Guidance

Application guidance for the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers – Version 3 August 2019

For organisations who want to receive government funds to deliver apprenticeship training.

1. Information about this application guidance

This guidance is for organisations applying to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, who want to deliver government-funded apprenticeships in England.

It covers:

  • the application process (note there are 3 application routes: main provider, employer provider and supporting provider)
  • supporting information required for your application
  • guidance on the application questions
  • next steps after your application
  • exit policy for existing providers that are unsuccessful

View this application guidance in PDF format:

2. Application process

There are 8 steps in the application process

  1. Read becoming an apprenticeship training provider
  2. Check your application route and eligibility
  3. Read our conditions of acceptance – you will be required to agree to these
  4. Read this application guidance
  5. Prepare what you need and apply using the Department for Education’s Sourcing Team eTendering Portal (Bravo)
  6. Your Application evaluation
  7. Monitor your emails for the outcome and next steps
  8. Join the register

Note you must only apply to one route according to your status.

This application process remains unchanged from that which was set out in the guidance published in December 2018.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) may review this process and any part of this may be subject to change, including but not limited to, the application questions and eligibility requirements.

This updated guidance provides further clarification on certain application questions, ESFA’s evaluation approach and appeals process.

3. Documents and evidence you will need to supply

As part of the application process, you must answer questions about your organisation and upload the required evidence (some of which will be attachments).

You must answer every question that appears to you and not leave any blanks.

Below is a summary of the evidence that you will need to provide.

Each application question details any required supporting evidence and is set out in this document.

It will be useful to review all guidance in relation to apprenticeship delivery to help ensure you are ready to deliver apprenticeship training.

The Becoming an apprenticeship training provider page will direct you to the appropriate guidance.

3.1: Your organisation

All organisations across the 3 application routes must provide:

  • a management hierarchy for apprenticeships
  • a document confirming details of Information Commissioners Office (ICO) registration

3.2: Your financial health

Depending on your answers in the application, we may also ask you to provide:

  • financial statements
  • management accounts
  • accounts for a parent company
  • financial forecasts if you are applying as a supporting provider

3.3: Your leaders and managers

Here, we will need details of the experience your management structure has in delivering training, as well as any evidence of working with employers to develop programmes and train their employees.

Certain organisations are exempt from your leaders and managers questions, we cover exemptions in section four of this guidance document.

We will obtain confirmation from other registration processes, or information held in the public domain to support a claim for an exemption.

3.4: Your people and planning

We will ask you to provide:

  • a sample of your employees’ relevant experience and expertise
  • your organisation’s policy for professional development for employees and evidence of implementation

Supporting providers are exempt from certain questions in the ‘Your people and planning’ section.

3.5: Your readiness to engage

We will ask organisations applying to the main provider route to provide a:

  • policy or practice for how they will engage with employers to design and deliver their apprenticeship requirements
  • policy, procedure and process for complaints from learners and employers
  • template of their/your contract for services for use with employers for the delivery of apprenticeship training

We will ask organisations applying to the main and employer provider route to provide a:

  • commitment statement template
  • delivery model for performing initial assessments of prior learning
  • delivery model for delivering English and maths training provision

3.6: Your apprentices’ welfare

We will ask all organisations to provide a:

  • policy for continuity of apprenticeship delivery
  • policy for equality and diversity for apprentices
  • policy for safeguarding apprentices
  • policy that complies with the Prevent duty for apprentices
  • policy for health and safety for apprentices

Certain organisations are exempt from questions.

We cover exemptions in section four of this guidance document.

We will get confirmation from other registration processes, or information held in the public domain.

4. Exemptions

Your responses to some questions may result in an exemption to subsequent questions.

You do not need to complete ‘Your leaders and managers’ and ‘Your apprentices’ welfare’ sections if you:

  • have an Ofsted grade of Outstanding or Good for apprenticeships, awarded in the last 3 years

Or

  • have had a short Ofsted inspection confirming an overall effectiveness grade of Outstanding or Good, and you were awarded an apprenticeship grade of Outstanding or Good in your most recent full inspection

And

  • have kept ESFA, SFA or EFA funding since then
  • hold Initial Teacher Training (ITT) accreditation and only intend to deliver the postgraduate teaching apprenticeship

Note: Prior to November 2016, providers were not awarded a separate inspection grade for apprenticeships

Your apprentices’ welfare

You do not need to complete ‘Your apprentices’ welfare’ section and some of the questions in the ‘Your leaders and managers’ section if you:

  • have an Ofsted grade of Outstanding or Good for overall effectiveness within the remit of Further Education and Skills

Or

  • had a short Ofsted inspection confirming an overall effectiveness grade of Outstanding or Good, and you were awarded an overall effectiveness grade of Outstanding or Good in your most recent full inspection

And

  • have kept ESFA, SFA or EFA funding since then
  • are funded by Office for Students (OfS)

5. How to apply

ESFA uses the secure e-procurement tool ‘Bravo’ to receive and manage applications to RoATP.

5.1: Registering on Bravo

If you do not have a Bravo account, you will need to create one before you can apply by following the steps below:

  1. Go to the login/register box on the right side of the Bravo homepage
  2. Accept the user agreement
  3. Complete the registration form to create an account
  4. You will get an email with a username and temporary password from Bravo Solutions
  5. Click the link in the email and sign in to the portal to change your password

If you forget your username or password, you can recover both by clicking ‘Forgot your password?’ on the login page.

5.2: Starting an application using Bravo

To start your application:

  1. Login to Bravo
  2. Select ‘PQQs open to all suppliers’
  3. Choose the most appropriate option from the list (‘RoATP main provider application’, ‘RoATP employer provider application’ or ‘RoATP supporting provider application’)
  4. Click ‘Express interest’ - this will move your application to ‘My PQQs’
  5. Select the ‘My PQQs’ tab and click on the application
  6. Click ‘Create Response’ to start your application
  7. You must click ‘Submit Changes’ to retain any edits you make

5.3: Returning to an application

To continue your application:

  1. Login to Bravo
  2. Select the ‘My PQQs’ tab and click on the application
  3. Click ‘Edit Response’ to continue your application
  4. You must click ‘Submit Changes’ to retain any edits you make

5.4: Answering questions

The application has 10 sections and each question has a unique reference number.

Mandatory questions have red asterisks next to them and you can click ‘validate’ to check if they are complete.

This does not validate optional questions.

You will need to save your answers (by clicking on ‘Submit Changes’) because if you close the application or your session times out these will not automatically save.

You will give your answers:

  • through an options list, this will allow single selection of an answer
  • through auto-complete, this will allow single selection of an answer with the option to type to find this
  • by giving numbers, this will allow negatives and whole numbers
  • in text boxes, this will allow you to describe or provide examples (limited to 2,000 characters, please note in Bravo this count includes character spaces)
  • by giving dates, this can be through the calendar or entry of a date in the DD/MM/YYYY format
  • checking boxes, this will allow multiple-choice selection of answers
  • by uploading attachments, this can be in PDF, Excel, Word and image files like PNG or JPEG

We cannot open Mac or equivalent files or extensions. If you need to upload multiple attachments for one question, use a zip file. Use your UKPRN, the question reference and a 2-word title to name the file for example, ‘12345678 OD9 Organisation Chart’ or ‘12345678 CCPP10 Professional Development’ and do not password protect them.

