Employer Providers and Subcontracting

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Martin West 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • Emma M


    Hoping I can get some help from someone who has a little experience in subcontracting – I’ll try to explain as clearly as I can.

    We’re aware that there was a change to the rules about subcontracting: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/subcontracting-using-funding-to-offer-education-and-training

    I checked the EP funding rules for subcontracting and couldn’t see reference to the above guidance in there, but did see reference in the Provider rules. I queried with our account manager who said that it applies to both Providers and Employer Providers and that we must ensure our agreement contains:

    •clearly describe, before each subcontracting relationship is agreed the reason for subcontracting and all services they will provide and the associated costs when doing so. This will include a list of specific costs for managing the subcontractor, quality monitoring activities, and for any other support activities offered by the main provider to the subcontractor
    •ensure all costs are individually itemised and describe how each cost contributes to delivering high-quality learning. Providers must also explain how such costs are reasonable and proportionate to delivery of the learning or apprenticeship training
    •include a breakdown of all services and costs in each subcontract

    What’s confused me is that our subcontractor doesn’t seem to think that we need any revision to our contract with them, and the EP funding rules seem to support this. I don’t know whether I should be forcing the issue or not and was wondering what other EP’s were doing, or if anyone has any more knowledge about this that might be able to help.


    Martin West

    Hi Emma,
    Your Accounts Manager represents the ESFA so I would go with the instruction that you must include this in any subcontract agreements, I do not think the excuse that others are not doing it would go down to well if picked up at Audit.


    Emma M

    Hi Martin,

    Appreciate the comments. I have no problem with adding the information to our agreement, but the subcontractor don’t think it’s relevant; which is the blocker I now face. I’m always happy to comply if that’s whats needed, but I’m struggling to find any guidance or rules that I can use to go back to the subcontractor.


    Martin West

    Just refer them to this article https://feweek.co.uk/2019/07/10/shock-new-subcontracting-rule-to-be-phased-in-following-sector-criticism/
    It applies to all Apprenticeship and FE subcontracting it is in your interest to include this in your contracts to show that you are complying.

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