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1. Apprenticeship agreement for training providers for the provision of levy-funded apprenticeship training
Successful applicants to the register of apprenticeship training providers can now review and sign their apprenticeship agreement for the provision of levy-funded apprenticeship training on the Skills Funding Service (SFS).
This is a single agreement covering training provider and employer-provider delivery. It sets out the terms on which the SFA can pay funds from an employer’s digital account to providers for the training and assessment of apprentices.
You need the SFS - Contract authoriser role to sign the agreement and receive email alerts, which you can request in our Information Management Services (IDAMS). You can find out more in the guide to SFS user roles.
Before we can pay training providers for delivery of apprenticeship training they must agree to the terms and conditions in this agreement
2. SFA funding agreements and subcontracting declarations
In-scope organisations with an SFA funding agreement must submit a subcontracting declaration for the second time in the funding year 2016 to 2017, as stated in the common and performance management funding rules (para A69).
If you subcontract: you must submit a subcontracting declaration form detailing your current subcontracting arrangements.
If you do not subcontract: you must provide a ‘nil return’ and this now can be submitted through the skills funding service (SFS). If you have a nil return but have previously subcontracted in 2016 to 2017 you will need to submit a declaration form detailing this rather than using the SFS.
We have sent an email to all in-scope organisations, which includes details on how to submit a form or provide a ‘nil return’.
If you fail to submit a return by Friday 31 March, your payment will be suspended.
3. Apprenticeship reforms: proposal to withdraw fourth batch of frameworks
There is just one week remaining for giving feedback on the withdrawal of the fourth batch of apprenticeship frameworks. The proposal is now open, and will close at 5pm on 5 April 2017.
The frameworks included in this proposal have replacement apprenticeship standards that cover the same occupations. We expect the replacement standards to be ready for delivery by 1 April 2018. The proposed last date for new starts on these frameworks is 31 March 2018.
You can provide feedback through our online survey.
4. Announcement of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, from 1 April 2017
The Secretary of State has agreed that the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and Education Funding Agency (EFA) will be brought together to create one funding agency from 1 April 2017. This agency will be named the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and its first working day will be Monday, 3 April.
This has been announced in a Written Ministerial Statement.
This announcement will have no impact on existing contracts and funding agreements with education and skills providers and other contractors.
Please contact your business operations provider manager if you have any further questions.
5. Update – 2017 to 2018 allocations
We will shortly issue allocation statements for 2017 to 2018 to colleges and training organisations. Statements will be issued through the Hub.
The covering letter to the statements includes the detail of how we have worked out your allocations.
For further information, please contact your business operations provider manager.
6. 2016 – 2017 Apprenticeship funding rules
The current 2016 – 2017 apprenticeship rules will be reissued this week. The content of the rules documents will not be changing.
The only change from the existing version is that the dates will be revised to cover apprenticeship starts until the end of April. This will ensure continuity until the 2017 – 2018 apprenticeship funding rules come in to effect for new starts from May.
The note that refers to apprenticeships on the cover of the common funding rules will also change from March to April.
7. Financial Assurance 2016 to 2017: Monitoring the funding rules
We recently published a new suite of funding monitoring reports in the Hub. These now include R07 individualised learner record (ILR) data. You must review this data to determine whether you need to make any data corrections in your next ILR submission. Where the data is correct, you must ensure that you have the evidence to justify the funding claimed. This includes making sure that any subcontractors also meet this requirement.
For further information, please contact your Business Operations Provider Manager.