Date of signatures

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  BenC 7 hours, 33 minutes ago.

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  • Author
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  • Sue Scott
    Participant

    Hi
    In the last contract year the Committment statement and Apprentice agreement had to be signed on or before the learners start date.
    Is there any time scales this year? I cant seem to find any in the funding rules and it can be difficult getting signatures when we are not actually visiting learners and employers as we did! We are finding it difficult getting documents back when using systems like Adobe sign.

    Any help would be appreciated

     
    #460432

    Martin West
    Participant

    Hi,
    No change really
    P26 You must have evidence that the apprentice has an apprenticeship agreement with their employer, at the start of, and for the duration of their apprenticeship.
    P73 Before the apprenticeship practical period starts and before the apprenticeship agreement is signed, you must ensure that the apprentice and their employer have contributed to and signed a copy of the commitment statement (often known as the individual learning plan). This must set out how all three parties (apprentice, employer, and main provider) will support the achievement of the apprenticeship.

     
    #460434

    Sue Scott
    Participant

    Thanks Martin,
    I was hoping there would be a bit of flexibility as we work with schools and although we have already discussed and agreed the Committment statement and Apprentice agreement once we send them out for electronic signature we are not guarantted to get the signatures before the start date as they are not back in the school before the start of the learners programme

     
    #460439

    steveh
    Participant

    The Rules use “signatures” to mean electronic/digital signature/confirmation throughout.

     
    #460486

    Sue Scott
    Participant

    I understand about the signatures but if we use zoom / teams to discuss and agree the AA and CS prior to the learners start date then send out the documents for signature (we use ADOBE Sign) there is no guarantee these will be signed on or before the learners start date!
    Obviously if we conduct the discussions and agree the documents face to face then the y are signed at that point.
    I was just wondering if there was any flexibility, Adobe records the date we send out the documents for signature, could this evidence not be taken into account if the recipients do not sign them before the start date as we request?

     
    #460575

    Martin West
    Participant

    Hi Sue,
    Use the date when the commitment statement was agreed on Zoom when you send out the document for signature, I expect this would be acceptable to auditors where you have evidence that the Zoom agreement was prior to the start date.
    HTH

     
    #460580

    steveh
    Participant

    I agree with Martin.

     
    #460599

    Sue Scott
    Participant

    Hi Both
    Thank you for responding but I am not sure you are understanding what I mean. I am probably not being very clear.

    eg:
    Meeting with Learner and Employer takes place on 28/8/20 (Zoom)
    Start date agreed as 01/09/20
    AA and CS produced with all dates entered and checked, sent out for signature on 29/08/20.
    Learner signs on 2/9/20 but employer didnt pick up the e mail and signs on 5/9/20.
    We have a record that the documents were sent prior to the start date but the signatures are all after the start date!

     
    #460677

    Martin West
    Participant

    Hi Sue,
    That would/should be acceptable at audit, any reasonable auditor would accept the delay due to your processing procedures as you have evidence the agreements were prior to the start date.
    Have you passed this by your internal auditor?
    HTH

     
    #460681

    steveh
    Participant

    Yes, no auditor would quibble at a week.

     
    #460687

    Sue Scott
    Participant

    Thanks Both

    Sue

     
    #460718

    jessicar
    Participant

    Our internal auditors made the suggestion to remove the signature date, but would this throw the bold bits out (2021 funding rules) as you ll not be able to prove they were signed prior?
    P72 Before the apprenticeship practical period starts and before the apprenticeship
    agreement is signed
    , you must ensure that the apprentice and their employer have
    contributed to and signed a copy of the commitment statement.

    But if you tweak the wording to say:
    -Date AA and CS initially agreed by all parties
    -Student signature & date signed
    -Employer signature and date signed

    Thant would suffice?

     
    #473787

    BenC
    Participant

    I wouldn’t think that removing the date box altogether was a good idea, but if you introduced the wording you suggest, and preferably had evidence of a verbal agreement on the day the CS, AA was agreed via Zoom or something, you should be ok. However, if this issue is bothering you, why not submit the question to the ESFA using their question submission process? I have asked them for answers to similar audit queries and although they take a long time to come back with an answer, they did provide me with something concrete which I can keep and show to an auditor in the future if needed.

     
    #473924
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