DLOCK_11 Issue

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Ruth CJ 2 months ago.

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  • Lauren Delday

    We have been experiencing an ongoing issue for around 6 months now. We are experiencing a DLOCK_11 error on our ILR Return for ‘ The employer is not currently a levy payer’, although the employer has a DAS account is able to add apprentices which we have approved and can see their levy reports in their DAS account. The organisation became a levy paying organisation in April.
    As recommended by the ESFA they could not see any levy reports until mid-May so advised we should try a start date of the 1st June. This change also brings the same error.
    We noticed the employers PAYE scheme was different to the DAS account name and the employer has now changed this with HMRC and can see the change in their Government Gateway account, however this still did not fix the DLOCK issue.
    We feel we have exhausted all avenues, so any thoughts would be greatly accepted.


    Martin West

    Hi Lauren,
    Have you confirmed that levy contributions have been credited to the employer’s levy account?


    Lauren Delday

    Hi Martin,

    Yes funds have been credited to the employer’s levy account along with the 10% top up funds.



    Frances Hill

    Hi Lauren did you solve this, as I have a similar problem.

    Many thanks



    Lauren Delday

    Hi Francis,

    Yes we did get this resolved eventually but it took a long time. The reason the ESFA gave us for this occuring is due to the learners being added to the DAS account before the employer declares any levy payments and it therefore ‘locks’ down the employers account and this causes the DLOCK error.

    We had to log several calls with the ESFA/ NAS helpdesk and our Provider Manager had to take it back to the ESFA several times. We received notification from the ESFA that it would be resolved in time for the final upload for R14 and it seemed to resolve itself in the last upload.

    My advice would be to make your provider manager aware of the issue so they can escalate.

    Hope this helps.



    Ben Mountney


    Have this issue this month R06. Just got the Apps reports from the HUB and a DLOCK error that was not on at submission is now expressed on the Apps reports just released.

    Levy employer dips in and out of the £3M so hasn’t been required to make the payments for the last few months and now no funding is being provided by the ESFA. What action should I take?




    like Ben we have the same error this month and similarly I am wondering what action to take as they be a levy payer again next month?

    As we have had a significant amount of payment stopped this month (>10K) due to this error, surely there needs to be a better response than just stopping all funding when the same employer oscillates around the £3m threshold and possibly from one month to the next?


    Ruth CJ

    We had two apprentices that appeared in a “Learner Funding Recovery” email regarding 17/18 from ESFA, because we’d coded them as levy paying, but the employer then never had sufficient funds to pay us. I queried this;

    This employer assured us that they were a levy payer. We quickly spotted that we weren’t drawing any funds from their DAS. They told us that this was because they had insufficient funds for the time being. We invoiced them quarterly for the 10% we are meant to claim when this happens. Clearly, by the end of 17/18, we had still never had any DAS funds from them. At that point, should we have switched the Apprenticeship Contract Type to non-levy? We couldn’t have done this any earlier, as we were still expecting that they might soon have some DAS funds to pay us with. We have now had one DAS partial payment for one of these apprentices in October, so this employer clearly are a levy payer sometimes. Had we coded them as a non-levy employer at the end of 17/18, could we have continued to do so for 18/19 and beyond, even though they actually do pay the levy? What should we do if an employer had insufficient funds for a couple of months at the beginning, but then had sufficient funds after that?

    They replied;

    I apologise for the inconvenience caused by the Email from the PM team, I can confirm that learner XXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXX has not triggered a recovery of funds.

    If the Employer has a low levy balance you should keep the learners as ACT 1 and invoice the employer for the required co-investment.

    Interesting that we got the email, but they didn’t trigger a DLOCK. They were no longer on programme by R06, so if this is something that they’ve just changed, that would be why.

    I recommend contacting the service desk with the specifics, to ensure that funding isn’t being stopped. It might be yet another one of the DLOCKs you just have to ignore.

    The two DLOCK_11s we’ve got from R06, are apprentices that finished in August and October, and have demonstrably drawn down levy money in the matching R06 Apps Monthly Payment Report.



    Thanks Ruth,

    I think the real problem is, as Ben stated, that any employer with a payroll of about £3m in England could dip in and out of being a Levy or Non-levy payer from month to month.

    I can see that all funding for our one affected Levy employer that is now a non-levy employer has resulted in no January payment from this employer. If it was just the Levy running dry then it would revert to the co-investment model until the Levy pot was sufficiently replenished but in this case the employer has now changed from Levy to non-levy due to their salaries falling below the £3m Levy threshold.

    Interestingly, it has thrown up this DLOCK_11 error even for learners that had previously completed which indicates to me that the apprenticeship service has not been designed to cope with this scenario and I cannot find any explicit guidance about this in the funding rules, support manual or technical guidance.

    I hope someone will come up with a solution that can accommodate employers transiting between Levy and non-levy?


    Ruth CJ

    Yes, we have employers that dip in and out. That was the situation in the case above. What happens when an employer hasn’t gone above £3 million for months and months? At point do they become officially a non-levy payer? Do you go with their status in the month in which the apprentice enrols, and stick with that for the duration?

    I think you’re right, the systems have not been designed to cope with this. I don’t think scenarios like this were thought through very well.

    I remember that Nick Linford’s advice at one time was just to not work with employers close to the £3 million, as it’s too complicated!

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