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I can’t see why it wouldn’t be okay (without the signature per se) as essentially it is a digital signature, the more important concern for the auditor is likely to be the rest of your systems and procedures supporting this process. E.g. how you validate it is who they say they are. If it is for an apprenticeship, how will you get the employer to confirm the details, will they have to create an account too.
As long as your supporting systems and procedures are documented and can be easily tested by the auditor, I imagine they would accept this approach in principle.
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by JJP1981.
I would hazard a guess from the OP that the auditor could not see how you could effectively monitor the learner’s progress on an ongoing basis. This then posing a risk to successful completion of the apprenticeship?
Our learners update their log with the employer and assessor’s support, this is uploaded monthly and monitored by the Team Leader to ensure that the OTJ training plan is on track to meet the original plan.
It may just be the case that they couldn’t see your full system of control, or it may be that you just need to introduce and document some formal regular checks ‘centrally’, this may then satisfy the audit requirements.
Assuming it is ESFA funded I would say you should definitely have it on your enrollment forms and agreements.
I think it is certainly possible, but it is going to depend on what evidence is presented and as I said earlier, how that learner’s file looks holistically.
We’ve looked at this in the past and you get to the point where you think, if we last evidenced a face to face with the learner and employer 3 months ago and have some portfolio work evidencing continuation of learning, does it represent good value that you obtained potentially 3x OPPs extra for that work, potentially showing no employer involvement, because you deviated from your usual systems of control. I think it becomes more acceptable when it is one month, but then there are the unseen costs of policing such divergence from the standard process, and then you are looking at gaining 1 x OPP.
Under the new funding model, it isn’t even just ESFA you have to be concerned with; how is the employer going to react when they believe the programme finished 3 months ago and you want payment for the 3 months you didn’t attend their premises?
Risk vs reward, we have stuck with a system that we know auditors are happy with, but that isn’t to say others don’t successfully operate in other ways.
We’ve been through a few full audits. Our process is to use progress reviews as you mention, however; it’s not to say other evidence cannot be used, but I think this has to be considered in the context of the rest of the file. E.g. a progress review in January followed by a test in June would not be good from an audit perspective. If the test was in February, then this would be easier to justify as presumably they were preparing for the test in the intervening period.
Maybe there are other views, but from my perspective, I’d tend to stick to progress reviews as it is a clean and simple process to follow and you know the auditor will accept that!
Thanks Martin, appreciate your view on this,
I’m clear on learners with APL working 30 hours cannot have a duration of below 12 months.
What is your view on reduction due to APL down to a minimum of one year?
e.g. hours lower than 30 per week, meaning the duration is extended from 12 months to 18 months, but 20% APL is used… could this bring the minimum down from 18 months proportionately provided it never drops below 12 months?
My understanding is under FM36 you cannot ever finish in less than one year.
I did wonder however where a minimum duration has been extended due to working less than 30 hours, does APL bring the minimum duration back towards the one year?
I can’t see why you would have to withdraw due to a reduction from 30 hours. Eligibility for apprenticeships is based on them working enough hours.
Have a read through paragraphs P44 to P59 in the current provider rules to make sure they will meet the criteria.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by JJP1981.
It was published as an addendum originally. It is now in the provider funding rules, Appendix G:
hope that helps,
Thank you Martin
Sorry to jump in on this thread. So as a provider (not EP), you can deliver apprenticeships to your staff as long as you can demonstrate value for money? Does this differ depending on the contract type? e.g. it’s okay for AEB or for levy paying providers too?
That’s essentially where I was coming from Jack. Wayne has set out the issue of an individual counting against you every time that they leave their employer.
Martin responded, and my interpretation of that response was that it wouldn’t count as a withdrawal, but the subsequent response to me – I think – suggests that essentially a re-start that subsequently became an achiever could neutralise the withdrawal, rather than be a reversal of a withdrawal.
As you state however Jack, the likelihood is that you would end up with a withdrawal in one contract year, instantly impacting on the success rate in the relevant hybrid year, and then the potential to gain an achiever in another contract year.
It is not uncommon to have learners switching employers multiple times throughout their apprenticeship, and rarely is it completely seamless, so every learner now becomes a huge risk to training providers unless something changes in the QAR or the rules around withdrawal and restarting of an apprenticeship.
can you confirm the way in which you would code this in the ILR to not impact on success rates please?
I have not read anything to suggest the QAR would include a restarted withdrawal as an exclusion, so would I be right in assuming that you are changing the coding of the original programme from withdrawal to temporary withdrawal or a transfer, once they return?
Not sure whether this adds much, but we are currently awaiting the revision to the ESFA’s own privacy notice, which will hopefully address the issues and basis for capture and retention of information.
We have a wider GDPR project ongoing which has yet to complete, this may put additional burden on us over and above ESFA’s notice, but I am unclear what that would be until I see ESFA’s own notice.
I can’t say I have come across it, but if it is a genuine break in learning, and there is evidence that they have been in learning, I cannot see what the varying advice would be, surely it is as simple to action as a learner who has been on programme for 6 months.
Ultimately they have been declared as an apprentice and the employer may gain benefits as a result of this, so to change their start date and require them to re-enroll seems odd to me.
I think the evidence aspect is important and a dismissal date alone does not give confirmation that they were in learning. For example they may have been absent from work for several weeks before being dismissed.
However, if the learner was attending work and undertaking on and off the job training, and the employer can provide evidence of this, and/or the learner may have sent over some completed work to their assessor, this may be appropriate to determine the last day in learning assuming that the review previous was not an inordinate amount of time prior.
If that last date in learning is pertinent to your organisation and you have reasonable evidence as outlined above, I think you would be okay come an audit; importantly it would be clearly demonstrable to the auditor that this was an exception, dealt with in the spirit of the rules and not a methodology adopted to draw as much funding as possible.
That’s my view,
JJJanuary 17, 2018 at 10:08 am in reply to: Actual End Date – dismissal date vs last register/review date #229344
They must sit the tests, they don’t have to pass them, see:
105.2. start, continue to study and take the test for level 2 English and maths before they complete their apprenticeship: they do not have to achieve English and maths to complete their apprenticeship”
As Gaynor says, there is a ‘notice’, though I completely missed it in the miniature font!
I can confirm I have exactly the same issue. Hopefully it will be resolved soon!
Just to advise, BI reports are now showing for us,
they were due out this week, rather than yesterday. Ours are showing today on the Hub. No BI dashboards as yet though unfortunately.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by JJP1981.
Without consideration of potential double funding, applicability of apprenticeship to their career and other eligibility rules, at a simplistic level, aren’t you going to fall down on minimum duration rules?
JSeptember 12, 2017 at 3:47 pm in reply to: Gap year applicant are eligibility for an apprenticeship? #196991
my advice would be to ensure you thoroughly check your DSATs report to ensure you have removed errors or have answers ready for the auditor.
Frances’ points are definitely important too.
When looking at exemptions, we tend to keep copies of the learner’s certificates on file where possible. Failing that, use of the Learning Record Service PLR is invaluable and a print screen or a copy of the report you can download will suffice.
If you are struggling for evidence, you may find a provisional statement of results along with consideration of initial assessment results will provide sufficiently compelling evidence for auditors to be satisfied that you have made the appropriate checks.