All answers must be in English.

5.5: Downloading the application form

You must complete an application using the Bravo portal, answering the questions in the sequence they appear as this will automatically direct you to the next question that requires an answer.

You can download the application form into Excel to share it within your organisation but must not upload it back into Bravo.

We provide no support on the download or upload of the application form in Bravo.

6. Application questions

You will be able to see all the questions prior to completing the application.

In this section, below you find additional information on each question to support you with your application.

6.1 Our conditions of acceptance (COA)

The COA apply to applications or re-applications for acceptance for admission onto RoATP made on or after 12 December 2018 and for the duration of any such admission.

If you do not comply with the COA either in respect of your application or subsequently when admitted onto RoATP, your organisation may be removed from RoATP.

ESFA may reject this application if there is a failure to answer all relevant questions fully, or false or misleading information is provided.

False or misleading information may result in exclusion from the RoATP and could result in civil or criminal proceedings.

ESFA may reject this application if there is evidence of collusion with other providers/organisations.

This could include the use of generic document templates or documents that have been produced by other organisations/third parties and then re-branded.

ESFA may use information it already holds or obtains from other government bodies or is available in the public domain or is lawfully requested or obtained from third parties to validate and verify answers given in the application.

ESFA have the right to refuse applications and take legal action if any attempts are made to engage in corrupt practices or influence their staff or officials, including financial or legal advisers when making an application.

6.2: Your organisation (OD-)

This section forms part of due diligence checks to help safeguard public funding.

OD-1: What is your UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN)?

In order to join the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, all organisations must first register with UK Register of Learning Providers (UKLRP).

Register to obtain a UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN).

The registered legal name of your organisation is:

OD-3: If you trade under a different name, what is your trading name?

A trading name is different to your registered or legal name. It is also known as a ‘business name’.

OD-4: What is your UK registered business address?

This must be a registered business address in the UK and not a residential address.

For companies this will be your registered office address on Companies House.

OD-5: What is your company number?

This is your company number with Companies House.

Enter ‘NA’ if your organisation is not a company or a limited liability partnership.

OD-6: If registered with a charity commission or regulator, enter your Charity Registration Number

This is your Charity Registration Number with The Charity Commission (of England and Wales), The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland or the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Please select the appropriate legal status of your organisation from the options list.

OD-8: How long have you been actively trading?

Your organisation is ‘actively trading’ when it is:

  • carrying on a business activity such as a trade or professional activity
  • buying and selling goods or services with a view to making a profit or surplus
  • providing chargeable services

It does not include start-up or set-up costs, these are not proof of actively training.

OD-9: What type of organisation are you?

Please select the appropriate type of organisation you are from the options list.

OD-10: How would you classify your organisation?

To help you answer the question, we have explained the options:

  • ‘public service mutual’ - an organisation that has left the public sector but continues to deliver public services
  • ‘sheltered workshop’ - an organisation that employs people with disabilities separately from others
  • ‘small or medium enterprise’ - defined by the European Commission
  • ‘third sector’ - a voluntary or community organisation. For example, a registered charity, an association, self-help group or community group, a social enterprise, a mutual or a co-operative

OD-11: Upload a copy of your registration certificate from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO)

Please upload a document that includes your full organisation name, registration number, date of registration and expiry of registration

OD-12: Upload your management hierarchy for apprenticeships

We have provided a template that you must upload. You must provide details for your senior management team responsible for apprenticeship training.

For each person, you must provide their:

  • full name
  • job role
  • time in role, in years or months
  • who they report to
  • details for other organisations they are involved in who are receiving funding directly from Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) or as a subcontractor

OD-13: Enter the first and last name of your officer accountable for apprenticeships

This is the person accountable for the overall management and governance of apprenticeships in your organisation. They must be a senior officer or owner and either:

  • the head of your organisation
  • your vice-chancellor
  • your chief executive or equivalent
  • your current ‘accounting officer’ – only if you are a further education or sixth form college and have an existing relationship with ESFA

6.3 Your declarations (DE-EX-)

To help you answer these questions, we have explained:

  • ‘anyone who represents, supervises or has control in your organisation or a partner or parent organisation’, includes members of your group of economic operators, their proposed subcontractors, directors, partners, or anyone who has powers of representation, decision or control
  • ‘majority shareholders, current directors, senior employees’, includes individuals with 25% or more shareholding, directors who are still in a position of authority and any senior employees with significant influence or control within your organisation

Criminal convictions section

If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, you should include additional evidence as a ‘general attachment’ at the end of the application form.

All attachments must be in the format specified in the application form.

When providing additional evidence consider including:

  • conviction dates and whether these are spent
  • full names of the people involved
  • a brief summary of the offence
  • outstanding judgements or legal proceedings, what they are and how long they are expected to run
  • any additional actions you have undertaken in relation to the offence

Compliance section

If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, you should include additional evidence as a ‘general attachment’ at the end of the application form.

All attachments must be in the format specified in the application and described in the section answering questions.

When providing additional evidence consider including:

  • a brief summary, including relevant dates and the type of proceedings where if appropriate
  • name and address of administrators if in administration or receivership
  • the expected outcome. For example, will the organisation be saved, sold or will investors be sought
  • if repaying debts, how are you repaying the debt and what is the date the debt will be cleared
  • if the debt refers to a person, include their full names
  • any actions you have undertaken to mitigate damage to the ESFA, public funds or the apprenticeship service and apprentices

6.4 Your financial health (FH-)

This section is to check your finances and ability to meet ongoing financial commitments. Details on how your financial health grade is calculated are set out in the ESFA’s financial health policy.

FH-1: Do you consider your organisation exempt from financial health assessment?

(Exemption 3) You do not have to complete a financial health assessment if your organisation is a:

  • Higher Education Institution (HEI) monitored and supported by Office for Students (OfS)
  • academy or free school registered with ESFA
  • General Further Education (GFE), national, or sixth form college currently receiving funding from the ESFA
  • Central Government Department, Executive Agency or Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB)
  • local authority, including LEA schools
  • NHS Trust, Fire Authority, Police Constabulary or Police and Crime Commissioner

FH-2: If you answered ‘Yes’ to question FH-1, what class of organisation are you?

Please select the appropriate option from the drop-down list.

FH-3: Is your annual turnover more than £75 million and your total funding from the ESFA expected to be no more than 5% of your annual turnover?

If you meet the criteria, you will only need to submit full financial statements. We will review this to confirm you are out of scope of the rest of the financial checks.

If upon review, your financial statements do not meet the required criteria of £75 million annual turnover and ESFA funding is no more than 5% of your annual turnover, it may impact on the outcome of your application, and you will be subject to a full financial health assessment.

FH-4: What financial evidence are you providing?

If you are applying to the main and employer route, you must provide full financial statements.

If applicable they should be signed and filed with either Companies House or the Charity Commission. They cannot be abbreviated or filleted accounts or for a micro-entity.

If your financial statements cover less than 12 months, you must supplement them with management accounts from the end of the financial statements period, to the day before the date of your application.

They cannot be abbreviated or filleted accounts or for a micro-entity. If you do not provide both the financial statements and management accounts, you will get an inadequate financial health grade.

We will not consider alternative financial information for the main and employer route other than what is stated in the above two paragraphs.

If you are applying to the supporting route and have not traded long enough to produce financial statements, you must provide management accounts covering a minimum period of 3 months showing you are actively trading.

