidence of functional skill achievement? Their BKSB results?

    That won’t be accepted as an exemption for completing the functional skills.

    It’s this part I’m querying:

    • Can we use the BKSB diagnostic result to evidence our judgement of their current level and therefore meet the requirement (if at Level 2)?

    Yes, the diagnostic result can be used to evidence the apprentices current level and if they meet the requirement they will no longer need to undertake functional skills.

    Sue

     
    #448816

    Martin West
    Participant

    I think the answer should be interpreted as this:
    Yes, the diagnostic result can be used to evidence the apprentices current level and if they meet the requirement (have evidence of achievement) they will no longer need to undertake functional skills.

     
    #448822

    Sue Bishop
    Participant

    Thanks Martin, I was reading that entirely differently.

    Sue

     
    #448824

    Ceribland
    Participant

    Sorry Martin but that was not the context of the question, I was specifically asking them about apprentices who do not have evidence. We deal with much older level 7 apprentices who gained certificates 20-40 years ago.

     
    #448827
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