Wonder if you can help point me in the right direction.
When an apprentice leaves (typically 2nd- 4th year) what date is to be input in the ILR as their ‘Actual’ end date? We have always used the date they resign, or the date their sponsorship is terminated from.
I was at a course yesterday with an auditor present and he said that we should always go back to their last review date as they are the only proof that learning is still continuing. I tried to argue that any work completed within their job is contribution towards the apprenticeship but he was having none of it.
Do any of you know where I can find in written in guidance/manuals/spec?
thanks in advanceFebruary 13, 2015 at 11:43 am #13511
There was a recent clarification issued for this in the new Funding Rules but technically your evidence has be of learning. We use the last review, classroom register, assessment evidence, letter from employer if following an NVQ, any recent achievement.
Hope this helps.
TraceyFebruary 13, 2015 at 11:52 am #13512
Having been audited last year I can confidently inform you that the date you MUST use is the actual last evidenced date in learning.
For example :- a Review, if that was the last contact date. Or attendance at college if they are doing day release or e-portfolio work.
I also understand that when an apprentice is at work they are in fact still training or learning but the SFA will not accept that.
It HAS to be the last EVIDENCED date in learning, (contact between provider and learner).
Hope that helps somewhat.
SteveFebruary 13, 2015 at 11:55 am #13513
Have to disagree with Steve over this but here is my interpretation of the requirement.
The ILR Support Manual states this as: Date of last learning activity for the aim
The funding rules state: If a learner withdraws from learning without achieving their learning aim, any claim for funding must only be up to the last point where you can provide evidence that the learner was still in learning.
Part of the evidence required for this is: In terms of an Apprenticeship framework, the last date of actual learning where the apprentice withdraws without achieving the Apprenticeship framework is the date on which the apprentice was taking part in any learning aim that is part of the framework.
So you need evidence of last activity on the framework and this can be from any of the framework aims so register would be appropriate for classroom delivery but for workplace delivery this can be any evidence that confirms learning activity in the workplace be it last review, evidence from portfolio or workplace assessment or even confirmation from the employer, assessor or learner.
The rules also allow for self-certification by the learner: Any self-certification by the learner must confirm both the learner’s details and the details that the learner is confirming. We accept that this can be in an electronic format.
I think what the auditor was referring to was that in the absence of any other evidence the last recorded review would be appropriate.
HTHFebruary 13, 2015 at 12:27 pm #13515
We used to use Learner as a last resort, but with the clarification recently issued I had thought perhaps it was a little risky. What do you receive from the learner to support learning? Is this something signed by the learner?
TraceyFebruary 13, 2015 at 12:47 pm #13516
Thanks for the responses so far.
when you say evidence from employer would something as simple as an email/letter from them stating that the learner was still undertaking learning towards their apprenticeship upto the point they left suffice?
why is there nowhere in the rules/guidance (to my knowledge) that specifically says what evidence they will accept!! argh!
thanksFebruary 13, 2015 at 12:55 pm #13518
We have a withdrawal form that the employer signs to confirm the last date in learning with them. An email is sufficient provided it is clearly from the employer.
We have gone through two PFA audit and countless ESF audits with no issues raised.
Unfortunately it is all about interpretation.
TraceyFebruary 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm #13520
I can confirm that the SFA Auditors will NOT accept any form of evidence other than last evidenced date in learning.
Re Para 127,128 and 129 of page 29 Funding rules 15/16 for clarity. The same rules are in force for 14/15
Attendance record in class or a register on its own is not sufficient…
We fell foul of this actual rule last year and it had a significant clawback issue… we were using the date they left the company believing that was sufficient as they were advanced apprentices learning on the job (NVQ3) it was NOT accepted.
It MUST be last evidenced date – as you indicate the review, online software, etc they would not accept confirmation from the employer or a self declaration form the apprentice.
Steve.February 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm #13521
Yes confirmation from the learner is the last resort but in practice only used where confirmation from the employer cannot be obtained (gone out of business)
HTHFebruary 13, 2015 at 1:14 pm #13523
If you were using the date they left the company then I can understand why an auditor would want more a more substantial form of evidence as they also has to have confidence that you have the correct procedures and understand what the rules are.
RegardsFebruary 13, 2015 at 1:15 pm #13524
To clarify, we do know the rules and do have appropriate procedures but what I wanted to get across was the point that our PFA Auditors would not accept a written confirmation from either the employer or a self declaration from the apprentice that they were in fact in learning up until the point they left the company whilst they were undertaking the NVQ3 – the auditors would only accept – review dates, attendance records, e-portfolio access signatures with time stamp etc…
It appears that there are different interpretations being used by a variety of PFA Auditors – just be careful, it costs dearly.
SteveFebruary 13, 2015 at 1:24 pm #13526
In general terms I have found that all auditors always work the same way and it is a process of do you understand the rules and do you have the processes in place and have the evidence.
The fact that you did use the date they left would always prompt an auditor to ask for evidence to support this in the way you outlined and what they would be looking for would be consistency in the evidence. I expect that if there was a significant difference between the date of your last evidence and the date you were claiming funding up to it would place doubt on the reliability of the final evidence especially if this was for a cohort of similar learners or it was for a significant amount of funding.
Auditors do stand in judgement and consider the reliance of the evidence, processes and our understanding of the requirements but I have found in over 30 years of experience that they are reasonable and treat all providers equally.
I remember one instance when an auditor commented ‘these signatures look inconsistent with the learner’s enrolment form’ to which I replied ‘are you saying they are forged’ the reply was of course No but I did instruct my staff to return in future any documentation where there were significant variations in the signature.
The more audits you go through the more you learn.
RegardsFebruary 13, 2015 at 2:32 pm #13552
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