If your management accounts cover a period of less than 12 months, you must supplement them with forecast information for the remaining period. This must total to a 12-month period.

We will only accept management accounts and financial forecasts for the supporting route where financial statements are yet to be produced.

If financial statements have been produced these must be submitted and meet the minimum requirements as stated in this section.

For all routes, financial statements, management accounts and forecast information must be full submissions including all pages.

They must include as a minimum a profit and loss account, balance sheet, detailed notes on the accounts, and a breakdown of creditors and borrowings.

If you are only providing final and signed financial statements covering a 12-month period, do not provide management accounts as they will not be reviewed or taken into consideration.

‘Financial statements’ is a term used that covers limited companies, unlimited companies, limited liability partnerships, sole traders, charities and partnerships. For example, partnership accounts.

FH-5: If you are required to provide financial statements in question FH-4, have they been submitted to Companies House or the Charity Commission?

Your financial statements must be submitted to Companies House or the Charity Commission. If they are not, we may reject your application.

FH-6: What is the accounting reference date for the financial information being submitted?

Your accounting reference date is detailed on your financial statements for the year or period end.

FH-9: Upload your financial evidence

You must upload the most recent set of financial evidence that matches your answer to questions FH-4 and FH-6.

We will review this information against any previous applications to ensure consistency and accuracy.

FH-10: Do you have an ultimate UK parent company?

Your ultimate UK parent company is the ultimate controlling company within your group and is the highest legal entity in the UK. It cannot be registered as ‘dormant’ on Companies House.

We do not want details of an ultimate parent company that is based overseas.

FH-11: If you answered ‘Yes’ to question FH-10, enter their full name

This is their legal name registered with Companies House.

FH-12: If you answered ‘Yes’ to question FH-10, enter their company number

This is their company number at Companies House.

FH-13: If you answered ‘Yes’ to question FH-10, what financial evidence are you providing for them?

For your ultimate UK parent, you must provide their consolidated accounts. If these are not available, you must give us their latest financial statements from all of their subsidiary companies.

FH-14: If you answered ‘Yes’ to question FH-10, upload their financial evidence

You must upload the most recent set of financial information of your ultimate UK parent company that matches your answer to question FH-13.

We will review this information against any previous applications to ensure consistency and accuracy.

Profitability

This is the applying organisation’s operating position after tax as a percentage of your net income. This is then adjusted for any depreciation and amortisation charges for the year, and dividends.

Where you have a value, enter this in pounds. For example, £1.3 million would be 1300000.

Where you do not have a value to enter in the below, please enter a 0 (zero).

FH-15: Total turnover (£)

You can find your total turnover on your profit and loss statement, income and expenditure account or statement of financial activities.

FH-16: Total depreciation and amortisation charges for the year (£)

This can be found within the operating profit note to the accounts, usually note 2, and include multiple items. You must provide the sum of all these items.

For sole traders and partnerships this figure may be found under ‘Expenditure’.

FH-17: Profit or loss after tax (£)

Profit or loss is the net amount earned after tax.

You can find it on:

  • your profit and loss statement – for companies
  • the net profit on your accounts – for sole traders
  • the net profit on your accounts, it can be known as net movement in funds – for charities

For net losses, enter the figure using a negative value. For example, ‘-1000’.

FH-18: Dividends (£)

You can find this within your notes to the accounts.

Solvency

This is the applying organisation’s total current assets divided by your total current liabilities.

Where you have a value enter this in pounds. For example, £1.3 million would be 1300000.

Where you do not have a value to enter in the below, please enter a 0 (zero).

FH-19: Total current assets (£)

You can find this on your balance sheet.

FH-20: Total current liabilities (£)

You can find this on your balance sheet under the ‘creditors: amount falling due within one year’.

Gearing

This is the applying organisation’s total debt calculated as a percentage. It is the sum of your total debt and shareholder’s funds less any declared intangible assets.

Where you have a value enter this in pounds. For example, £1.3 million would be 1300000.

Where you do not have a value to enter in the below, please enter a 0 (zero).

FH-21: Total borrowings (£)

This is usually in the ‘creditors notes, those within one year and those falling after more than one year’ and in the notes to the accounts.

You will need to provide a total of:

  • bank overdraft
  • bank and other loans
  • amounts owed to directors, including director loans or director accounts
  • amounts owed to group or subsidiaries
  • amounts due under finance leases or hire purchase contracts

FH-22: Shareholder’s funds/net assets (£)

You can find this on your balance sheet under ‘the sum of all assets less all liabilities’.

For sole traders and partnerships, this is the capital account balance.

For net liabilities, enter the figure using a negative value. For example, ‘-1000’.

FH-23: Total intangible assets (£)

You can find this on your balance sheet under ‘fixed assets’. It may also be stated as goodwill.

6.5 Your profile (PR-)

This section is to identify the profile of your organisation in respect to Ofsted or any registration and accreditation.

If you answer ‘No’ to questions PR-1 to PR-4 then you will need to complete the full application.

PR-1: Within the last 3 years, have you:

  • had an Ofsted inspection
  • been awarded a separate apprenticeships grade of Outstanding or Good

Or

  • had a short Ofsted inspection confirming an overall effectiveness grade of Outstanding or Good, and you were awarded a separate apprenticeships grade of Outstanding or Good in your most recent full inspection

And

  • maintained ESFA, SFA or EFA funding since the date of inspection

This question is for main and employer providers only.

You must meet all of the above to answer ‘Yes’ to this question.

To confirm your answer, we will review your latest published inspection report as well as assess your apprenticeship allocations since the inspection date.

For inspection purposes, Ofsted views merged colleges as ‘new’ colleges. A newly merged college does not carry forward any inspection grades from predecessor colleges and is ungraded until an inspection takes place.

Do not include the grades of your predecessor colleges when you answer question PR-1.

Note: Prior to November 2016, providers were not awarded a separate inspection grade for apprenticeships

Note: Organisations with an Ofsted grade 4 in the last 3 years are ineligible to apply through any route.

PR-2: Are you funded by the Office for Students (OfS)?

This question is for main providers only and a response will only be required if you answered ‘No’ to question PR-1.

You must be receiving funding from the OfS. If you are registered and not funded, you should answer ‘No’ to this question.

To confirm your answer, we will contact the OfS to determine your status, quality outcomes, financial stability and governance arrangements.

PR-3: Are you accredited to provide Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and is the postgraduate teaching apprenticeship the only apprenticeship you are intending to offer?

This question is for main and employer providers only and a response will only be required if you answered ‘No’ to question PR-2 as a main provider or ‘No’ to PR-1 as an employer provider.

If you are Initial Teacher training (ITT) accredited, you can offer the postgraduate teaching apprenticeship standard and other (non-apprenticeship) training at the same time.

To confirm your answer, we will get information from the Department for Education (DfE) on your registration, your compliance, the quality of your provision, your financial stability and any concerns identified through their ongoing monitoring procedures.

PR-4: Within the last 3 years, have you:

  • had an Ofsted inspection under the remit of FE and Skills
  • been awarded an ‘overall effectiveness’ grade of Outstanding or Good

Or

  • had a short Ofsted inspection confirming an overall effectiveness grade of Outstanding or Good, and you were awarded a grade of Outstanding or Good for overall effectiveness in your most recent full inspection

And

  • have maintained ESFA, SFA or EFA funding since that date

This question is for main and employer providers only. A response will only be required if you answered ‘No’ to question PR-3.

