We have an apprentice who is on track to complete their apprenticeship early. Their job role is new to the business and the employer are new to apprenticeships. The apprentice is doing over 20% per week OTJ and the completion could be a few months early.
Is it a case of them completing as per guidance or do we have to evidence why the completion is significantly earlier than the expected end date?
Appreciate any help.
Thank you.December 3, 2019 at 3:57 pm #414279
It’s fine to complete early as long as it’s 366 days long. It can’t be any less and be funded.December 4, 2019 at 1:20 pm #414456
They will also be required to meet the full OTJ hours on the original plan set out in the commitment statement.December 4, 2019 at 3:57 pm #414501
See the following as the full OTJ hrs does not need to be evidenced when the full content of the commitment statement has been delivered.
Q79 “If an individual completes their modules earlier than the planned duration i.e. a level 4 24 month planned duration but the apprentice completes all modules in 18 months, is this acceptable to the ESFA?”
Yes, if the apprentice has, for whatever reason, been able to complete in a quicker timescale, then so long as: a) the full content of the commitment statement has been delivered and b) the minimum training duration threshold of 12 months has passed then this is acceptable. The implication is that either the apprentice is a ‘fast learner’ or more than 20% has been delivered to the individual over a shorter timeframe. HTH
HTHDecember 4, 2019 at 4:56 pm #414539
We had a full assurance audit for 18/19 & the auditors were really clear what that statement meant – if the commitment statement planned say 650 OTJ hours over a 2 year period but the learner finished after 18 months the expectation is that they would have still completed 650 OTJ hours as that is what was identified at the start as the requirement for them to achieve the apprenticeship.
KateDecember 5, 2019 at 8:41 am #414632
The above is from the DfE OTJ training guidance issued in September 2019 and relates to where an Apprentice completes early. It possible that the auditors were not aware of this at the time of your last audit.
HTHDecember 5, 2019 at 9:04 am #414638
I challenged this with the auditors who were here in September 2019. They referred it back to the ESFA for clarification which they received late September/October 2019 to confirm that they must meet the original planned hours. I did suggest that the wording within the funding rules & OTJ clarification documents could be interpreted differently but the ESFA did confirm this was what the guidance meant.
KateDecember 5, 2019 at 10:22 am #414671
Yeah, sorry Kate, I agree with Martin. I had it from ESFA over a year ago that early completers *do not* need to do the full calculated hours…December 5, 2019 at 11:27 am #414711
This is really important for all providers, so it’s concerning that there has been contradictory information directly from the ESFA. How do we resolve a conflict like this?December 5, 2019 at 11:56 am #414721
I’m only relaying what the auditors confirmed during a Full Assurance audit this year. We have just received our report & they confirm the following (word for word):
“The ESFA expectation is that early completion should only take place if the learner has completed the off the job hours calculated over the planned duration rather than the actual duration e.g. a planned duration of 18 months completed in 15 months should see the learner complete the planned number of hours for the original 18 month period”
I understand what you are both saying & we interpreted this similarly however, this is not how the auditors are being advised by the ESFA in terms of the rules. Just trying to help from a provider who has recently been through a full assurance.
KateDecember 5, 2019 at 11:58 am #414727
I’ve sent something through to the service desk asking for someone to clarify here, but we’ll see (I mean *I* wouldn’t say that it’s something covered by the Pre-Election Embargo Period as it’s just a statement of policy, but I also can’t see us getting an answer before a week on Friday)December 5, 2019 at 12:00 pm #414732
Also, I’ll check with Karl at Nick’s seminar next week.
Kate, can I ask which firm it was please?December 5, 2019 at 12:01 pm #414736
It is simple, the auditors are wrong as an apprentice undertaking 20% OTJ training could never be an early completer when they cannot evidence the 20% hrs as in the commitment statement.
Where has the auditors and ESFA clarifiers common sense gone.December 5, 2019 at 12:06 pm #414742
It was RSM & I believe Karl was involved in the discussions when our auditor went back to clarify before, as a firm, they queried with the ESFA.
Would be really keen to hear what the response is at the seminar next week.
KateDecember 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm #414746
In somewhat surprising news, I’ve had an email back from the Service Desk already saying it’s been passed up the chain to the “Tier 2 support team” and a response should arrive within ten working days…December 6, 2019 at 3:52 pm #414991
Thanks for your continued support with this thread. I’d be grateful of an update once clarification is confirmed Steve.
Kate, Martin, thanks for the input too. Really appreciated.December 9, 2019 at 2:55 pm #415545
Karl was unable/unwilling to give an answer to this yesterday (which is his prerogative, given the sensitivity), will wait for feedback from ESFA.December 10, 2019 at 10:45 am #415599
Have you had anything back from the ESFA yet Steve?
Thanks very muchDecember 11, 2019 at 8:31 pm #415762
Just another “sorry for the delay” email (this is still more than I’ve had on the vast majority of my queries in the last six months)December 12, 2019 at 10:21 am #415785
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