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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Tony Braithwaite 7 years, 1 month ago.

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  • lapsed_user

    Hi All, Can anyone tell me when the new SKIFS will be available? I am wondering that if we do not make a return in the first couple of months in 13/14 and we therefore will not be able to get access to a PFR will there be a funding report in SKIFS we can access? Do other providers have other means to check the SFA funding they should receive for actual delivery?




    If you check out your contract allocation month by month for 13/14, you will see how much you will be paid in the first couple of months.



    Joanne Knowles


    I think the first few periods are being paid on profile rather than actual it was in the inform newsletter issue 72 May 13 hope that helps.





    Currently a beta version of SKIFS is due to be available some time in July, together with a final version of the LARS table structures: my reading of what will be on offer then will include validation, but not (as far as I can see) funding calculations. Assuming beta testing goes well, then we might get a full SKIFS some time in August. It’s been announced that the first two periods are to be paid on profile, so we can presumably expect funding calculations at worst by the end of October.


    Martin West

    I think this could be optimistic better to plan for Beta end of July but no fully working version until September due to the 4 months delay against what was planned.


    Tony Braithwaite

    The point being missed here, and I think what Judith was after, is that many of us rely on a calculated output from LIS (SKIFS) to indicate the exact amount of funding generated, not what is being paid on profile. We need this information to inform senior management on what the potential shortfall, or surplus, against allocation is likely to be and what further recruitment drives are necessary. If reliable actual funding information is unlikely to be available until October it may well be too late for some to ramp up enough new activity to meet the allocation.

    It does appear that the use of SKIFS is only being seen as a means to send accurate data to the Data Service; I don’t think it should be, it is a consistent tool that everyone uses to have a common understanding of funding generated.

    I am also concerned that the first quarter review, particularly for 16-18 apprenticeships could be wildly out if we are unable to prove over or under performance.



    Hi Tony, Thanks that is exactly what I was getting at. We know we are going to be paid on profile but this is unlikely to be representative of actual delivery funding. We rely on the LIS and OLDC PFR to confirm the actual funding amounts to inform management, or in lieu of this a funding report from our software supplier which is also going to be delayed unless a fully working SKIFS is made available. I am not sure that Data Service seem to realise the full implications of their delays.


    Caspar Verney

    Tony makes a very cogent case for why all of these delays and lack of information is so unacceptable.

    In terms of revenue we can expect to receive, it will only be Profile payments until the new systems are up and running and currently that is predicted to be just Periods 1 and 2, although as we see from the continuing unexplained delays, we cannot rely on that being true.

    With regards to using the SKIFS output reports to measure performance, the answer is probably that they will hope to have them available, but I don’t think that you should rely on that, personally. I often calculate funding predictions from the raw data (or PFR) so that I can add known recruitment in the future and expected completion funding and so on, that the LIS/SKIFS report never do. Given where we are currently, I would suggest that we should not rely on these things being ready when we need them (which they aren’t already).

    With regards to the Quarter 1 reviews, the Authorities cannot possibly do them if the systems are not in place in sufficient time to allow Providers to do what they need to do. Although as we still don’t even know what the rates for 16-18 Apprenticeships are going to be in 2013-14 and won’t know for another 2 months at least, it does make any kind of planning thoroughly challenging!



    Martin West

    Hi All,
    Tony you are quite correct on the point you make but we are all reliant on the Data Service delivering system on time and unfortunately there is going to be a delay, it might be only a month or more or even too late for our purposes as you have indicated.
    We need a solution that does not involve the Data Service, how about if the sector (Providers) used their combined efforts to produce an open source reporting application that can read in an XML file and produce funding reports comparable to LIS/SKIFS. A similar request has been made by ‘chrishick’ in a posting today in ‘ILR Insights – what will you share today?’ which I for one am offering to support.
    If we are fed up with the current situation with SKIFS and high charges from some software suppliers we have the capacity to do it ourselves, we only require the will to do so.


    Tony Braithwaite

    Good point Martin, I have responded to the ILR Insights – what will you share today?


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