You must meet all of the above to answer ‘Yes’ to this question.

To confirm your answer, we will review your latest inspection report as well as assessing your apprentice allocations since the inspection date.

For inspection purposes, merged colleges are viewed by Ofsted as ‘new’ colleges.

A newly merged college does not carry forward any inspection grades from predecessor colleges and is ungraded until an inspection takes place.

Do not include the grades of your predecessor colleges when you answer question PR-4.

PR-5: Within the last 12 months, have you delivered apprenticeship training as a subcontractor?

This question is for supporting providers only.

To confirm your answer we will review the lead or main provider subcontractor declarations we receive.

If we find no record of you delivering apprenticeship training as a subcontractor in this time frame, you will only be able to deliver a maximum of £100,000 of training within the first year of being on the RoATP.

6.6: Your leaders and managers (CC-LM-)

This section is to check what vision leaders and managers have for your organisation in respect to training and apprenticeships, as well as how they manage and monitor the quality of training.

You will only need to complete this section if you answered ‘No’ to question PR-4 as a main or employer provider, or you are a supporting provider.

CC-LM-1: Main and Employer provider – Do you have a management structure in place to develop and deliver training?

You must have a structure within your organisation that has accountability for the development and delivery of training to learners.

Within your structure, you must have leaders and managers with training experience.

We define training as training of technical skills, apprenticeships, work-based or any commercial based training.

CC-LM-1: Supporting provider - Do you have experience of developing and delivering training?

You must have experience of developing and delivering training to learners and have accountability for this.

We define training as training of technical skills, apprenticeships and any work based or commercial training.

CC-LM-2: Do you have a training manager or dedicated training team?

This is a multiple-choice answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-3: If you answered ‘Yes’ to CC-LM-1, enter the first and last name of your most experienced manager in developing and delivering training.

CC-LM-4: How much experience do they have in developing, delivering and managing training?

To be eligible as a main and employer provider the experienced manager must have 9 months or more continuous training experience, either in your organisation or in prior employment.

To be eligible as a supporting provider the experienced manager must have 3 months or more continuous training experience, either in your organisation or in prior employment.

If successful with your application, we may ask for further evidence of the experienced manager’s experience.

CC-LM-5: Regarding training that your Management Team has been responsible for, how has this been delivered to learners?

This is a multiple-choice answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-6: What has been the typical duration of the training delivered to your learners?

This is an options list answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-7: Main provider, has your management team ever worked with employers or other organisations to develop and deliver training?

This can be in your organisation or within another organisation.

This is a multiple-choice answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-7: Supporting provider, have you worked with other organisations to develop and deliver training?

This can be in your organisation or within another organisation.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-8: If you answered ‘Yes’ to question CC-LM-7, you must give an example of how this was done.

This question is only for main and supporting providers who have experience in working with organisations to develop and deliver training programmes.

This can include working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) and trailblazers for Standards.

For a main provider, you must show how you worked with employers or other organisations to:

  • identify training needs
  • determine training was the right solution
  • identify learning objectives and how these are measured
  • develop training from their objectives, and decide how it would be delivered to learners

For a supporting provider, you must show how you worked with organisations to:

  • help identify training needs
  • determine a delivery infrastructure between yourself and the other organisations
  • identify learning objectives, how these are measured and communicated
  • develop training from their objectives, and decide how it would be delivered to learners

CC-LM-9: Have your leaders and managers documented clear expectations in relation to setting high standards of apprenticeship training?

We expect your expectations for high standards in apprenticeship training to be written down and agreed within your organisation.

This question is for main and employer providers only.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-9: Have you documented clear expectations in relation to setting high standards of training?

This question is for supporting providers only.

Your expectations for high standards in training must be written down and agreed within your organisation.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-10: If you answered ‘Yes’ to question CC-LM-9, how have leaders and managers defined their expectations for high standards in apprenticeship training?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

This must include:

  • the format of your expectations through a set of principles, a vision, a mission statement or equivalent for the organisation
  • how these expectations are communicated to staff, employers and learners
  • how these expectations are reviewed and monitored
  • how high standards of quality are set in the planning and production of training programmes
  • the outcomes your organisation wants to deliver for apprenticeship training, identified through benchmarks of achievement /KPIs
  • a specific individual will be responsible for quality and this will be clear to staff

CC-LM-10: If you answered ‘Yes’ to question CC-LM-9, how have you defined your expectations for high standards in training?

This question is for supporting providers only.

This must include:

  • the format of your expectations through a set of principles, a vision, a mission statement or equivalent for the organisation
  • how these expectations are communicated to staff, employers and learners
  • how these expectations are reviewed and monitored
  • how high standards of quality are set in the planning and production of training programmes
  • the outcomes your organisation wants to deliver for apprenticeship training, identified through benchmarks of achievement /KPIs
  • a specific individual will be responsible for quality and this will be clear to staff

CC-LM-11: If you answered ‘Yes’ to question CC-LM-9, how have these expectations been communicated to your employees?

This must include

  • how all employees are aware of your expectations for high standards in training
  • how the expectations are communicated within your organisation. For example, through training, through policies, through floor walking or through other channels relevant to your organisation
  • describe how your standards are maintained and what feedback mechanisms for staff you have in place

CC-LM-12: Upload a copy of your process for evaluating the quality of training and outcomes.

For a main and employer provider you must show:

  • what processes you will use to assess the quality of the training you deliver as an apprenticeship training provider
  • how you will respond to feedback from employers and apprentices
  • your method or procedure for continuous improvement of training
  • how you will identify and address any under-performance of training
  • how you identify appropriate outcomes, monitor performance and address any issues

For a supporting provider the process must include:

  • what processes you will use to assess the quality of the training you deliver as an apprenticeship training provider
  • how you will respond to feedback from employers, lead providers and apprentices
  • your method or procedure for continuous improvement of training
  • how you will identify and address any under-performance of training
  • how you identify appropriate outcomes, monitor performance and address any issues

CC-LM-13: Do you have a range of measures and key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the quality of your training?

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-14: Give an example of how potential for improvements in training were identified through your quality evaluation process?

Show what process you will use to identify changes and improvements in your existing training.

Your example must show

  • how a potential improvement was identified through the quality evaluation process. This may relate to apprenticeships or other training

Your example must also show a summary of:

  • what the issue was and how this was identified
  • what improvements were proposed
  • how the success of the improvement will be measured

CC-LM-15: What was put in place to improve training and what was the outcome?

If you acted on your answer in question CC-LM-14, you must provide examples of:

  • what actions you took
  • who was involved in making improvements
  • what the outcome of these improvements were

CC-LM-16: Do you have systems and processes in place to collect data and information relating to apprenticeship training?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

You must have systems and processes in place to collect:

  • retention and achievement data for apprentices
  • progression and destination data for apprentices, that includes the next stage of their education, into permanent employment or self-employment that meets local and national needs or gaining promotion within their current job
  • employer and apprentice feedback

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-17: To make your existing quality process relevant for apprenticeship training, what changes will you need to make?

You must identify areas for improvement and describe how this work will be undertaken with examples.

If you believe that your quality processes are already relevant for apprenticeship training, explain how you will continue to review them and maintain the level of quality.

