According to the latest news R04 will be via OLDC – see http://skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk/providers/allthelatest/Payments_and_Data/
It says: “In recognition of your concerns, for R04, we will continue to use OLDC as the collection route. EFA will use this for calculating lagged learner numbers. We will use the R04 data to adjust payments for any under / over-delivery against profile to date. From R04 onwards, payments will be based on your actual delivery to date (contracts funded through grant will continue to be paid on profile). We expect the new data collection system to be live for you to use from 21 November. There is no obligation to use the new data collection system for R04. Any data submitted through this route will not be used in funding or other calculations at R04. We anticipate that we will move to dual system running from R05.”
The R04 hard close is on 5th December, meaning that there are 10 working days between the good live systems go-live and that date. During that time all users will be expected to familiarise themselves with all components of the new systems, overcome any technical issues (in theory these should be resolved from the experiences with FIS Beta, although the new PFR, LARS & DES have yet to be seen by the sector), review the FIS outputs and validate all data and then make multiple iterative returns. Multiple returns would be required in order to receive back a full PFR and review the funding contained therein and further verify the source data. By this means full and robust data returns should be expected, which is the stated criterion for Performance Management.
However the above suggestion pre-supposes:
1/ the full accurate PFR will be available in a timely manner via OLDC (mention of which is still lacking)
2/ the live version of FIS hits this new deadline
3/ staff responsible for data returns have sufficient time to achieve in 10 days what they would normally have been given 3 months to do before Performance Management kicks in
4/ there are no further technical issues
I have to ask if everyone is content that they can work within the above constraints?
Can the full and robust live version of FIS and the PFR be made available any earlier than 21st November?
CasparOctober 31, 2013 at 11:10 am #2768
Probably not, given that at this moment in time we still haven’t got a working version of the Beta FIS.October 31, 2013 at 11:51 am #2777
I think they have really backed themselves into a corner now, there will be over performing providers crying out for performance management to take place, others who are behind or are on-track are probably not that bothered, this is a no win situation for them if the systems aren’t up to the job.
On your points;
1/ this is the key for me, I don’t care how they collect the information as long as the validation can be trusted and I can get and agree the PFR with my own calculations. The files I submitted yesterday (error and warning ridden as they were) had the reports come back reasonably quickly (within a few hours) but of course this didn’t include a full PFR and I can see this getting worse as more providers resign them to the fact the need to submit, and of course as some providers return to work next week. Can this be made to work effectively, I doubt it, this system was meant to be gone by now, they will have done nothing on making it work for 13/14 so there will be a mad IT scramble going on behind the scenes to try and make it work with no time to prepare.
2/ if no.1 above can be made to work effectively (doubtful) then I’m not actually bothered about FIS, but it would make much more sense and put far less strain on their servers if we could validate the files locally!!!
3/ as a small WBL provider who’s used to submitting monthly, who can keep a reasonable eye on performance at learner level I’m not too concerned about this bit. I’m reasonably confident now that my data is ok, the validation errors I’m getting are primarily, I think, down to LARS so if they can fix that I should be OK, however I am planning time off at the end of November as I expected it would be a reasonably quiet time!!!
4/ I somehow doubt there will be no more technical issues….
But judging by other posts on this forum I’m in a relatively good position, with so many providers not able to even install FIS, FIS rejecting files due to ‘schema’ errors but not giving a clue what it doesn’t like. For providers with thousands of learners, how can they possibly how to have valid (and most importantly reliable) data in place in the next few weeks to make sensible judgements on!October 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm #2778
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