Apprenticeship Restarting

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Spats 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • BillinghurstT

    Hello all,

    We have a learner who was originally on an apprenticeshing starting 29th April 2017. He then went on hold in the November 2017 and was eventually withdrawn in the March 2018 (the employer could only offer him less than 30 hours). The employer now has enough funding to take him on over the 30 hours / week requirement.

    He will be carrying on with the same apprenticeship as before, which is a 15 month apprenticeship so I presume he still has 7 months left and I just need to work out his percentage when I come to doing the ILR?



    Not if he was fully withdrawn, no. If that was the case, then he’ll have to do the minimum of the year and a day and you’ll have to reduce the Total Negotiated Price to take account of funding received previously.

    If he wasn’t fully withdrawn and was left as completion status 6, then yeah, you’re okay to restart and continue. Otherwise, no.


    Martin West

    It looks like this Apprentice was on funding model 35 as they were a pre May 2017 start and as such could resume their Programme.

    I do not know of any rules or guidance that relates to what Spats has said and of course a negotiated price would not be applicable to funding model 35.

    The ILR guidance states:
    Funded apprenticeship framework programmes originally started before 1 May 2017 should be recorded on Funding model 35, for example where an apprentice restarts a framework programme, in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

    The guidance for this scenario was:
    11.8.3 Recording restarts (without an agreed break in learning)
    440. If the learner later returns to learning, then new aims must be created as in Table 7. The original learning aims must not be reopened.

    Table 7: Recording new aims when a learner restarts learning without an agreed break
    Field Name – Programme Aim – Other Aims
    Learning start date – Date on which the learner restarts the programme – Date on which the learner restarts the learning aim
    Original learning start date (from 1 August 2013) – Not returned – Not returned
    Learning planned end date – New planned end date for the programme – New planned end date for the learning aim
    Funding adjustment for prior learning – Not returned – Proportion of the learning aim still to be delivered (if applicable)
    Restart indicator (Learning Delivery FAM) – Use code RES1 – Use code RES1
    Eligibility for enhanced apprenticeship funding (Learning Delivery FAM) – Not returned – Not returned



    Martin – My understanding is that you cannot restart an apprenticeship in your ILR data if you’ve already fully withdrawn them (3/3) in a previous year, only if you’ve temporarily withdrawn them/put them on hold (6/3).

    The OP reads as though the record was temp withdrawn in November 17, then fully withdrawn in March 18. If that’s the case, then what was a FM 35 episode has been closed off entirely, so now can’t be restarted and therefore the learner starting again at this point in time would have to be a new start under FM36, under all of the rules that apply to FM36 apprenticeships, hence the comment about the TNP.


    Martin West

    Hi Spats,
    Where did you get ‘you cannot restart an apprenticeship in your ILR data if you’ve already fully withdrawn them’ from as I have not come across this in any of the funding rules or ILR guidance.
    The current ILR Support Manual as I have quoted indicates that you can restart learning where they have previously withdrawn.



    It’s one of those things where it’s how it’s always been explained it to me and it’s what we’ve always done, so I’ve never previously felt the need to question it; if you don’t have the learner temp withdrawn then the ILR effectively doesn’t have an original learning episode to tie the restarted episode to.

    You’re right, though – there’s nothing in the guidance to support that interpretation (the ILR spec gives a learner being temp withdrawn and restarting as an example of when you’d use the original learning start date, so it could be that my predecessors read that as being the only circumstance in which that’s applicable), so it’s probably one of those things that have been done a particular way in our organisation and very differently elsewhere. I’ll have to give the service desk a bell and see if I can get a definitive from them, because if that is the case we’ve been penalising ourselves unnecessarily and I can’t imagine we’re the only training provider in that position.


    Ruth CJ

    I agree that it’s not at all clear what to do in this situation. The validation rule that doesn’t allow funding stream 35 after 1st May 2017, excludes any enrolments coded as a restart. It doesn’t specify it has to have an Original Start Date too. Restarts after breaks in learning have an original start date, but restarts after a full withdrawal don’t. Both are coded as restart. If we weren’t supposed to use the original 35 funding stream for apprenticeships restarting after a full withdrawal, you’d think they’d add to the validation rule that it only gets ignored when there is an original start date.

    However, the funding rules do say;

    P60. If an apprentice starts a new apprenticeship, time on any previous apprenticeship does not apply in meeting the minimum duration requirements. The only exceptions to this are where an apprentice:

    P60.1 Is made redundant with more than six, but less than 12 months remaining before their final day. In these cases they may seek a further apprenticeship agreement which takes their prior apprenticeship experience into account. This further agreement may provide for a duration of less than 12 months.
    P60.2 Changes their framework pathway.
    P60.3 Transfers between main providers, but remains on the same framework or standard.
    P60.4 Returns to the same apprenticeship after a break in learning.

    In the scenario given by BillinghurtsT, would you say the apprentice needs to do a full 12 months on the new enrolment? It doesn’t strictly fit any of the above exceptions.


    Martin West

    Hi Ruth,
    Just a thought on that, is it the interpretation of the wording in P60.4 that is the issue as my interpretation is that ‘P60.4 Returns to the same apprenticeship after a break in learning’ could indicate those withdrawn using code 6 or 3 where they have returned to the same programme.
    The wording in P60 refers to where an ‘Apprentice starts a new Apprenticeship’ but this is a restart that has a funding adjustment for prior learning.


    Ruth CJ

    I agree Martin. I think you can interpret P60.4 to include all restarts. I think I’d be prepared to argue with an auditor that a student who’d done 6 months on an apprenticeship, only needed to do a further 6 months if they came back, if if they hadn’t planned to originally. I feel this is well within the spirit of the rules.



    Rather brilliantly, I’ve just received a response from the Service Desk that manages to contradict itself. The response is:

    A learner can only be recorded as a restart if they have either been on a break I learning or recorded as a transfer as stated in the provider support manual below. (page 53-54)

    If the learner was withdrawn from the programme in the ILR they cannot be recorded as a restart.

    Unfortunately, the pages of the PSM that I’ve been directed to contain the following:

    5.4 Recording breaks in learning, transfers and restarts
    398. There are various circumstances where a learner may restart their learning, these
     Restarts after an agreed break in learning
     Restarts after a learner has transferred
     Restarts after withdrawing

    Gone back to them to ask which answer is actually correct.


    Martin West

    Hi Spats,
    How about Page 58:
    5.4.3 Recording restarts (without an agreed break in learning)


    Ruth CJ

    Sadly, this does not surprise me in the least. I have numerous examples of the Service Desk contradicting both the rules and themselves. I wish they’d admit when they didn’t know, or escalate these queries to the people that actually wrote the rules and know what the intention was. Most (and I’m not exaggerating) of the Service Desk staff I speak to just seem to make things up as they go along. They certainly know less than I do about the rules, and I wouldn’t consider myself particularly an expert. And that’s not even starting on their customer service skills! The reason I contact them is because I’m trying to do things right, but I always get treated like I’m being difficult.



    I find the guys on the phones helpful usually. It’s just that they’re not the ones actually responding to the questions, they’re just forwarding them on to the teams that are supposed to have the answers.

    But yeah, I’ve just received another response pointing me to page 58 as per your post, Martin. And saying that the wording of the previous response was maybe a little out, rather than admitting that it was exactly the opposite of what it should have been.

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