Where your organisation is not already delivering apprenticeship, training you must be able to describe how your existing processes will need to change to be made relevant to apprenticeships.

The changes described may include resources, processes, infrastructure or responsibility

CC-LM-18: Are you aware of the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework and Handbook for Further Education and Skills and, have evaluated your organisation against these?

If you are a new provider, you may be in scope for an inspection from Ofsted within the first 3 years of being funded by us.

To prepare for an inspection, you should give your self-assessment report to inspectors in advance.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-19: Have you had a monitoring visit from Ofsted in relation to apprenticeship training?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

If you have not had an Ofsted inspection but are a new provider, you may have had a monitoring visit for apprenticeships.

To confirm your answer, we will review your latest monitoring report.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-20: Do leaders and managers understand the apprenticeship needs for employers and their sectors?

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-21: Do you have processes in place to ensure your apprenticeship training meets the needs of employers and their sectors?

This question is for main providers only.

This is to check your apprenticeship programmes meet the needs of specific sectors and employers.

You should have processes in place that show how your organisation can adapt to these needs.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-LM-22: Is your apprenticeship training meeting local, regional and national priorities, and are you able to respond to changes in these when required?

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

6.7 Your people and planning (CC-PP-)

This section is to check your plans are aligned with the capabilities of your employees.

CC-PP-1: What sectors will you offer apprenticeship training in?

Sectors are identified as ‘routes’ by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and all apprenticeship Standards and Frameworks sit under these.

This is a multiple-choice answer select the appropriate response.

CC-PP-2: What type of apprenticeship training will you offer?

This is a multiple-choice answer select the appropriate response.

CC-PP-2A: If you answered ‘other’ in question CC-PP-2, provide further details

CC-PP-3: How are you ensuring your organisation is ready to deliver training in apprenticeship Standards?

Your answer must cover:

  • commitment and approval at a senior level to deliver apprenticeship Standards
  • effective leadership, oversight and monitoring by a Governance group is in place
  • a clear implementation plan to deliver apprenticeship training – linking training programme or curriculum development to specific apprenticeship Standards
  • describe how you/the provider will make training methods flexible to deliver training in apprenticeship standards
  • evidence of appropriate resources which confirms that you/the provider is ready to deliver standards
  • how you will engage with the end-point assessment process

CC-PP-4: From the date of joining the RoATP, how many starts do you forecast within the first 12 months?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

A ‘start’ is an apprentice that begins their apprenticeship from the date of you joining the RoATP.

You must have an understanding of how many apprentices you can train in the next 12 months.

This is an options list answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-PP-5: When will you be ready to deliver against these forecasts?

This is an options list answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-PP-6: Will you need to recruit new staff to deliver against these forecasts?

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-PP-7: What is the typical ratio of your delivery staff to learners?

This is an options list answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-PP-8 Within the first 12 months of joining the RoATP, do you expect to use subcontractors for any part of apprenticeship training?

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-PP-9: If you answered ‘Yes’ to CC-PP-8, do you have suitable processes in place to engage and contract with them?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

To engage with delivery subcontractors, you must show:

  • processes for carrying out due diligence checks on subcontractors
  • procedures to ensure you do not accidently fund extremist organisations
  • how you will pass down the delivery commitments to the ESFA that you will be bound by in your prime contractor contract
  • processes for managing and monitoring all subcontractors to ensure they are delivering high quality training
  • how you will manage risks involving capacity and capability with your subcontracting arrangements

CC-PP-10 Are you engaging with awarding bodies (for Frameworks) or end-point assessment organisations (for Standards)?

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-PP-11: Do you have people in your organisation with relevant recent occupational experience and expertise who are responsible for the sectors you are offering training in?

For each sector in which you intend to deliver training, is there someone in your organisation who is responsible and has recent relevant occupational experience and expertise in that sector within the last 6 to 12 months.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

CC-PP-12: Upload your employees’ relevant recent experience and qualifications

We have provided a template for you to complete.

You must upload a template for at least one employee in each of your delivery sector(s) that will directly train apprenticeships.

You can do this for up to 10 employees. If you have more than 10 employees please include this information at question OD-12.

The purpose of this question is to for you to demonstrate that you have the capabilities to train apprentices in each of your intended delivery sector(s).

For each employee, you must provide their:

  • full name
  • job role
  • length of time with the organisation
  • sector(s) in which they will provide training
  • length of time in sector(s) in training and apprenticeships
  • experience in sector(s)
  • sector relevant qualifications
  • teaching and training qualifications
  • membership(s) of sector bodies
  • approvals from awarding bodies

Your evidence and information for questions PP1, PP4, PP5, PP6 and PP7 will be considered alongside your response to this question.

This is to ensure you have sufficient numbers of employees/trainers to deliver your planned volume of apprenticeships. Also, you have a range of employees/trainers with coverage of all the sectors you are planning to deliver.

We need to know that your employees/trainers have enough occupational knowledge and experience and the employers/trainers are suitably qualified in the occupational area and in teaching/training.

If your application is successful, we may ask for evidence in support of your response.

CC-PP-13: Upload a copy of your policy for the professional development of your employees

This must include:

  • your vision of professional development for your organisation
  • how you will actively improve employees’ sector knowledge, skills and performance
  • how you will actively improve employees’ teaching and training knowledge, skills and performance
  • how you will make learning an essential part of their professional life
  • how you ensure that learning objectives are focussed for the individual and how these meet customer and organisational needs
  • how you will monitor professional development

CC-PP-14: Give an example of how your employees’ sector expertise has been maintained and kept up to date through a professional development process

Your example must show that you implemented your policy for professional development. If there were any deviations away from this then these must be explained.

This must include:

  • how you implemented your policy for professional development
  • how you will ensure employees’ sector expertise is relevant and meaningful to their intended delivery model
  • what methods of engagement you will use with relevant sectors to ensure employee expertise is up to date
  • how you will work with relevant sectors to maintain employee expertise, through co-creation of programmes and coaching and mentoring

CC-PP-15: Give an example of how your employees’ teaching and training expertise has been maintained and kept up to date through your professional development process

Your example must show that you implemented your policy for professional development. If there were any deviations from this then these must be explained:

  • how you will ensure employees’ teaching and training expertise is relevant and meaningful to their intended delivery model
  • what methods of engagement you will use with relevant teaching and training bodies to ensure employee expertise is up to date
  • how they will work with relevant teaching and training bodies to maintain employee expertise, through co-creation of programmes and coaching and mentoring

CC-PP-16: Do you have the resources and knowledge to transfer data through the Individualised Learner Record system (ILR)?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

You must submit monthly learner data through the Individualised Learner Records data collection portal.

It is important to understand what is required from your organisation and have resources in place to submit quality data.

We need this information as it can have an impact on you and the sectors you will deliver training in.

If you join the RoATP and then do not submit monthly data to the ILR or it is insufficient, you will not receive funding under the levy agreement.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

6.8: Your readiness to engage (EN-)

This section is to check you have processes to work with employers and learners and that you understand the off-the-job training requirements.

Further information about off-the-job training.

If your templates or processes are missing, inappropriate or insufficient the outcome of your application may be affected.

EN-1: Have you spoken to employers about delivering apprenticeship training to their employees?

This question is for main providers only.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

EN-2: Upload a copy of your policy or practice for engaging with employers

This question is for main providers only.

