New ILR field 19/20 – Planned Hours

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  hlogden 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • Spats

    How are others reading this?

    Page 130, new mandatory ILR field to record planned OTJ hours on apprenticeships. To me, there’s a blatant contradiction between the definition of the field and the notes.


    For apprenticeships this field collects the Planned off-the-job training hours (as defined in the funding rules) for the individual apprentice in the academic year by the training provider, sub-contracted training providers and the employer.


    Planned off-the-job training hours for the individual apprentice over the full apprenticeship (excluding the end point assessment period) by the training provider, sub-contracted training providers and the employer.

    Which do we think it is? Planned hours over the academic year or planned hours for the entire planned duration?


    Martin West

    Hi Spats,
    I am sure it means as per the commitment statement but if you interpret this differently then maybe they should revise the wording.
    The first paragraph indicates it is the total OTJ hours (at provider, subcontractor and employer)



    I would imagine it is over the full apprenticeship. Hopefully they will correct the wording in the definition.
    I note they also say “Any changes to the values entered in this field during the apprenticeship may be subject to further compliance checks”.



    It’s the “in the academic year” bit of the definition that’s the issue – that makes it sound as though we record them in the same way as we would the planned hours for a 16-19 FM25 learner.

    I agree in that I think the intention is that the OTJ for the entire duration are recorded here – the last para in the notes says that any changes to the value recorded in the field may be queried – but the definition section isn’t clear at all.

    I’m also not entirely clear on whether this is just for new starts from 1st Aug ’19 or if we’re also expected to return it for all existing learners from R01.

    <cross-post with OFFS>

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  Spats.

    Ruth CJ

    My first thought was that it was annual, because the previous field of OTJHours was annual, but the purpose of those two fields are completely differnt. OTJHours was Actual, this is Planned. The notes also say “Any changes to the values entered in this field during the apprenticeship may be subject to further compliance checks”, which makes me think it’s whole duration. I suspect they just copied and pasted the OTJ definition, and made some tweaks, accidentally leaving in the academic year bit.

    Just heads up on reporting this, the 19/20 ILR Spec says;

    13. For queries relating to the ILR Specification and ILR data returns, please contact the Service Desk on 0370 267 0001 or complete the online enquiry form.

    Don’t use the online form, they just reply telling you that they’ve forwarded your query to sde.servicedesk who deal with ILR queries. Perhaps they plan to consolidate these service desks for next year.

    The error I spotted is that the notes for Outcome says; “For apprenticeship standards, learners that end on or after 1 August 2019, Code 8 ‘Learning activities are complete but the outcome is not yet known’ must be used at the end of learning and prior to the end point assessment period. Once the End point assessment has taken place this is then updated accordingly”. We know that you can’t record an Outcome of 8 unless the Completion Status is 2, yet the Completion Status notes say; “For apprenticeship standards, the learning activities for the programme aim include both the training and end point assessment. Code 2 must only be used for the apprenticeship standard programme aim where both the training and end point assessment activities have been completed”. I think they just haven’t thought to update the Completion Status notes. Actual End Date will be before the EPA, and you can’t record an Actual End Date with a Completion Status of 1.



    We’ll have to get clarification on the carry over point. If they are to be included then ILR software will probably need the field soon to allow good time for capture rather than having to update everyone in August.
    It is just possible this hasn’t been full thought through of course…


    Ruth CJ

    We’ll be able to tell once the validation rules are out, but when are they due?


    Martin West

    As PHours is a mandatory field collected for Apprenticeships (Funding Model 36) my assumption is that applies to all FM36 Apprenticeships included in the 2019/20 ILR.
    The migration specifications should confirm this, but they have not been updated for the new fields.



    Probably a good assumption, although it would be ‘helpful’ to make the field optional for a few periods to give people time to add it for the carryover.
    Migration spec should be updated soon I would think. Validation rules come out a bit later I think, once the ILR has been finally settled.


    Martin West

    The revised migration specifications only say ‘This is a new field for 2019/2020’ so will have to wait for the validation rules.




    The definition element of this new field is unfortunately incorrect in regards to the reference to academic year.

    Please follow the guidance section of the field (as with all fields) which contains the correct guidance for all providers.

    WHen the provider support manual is published it will match the guidance section of the field.


    Mark Shield
    Data Specification Manager



    Thanks Mark



    I am not an expert so I have lost track of that last bit but you seem to be the only one at the ESFA answering. Do you have an answer to what figure you want putting in the OTJ hours. i’m clear its planned hours even though your description says its what delivered (does no one read these things before you issue them to 3000 providers!). Do you want planned hours in the month/year/total or year to date. Considering these are planned hours and OTJ hours are not spread evenly across the programme I would think the total hours would be the only sensible option.



    FWIW, my understanding of his response is that this para in the Notes applies (my bold) rather than the Definition para:
    “Planned off-the-job training hours for the individual apprentice over the full apprenticeship (excluding the end point assessment period) by the training provider, sub-contracted training providers and the employer.”
    So yes, total OTJ hours.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  OFFS.


    Just an aside, as Mark seems to have cleared up the main issue, but I asked the Service Desk about this (admittedly only an hour after V2 came out) and they thought I was referring to study programme hours… Can we maybe brief Service Desk staff before new things are released perhaps???

    Also Mark, cannot we not just have V2.1 with the definition corrected? Because otherwise you’re going to spend the next nine months answering this question over and over. Very few people read FEConnect and a good chunk don’t read every page of PSM (I mean, it keeps me in business but…).



    Could definitely do with a more distinct and clear title for the new field.
    Maybe P-Off_hours…



    Yeah, as per steveh above, when I called the Service Desk about this it became very apparent very quickly that the person answering the phone didn’t know anything about the new field having been created or any new documentation being released.

    I’d be deeply embarrassed if my employer put me in a position where our clients knew more about our delivery and policies than I did.



    Dear all,
    I’m new to this process, as is our apprenticeship team and between us we are a still a little confused about exactly which figure to record in the ILR return. Do we record the planned hours based on the 20% OTJ calculation which is based on the hours that an apprentice works – this would mean that all apprentices who work e.g 37.5 hours per week will have the same figure for planned OTJ, irrespective of the programme. This has confused us a little so we are wondering whether we are meant to use the planned hours as per the programme which in most cases is more than 20%. As I’ve noted that we need to record actual for 2020/21 this would mean that the two figures are likely to marry up. Is the 20% calculation based on working hours just meant to provide a basedline? Any advice much appreciated.

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