This must include:

  • how you will promote apprenticeships with employers through the use of Find apprenticeship training (FAT) and other national branding
  • what methods of engagement you will use with employers that are appropriate to your sectors, as well as the Standards you intend to offer and the locations where these will be delivered
  • how you will work with employers to develop and train apprentices, through co-creation of programmes, the flexibility of your programmes to meet employer and apprentice needs, continuous engagement for the duration of the apprenticeship, coaching and mentoring and recording of all training undertaken by both you and the employer
  • how you will manage relationships with employers through continual engagement, agreed methods for doing this, escalation of concerns and addressing any issues raised
  • who has overall responsibility for managing relationships with employers with the ability to act independently and take decisions
  • what your procedure is for questions and general communications
  • how you will continuously monitor and improve employer engagements through cyclical reviews, regular feedback from employers, the use of complaints data, frequently asked questions and contract review meetings

EN-2A: Upload a copy of your complaints policy, procedure and process

This question is for main providers only.

Your complaints policy, procedure and process must be published on your website and made available to apprentices and employers.

You should include a web link to where the policy is located in the document that you upload.

EN-3: Upload a copy of your ‘contract for services (with employers)’ template

This question is for main providers only.

The apprenticeship funding rules for training providers state ‘where an apprenticeship is being funded from the employer’s apprenticeship service account that a signed and dated written agreement between you and the employer is required’ – this is your ‘contract for services (with employers’).

For this question, you must show you have a contract for services template in place.

We understand that this may change as part of your internal process or after discussions with individual employers.

The template provided should include the service you are providing or will be providing, under a legally binding contract.

EN-4: Upload a copy of the commitment statement template you will use

This question is for main and employer providers only.

This must comply with the apprenticeship funding rules for training providers or employer providers.

You can use a template from your organisation, our template, or those provided by other organisations or sector bodies.

If you use a template from outside of your organisation, it is your responsibility to ensure it meets the requirements of the funding rules.

The commitment statement should as a minimum cover the following:

  • the planned content and schedule for training
  • what is expected and offered by the employer, the training organisation and the apprentice
  • how off the job training is planned to be delivered

Requirements on the commitment statement can be found in the apprenticeship funding rules.

EN-5: Upload a copy of your process for performing initial assessments of apprentices’ prior learning

This question is for main and employer providers only.

This must include how you will:

  • review the individual’s personal learning record
  • review the individual’s relevant previous education, training, qualification(s) and work experience against the apprenticeship
  • identify and analyse skill gaps and how apprenticeships will address these
  • ensure the full occupational profile and learning all of the skills, knowledge and behaviours required is addressed

Further guidance about recognition of prior learning.

EN-6: Upload a copy of your process for delivering English and maths to apprentices

This question is for main and employer providers only.

This must include how you will:

  • review apprentices’ abilities to achieve entry level requirement in English or maths
  • show exemption from English or maths requirement

EN-7: What are your methods for delivering the 20% off-the-job (OTJ) training requirement?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

The teaching of theory could include lectures, role-playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training.

Practical training could include shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competitions.

Distance learning is training delivered remotely (not face to face) and could include e-learning and webinars.

Self-directed distance learning is where the apprentice is working alone with online material. The material is not delivered in real time and there is no interactive support.

Apprenticeships: off-the-job training will help answer this question and provide context behind the policy.

This is an options list answer select the appropriate response.

EN-8: How do you make your methods for delivering 20% OTJ relevant to the Frameworks or Standards you are offering?

This must include how you:

  • use the technical or theoretical elements of the apprenticeship to decide the best method for training
  • make training methods flexible to changes in employer or apprentice circumstances
  • ensure your delivery plan addresses both employer and apprentice

EN-9: How do you ensure your methods for delivering 20% OTJ meet the needs of employers and apprentices?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

This must include how you:

  • work with employers to define a model for delivery
  • make your model for delivery flexible to changes in employer or apprentice circumstances
  • decide the point in the apprenticeship at which the OTJ training is best delivered so that it aligns to the job role, and the apprentice has had sufficient opportunity to embed knowledge, skills and behaviours
  • ensure your delivery plan addresses both employer and apprentice

EN-10: How do you ensure that your apprentices are supported for the duration of their apprenticeship?

This question is for employer providers only.

This must include:

  • how they are supported and by whom
  • how you will ensure that they have access to a mentor, coach, support group or network
  • how they will be financially supported

6.9: Your apprentices’ welfare (GO-)

This section is to check your processes and policies for protecting the welfare of apprentices.

If these are missing, inappropriate or insufficient, the outcome of your application may be affected.

These questions are for main and employer providers only

GO-1: Upload a copy of your plan for continuity of apprenticeship training

This must include how you will manage your:

  • alternative communication channels
  • alternative modes of transport
  • alternative site of operations
  • back-up of business-critical systems
  • back-up and restore of data
  • emergency contacts in the event of a significant incident (ESFA must be included)

GO-2: Upload a copy of your equality and diversity policy

This must include how:

  • you will promote the policy
  • you will achieve commitment to the policy throughout your organisation
  • you will train your employees in implementing the policy
  • the policy will influence recruitment of employees and apprentices the policy is implemented when training apprentices

GO-3: Upload a copy of your safeguarding policy

This must include:

  • how you will promote the policy
  • how you will achieve commitment to the policy in your organisation
  • how you will train your employees in implementing the policy
  • how you will ensure protection of apprentices and prevention of abuse
  • your processes for raising, recording and investigating concerns
  • your procedures for getting additional support and guidance
  • how your IT usage is monitored (if applicable)

Read the Care Act 2014 for further guidance.

GO-4: If you have an individual who has overall responsibility for safeguarding in your organisation, enter their first and last name

Text answer.

GO-5: Are you aware of your responsibilities towards the Prevent duty and are compliant with these?

You have a legal responsibility to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

You must understand how the Prevent duty is part of safeguarding policies to:

  • protect apprentices and employees from radicalising influences
  • build your apprentices and employees resilience to extreme narratives
  • identify any vulnerabilities or worrying changes in behaviour
  • know what to do if you have concerns about an apprentice or employee.

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response

GO-6: If you have a policy or practice that complies with the Prevent duty, upload a copy

You must upload a copy of your Prevent duty policy or refer to it in your safeguarding policy.

GO-7: Confirm your health and safety policy

This covers:

  • apprentices in your care
  • lines of responsibility for health and safety in your organisation
  • how you will identify risks
  • the arrangements you will or have put in place for key risks
  • your procedure for accident or ill health of apprentices

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

GO-8: Who has overall responsibility for health and safety in your organisation?

If this is an individual, enter their first and last name.

If this is an organisation, enter its full name.

GO-9: If your health and safety policy is documented, upload a copy

Upload your policy document – it should document how you will ensure the health and safety of apprentices and your staff including:

  • lines of responsibility for health and safety in your organisation how you will identify risks
  • the arrangements you will or have put in place for key risks your procedure for accident or ill health of apprentices
  • how you will ensure that the employers you work with are aware of their responsibilities for health and safety

These questions are for supporting providers only

GO-4: If you have a policy for equality and diversity, upload a copy

This must include how:

  • you will promote the policy
  • you will achieve commitment to the policy throughout your organisation
  • you will train your employees in implementing the policy
  • the policy will influence the recruitment of employees and apprentices the policy is implemented when training apprentices

GO-5: If you have a policy for safeguarding, upload a copy

This must include:

  • how you will promote the policy
  • how you will achieve commitment to the policy in your organisation
  • how you will train your employees in implementing the policy
  • how you will ensure the protection of apprentices and prevention of abuse
  • your processes for raising, recording and investigating concerns
  • your procedures for getting additional support and guidance
  • how your IT usage is monitored (if applicable)

Read the Care Act 2014 for further guidance.

GO-6: If you have an individual with overall responsibility for safeguarding in your organisation, enter their first and last name

Text answer.

GO-7: Are you aware of your responsibilities towards the Prevent duty and are compliant with these?

You have a legal responsibility ’to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’.

You must understand how the Prevent duty part of safeguarding policies to:

  • protect apprentices and employees from radicalising influences
  • build your apprentices and employees resilience to extreme narratives
  • identify any vulnerabilities or worrying changes in behaviour
  • know what to do if you have concerns about an apprentice or employee

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

GO-8: If you have a policy or practice that complies with the Prevent duty, upload a copy

You must upload a copy of your Prevent duty policy or refer to it in your safeguarding policy.

GO-9: Confirm your health and safety policy covers:

  • apprentices in your care
  • lines of responsibility for health and safety in your organisation
  • how you will identify risks
  • the arrangements you will or have put in place for key risks
  • your procedure for accident or ill health of apprentices

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

GO-10: Who has overall responsibility for health and safety in your organisation?

If this is an individual, enter their first and last name.

If this is an organisation, enter its full name.

GO-11: If your health and safety policy is documented, upload a copy

Upload your policy document - it should document how you will ensure the health and safety of apprentices and your staff, including:

  • lines of responsibility for health and safety in your organisation how you will identify risks
  • the arrangements you will or have put in place for key risks your procedure for accident or ill health of apprentices
  • how you will ensure that the employers you work with are aware of their responsibilities for health and safety

GO-12: Do you agree to comply with your lead providers policies and plans where requested by them?

This is a Y/N answer. Select the appropriate response.

6.10: Your primary contacts (PC-)

This section is to provide contact details if we have any questions about your application route, course offers and relationship management with ESFA.

PC-2/PC-5/PC-9: What is their business email address?

This must be a business email address. For example, firstname.lastname@provider.com.

If you are using a non-business email address such as Hotmail or Gmail, this must reflect your organisation’s business name as we will use this email to contact you regarding matters concerning your organisation.

PC-7: What is the main address where apprentices will be trained?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

This must be a business address where apprentices are trained. This is where our provider managers and account managers will come for early monitoring visits and other future meetings.

6.11: Your application declaration (DE-AP-)

You must confirm the accuracy of the information in your application to join the RoATP and provide training to apprentices.

You must also identify if any information included in your application is deemed ‘commercial in confidence’ by your organisation.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have informed all individuals named on your application and received consent to the use of their personal data in-line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

DE-AP-7: Do you understand that you will not join the RoATP until all your post-application requirements (onboarding) are complete?

This question is for main and employer providers only.

Before you are approved to join the RoATP, if you are a new provider you must:

  • register on the Identity Account Management System (IDAMS) and allocate Apprenticeship Service (AS), data collections (the Hub) and Skills Funding Service (SFS) roles within your organisation
  • sign your agreement through the “Manage Your Education and Skills Funding Service (SFS)
  • register on the Employer Data Service (EDRS) to retrieve your Employer Reference Number (ERN)
  • an Employer Reference Number is required to advertise an apprenticeship vacancy. It is also required in the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) submission
  • providers must access the EDRS website and obtain an ERN number for the relevant employer. Please contact the EDS helpdesk regarding any ERN related issues on 01242 545 346 (available 8am to 5:30pm weekdays) or helpdesk@edrs.education.gov.uk
  • register on the Learner Record Service (LRS)

We will only contact you to start these if you are successful with your application.

If you are a main provider, you must also register on our course directory and complete your course offers to employers.

You may be contacted to start this while your application is still under evaluation.

DE-AP-8: Do you consider any of the information provided in your application to be ‘commercial in confidence’?

In the Freedom of Information Act 2000, ‘commercial in confidence’ means if certain information is revealed it may result in damaging your commercial interests, intellectual property or trade secrets.

We will not reveal any information marked ‘commercial in confidence’ without your permission.

If we have your permission, the information will be protected through confidentiality agreements with you.

7. What happens next

After submitting your application, you may be required to provide more information and if successful, complete our post application requirements (on boarding).

7.1 Evaluation and feedback

Assessment process

ESFA will begin to assess applications on the first working day of each month for any applications received during the previous month.

We expect the application assessment process to take approximately 12 weeks. However, this may take longer during busy periods.

When ESFA download applications to begin assessment, their Bravo application status is set to ‘Read only’ and the message ‘Not invited to respond’ is generated automatically.

Your application will be reviewed by our team of assessors for:

  • financial health (section 7.1.1)
  • due diligence (section 7.1.2)
  • readiness and quality (section 7.1.3)

7.1.1 Financial health

The outcome of our assessment will be one of the financial health grades set out below.

We calculate this from the information we ask you to supply:

  • Outstanding – you have robust finances, can fulfil your contractual obligations and will be able to respond to opportunities and adverse circumstances
  • Good – you have sufficiently robust finances, can fulfil your contractual obligations and will be able to respond to most opportunities and adverse circumstances
  • Satisfactory – you have enough resources to fulfil your contractual obligations but have limited capacity to respond to opportunities and adverse circumstances
  • Inadequate – you are in financial difficulty, are likely to require additional financial support and you pose a significant risk in fulfilling your contractual obligations

An inadequate grade may fail your application.

You may be awarded an exempt grade where we consider this appropriate.

Refer to FH-1 to FH-3 where exemption is detailed.

We reserve the right to review any initial financial grade. Additional information which might trigger a review includes, but is not limited to:

  • auditors have given your financial statements a qualified or adverse opinion, including recording an emphasis of matter
  • your financial statements are overdue at Companies House or Charity Commission
  • you have not submitted your latest signed financial statements to ESFA
  • your group or ultimate UK parent’s financial position could have a significant impact on the financial health of your organisation
  • your financial health is solely impacted by the deficit of a pension scheme under FRC 17 Retirement benefits, which reduces the levels of your reserves
  • ESFA receives factual evidence outside of your financial statements that has a significant impact on your financial health. For example, cessation of your organisation, recall of debt by a bank or a court ruling that has financial consequences - the impact would have to change your initial grade for it to be considered significant
  • your organisation’s financial health, in an isolated year, is calculated as inadequate solely due to making a distribution of a number of years’ accumulated profits through a dividend and we assess your underlying organisation as profitable
  • if long-term borrowings are high but are predominantly and demonstrably secured on long-term fixed assets. For example, a mortgage on a property, if this significantly affects the financial health (by at least one grade) and finances suggest that sufficient cash is being generated to cover the associated repayments, we may moderate a calculated grade of ‘inadequate’ to ‘satisfactory’. For this to be considered we will need to be aware and informed of the value of such mortgages
  • you will not be graded higher than “Satisfactory” if your organisation scores no points in any of the three ratios, profitability, solvency and gearing
  • we will grade your financial health as inadequate if Companies House shows your organisation has entered liquidation, insolvency, a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), or become dormant
  • you fail to submit your latest complete management accounts as required, containing all information specified. If we identify errors or are unable to confirm their accuracy, this may result in an inadequate grade being awarded
  • if we are unable to verify the period of actively trading, or we identify contrary information to your application
  • we will not grade higher than satisfactory if your organisation is only able to supply management accounts and forecast information

If you are successful with your application, and you commence delivery either directly or indirectly, you may be required to submit additional financial information for scrutiny by the ESFA at any time.

This information may consist of, but not be limited to, management accounts, financial forecasts and cash flow forecasts

7.1.2 Due diligence

We carry out due diligence checks on organisations applying to the RoATP.

This includes checks on the legal status of your organisation, your management team and anyone with accountability for apprenticeships, as well as your responses to our declarations for criminal convictions and compliance.

To do this we will use information we hold, as well as information held in the public domain.

We need to know that you do not pose a risk to apprentices or to the use of government funding. Your application may still be successful if you have a criminal record or history of non-compliance.

However, if you do have any convictions, warnings, cautions, community resolutions, absolute/conditional discharges, admonishments or charges awaiting trial, we will make our decision according to:

  • if the offence presents a risk to the safety of apprentices
  • if the offence presents a risk to the use of government funds
  • the actual sentence or disposal given to you for the offence
  • how recent the offence was

7.1.3 Readiness and quality

The readiness and quality section of the application will be assessed using a 2-person, 2-step process called the consensus marking procedure.

This comprises of:

  • independent evaluation by two individuals
  • pair consensuses marking

Each assessor will separately (that is, without conferring with other assessors) scrutinise the quality of answers given in each application.

Each assessor will:

  • apply the criteria applicable to the relevant question as set out in the application guidance to determine the overall quality of each answer
  • give a pass/fail mark for each question depending on the detail and quality of the answer provided
  • provide a justification for the pass / fail mark given

All of the evaluators’ marks and related justifications will be recorded separately.

When the independent evaluation exercise has been completed, a pair consensus marking exercise will be coordinated.

They will review each other’s allocated pass/fail marks and identify if they have made any different judgements.

Where there is a difference in judgement they will:

  • discuss the quality of the answers given to a question and review their justification for attributing the pass/fail marks having regard to the guidance and answers provided
  • attempt to reach a consensus regarding the pass/fail mark that should be attributed to each question. Should it not be possible to reach a consensus
  • an independent moderator will review the question and determine the outcome
  • record the pass/fail mark and the combined comments, which will form the text for the feedback response

A percentage of the assessment results will be quality assured to ensure accurate pass/fail marking and feedback are consistent and in line with the published guidance.

We will assess your readiness and suitability to train apprentices using information provided in your application for capacity, capability, apprentice welfare and engagement.

We need to be satisfied that you do not pose a risk to apprentices through poor quality provision and welfare.

To do this we will confirm that:

  • your management and training staff have experience of managing and delivering training to learners and are established within the sectors in which you intend to deliver. Only through experience can a provider understand the requirements of different employers and learners
  • you have set high expectations of quality of training and have a process for both maintaining and improving this
  • you have a plan for the first 12 months of being on the RoATP that takes in to account the resources that exist within your organisation
  • you have policies and plans in place that meet the needs of apprenticeships and the welfare of apprentices. You must provide these where requested and ensure they meet the requirements shown in section 6
  • you are ready to engage with employers or apprentices. You must have processes in place for the assessment of prior learning and delivery of English and maths, a clear understanding of how you will deliver the 20% OTJ training ensuring it meets requirements of the funding rules, as well as templates to contract with employers and learners. These must meet the requirements defined in section 6

Clarifications and messages

We may ask for more information or clarification to determine the outcome of your application. We will request this through a Bravo message.

You will have 5 working days to provide the information/clarification. If you do not respond within the deadline, your application may be unsuccessful.

Deciding the outcome of your application

You must pass every question in order for your application to be successful.

When reviewing your application we will consider the extent to which points in each question are covered by your answer.

We will review your whole application when making decisions. We will not look at answers in isolation meaning we will consider evidence from answers to other questions.

If information or documents are insufficient or are not appropriate for apprenticeships then your application may be determined to be unsuccessful.

Application outcome

We will let you know the outcome of your application through the Bravo messaging board. We will send a notification to the email address provided on your application. We may share your application with other parts of the DfE to safeguard public funds and minimise risk.

Outcome – Unsuccessful

If your application is determined to be unsuccessful, we will write to inform you which questions you have been unsuccessful on.

You may re-apply once within a 12-month period of your original application.

Your application will be set to Edit mode in Bravo so you can make changes and re-submit, you do not have to re-submit the entire application.

Providers who are currently listed on the ROATP, as a result of meeting previous application requirements (those published prior to December 2018), must refer to the published market exit policy to understand the implications of an unsuccessful application.

Outcome – Successful

If your application is successful, we will write to inform you what your next steps are.

7.2: Successful applicants – post-application requirements

Main providers will be contacted by our course directory team (Tribal) and provider management team to arrange what systems they need and schedule an early monitoring visit.

Employer providers will be contacted by a member of our account management team.

Existing main and employer providers will not be required to do the full onboarding process.

7.3: Successful applicants – listed on the RoATP

Once you have completed the post-application requirements you will be approved to be listed on the RoATP.

We publish all new providers on the register regularly.

Once you are on the RoATP, depending on your application route, you will be able to provide apprenticeship training either as a main provider, employer provider or supporting provider as applicable.

Your registration will clearly state the route for which you have been registered.

Main providers are also published on find an apprenticeship.

Being on the RoATP does not mean we recommend your organisation and is not a Kitemark or an award.

You will not receive an identification number for the RoATP.

7.4: Unsuccessful applicants – make an appeal

If your application is unsuccessful and you believe the ESFA made an error in the assessment of your application, you have the right to appeal the outcome of your application on the following grounds:

  • the ESFA has failed to follow its own policy and/or processes
  • failure by the ESFA to understand or recognise the evidence you submitted

You must submit your appeal in writing to roatp.APPEALS@education.gov.uk setting out the grounds for your appeal.

As part of your appeal, you will not be able to submit additional information or evidence to demonstrate that matters have moved on and that you now meet our requirements.

You must submit your appeal within 10 working days of the date of receipt of your application result and feedback on your application.

If your appeal is upheld and the outcome of your application changes as a result, you will be added to the RoATP.

If your appeal is not upheld, the original outcome of your application will stand.

If you are an existing provider, this will mean that you will have been unsuccessful in your application to re-apply to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.

The ESFA may terminate any contract that you might have with it for the delivering of training to apprentices.

We will aim to tell you the outcome of your appeal within 15 working days of us receiving your appeal.

If it is not possible for us to fully respond to you within this time, we will let you know of the delay and the revised date for the outcome to be issued.

There will be no further right of appeal.

7.5: Make a complaint

If you would like to make a complaint, please refer to ESFA’s complaints procedure.

8. Help and support

For help and support read:

If you need more support, contact us through Bravo’s messaging board. If this does not work, email us at roatp.MAILBOX@education.gov.uk

We try to respond within 3 working days but this can be longer. Please do not re-send emails.

8.1 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

See the ESFA privacy notice for details about how we collect, use, protect and secure your personal information.

Published 23 August 2019