Becoming an apprenticeship training provider
What is expected of a registered apprenticeship training provider.
Applies to England
As a registered provider, you will be:
- eligible to receive government funding to train apprentices
- accountable for the appropriate use of government funds
- expected to deliver high quality apprenticeship training
- expected to deliver training that complies with apprenticeship funding rules
- responsible for the safeguarding of apprentices
Types of apprenticeship training provider
There are 3 types of apprenticeship training provider on the register of apprenticeship training providers:
main provider - enters into contracts with employers that use the apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training or holds a contract with ESFA to deliver to employers who do not pay the apprenticeship levy
employer provider – trains their own employees or those of connected companies and uses the apprenticeship service to pay for the apprenticeship training
supporting provider - enters into subcontracts with main providers and employer providers to enhance apprenticeship training for employers and their apprentices
What your responsibilities will be
To receive government funding you must enter into the ESFA apprenticeship agreement for training providers for the provision of levy-funded apprenticeship training.
Employer providers must also enter into the ESFA apprenticeship agreement for employers.
You will need to sign these agreements if your application is successful and before your organisation is added to the register.
Supporting providers do not sign the provider agreement but must understand ESFA funding rules before working with main providers and employer providers.
You must be able to meet and continue to meet the terms in these agreements and the apprenticeship funding rules whilst you are on the register. If you do not meet them, your agreements may be terminated and you may be removed from the register.
Main providers will also need to ensure apprenticeship training continuously meets local, regional and national priorities.
What training you can provide
An apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme.
Apprenticeship standards are developed by employers and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute). Standards describe the skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice needs to be competent in a defined occupation. The apprentice is assessed at the end of the apprenticeship by an end-point assessment organisation to ensure that the apprentice has achieved occupational competence.
You should develop and deliver quality apprenticeship training that meets the needs of employers and apprentices. The quality statement and strategy from the Institute explains what is a quality apprenticeship.
What funding you will get
You will only receive government funding if you are chosen from the register by an employer to provide apprenticeship training or if you already have a contract with ESFA to deliver to employers who do not pay the apprenticeship levy.
ESFA pays 80% of the funding in monthly instalments during the apprenticeship and the remaining 20% on completion of the apprenticeship programme.
Funding bands limit the amount of government funding that can be used to pay for apprenticeship training. Main providers will need to consider funding bands when agreeing the costs of training and assessments with employers. Employer providers will also need to consider funding bands when estimating the cost of their training and assessments.
Supporting providers will be paid by the main provider or employer provider they are subcontracting from.
Find out more in the apprenticeship technical funding guide.
What you will need to receive funding
Main providers and employer providers will need to use our systems to:
- sign contracts and agreements digitally
- submit monthly Individual Learner Records (ILR)
- make financial transactions with employers using the apprenticeship service
You must use these systems and return accurate data to ESFA using the ILR.
Main providers will also need to use the course directory to tell employers what apprenticeships they offer.
How you will be monitored
We review the data a provider submits through the ILR to make sure they are meeting the funding rules and terms in the funding agreement. We check for things like the eligibility of apprentices, the suitability of the apprenticeship they are on and the amount of training they do outside their job role.
You will also have formal meetings with us when we will review your performance and future delivery plans. You may have a monitoring visit where you will be required to supply primary evidence to support the information you submit in the ILR. These visits do not apply to supporting providers.
ESFA will tell you in advance before we visit. If we find any issues, we will work with you to resolve them. If they cannot be resolved, you may be removed from the register.
You may have visits or inspections from Ofsted or the Quality Assurance Agency to check the quality of your delivery. They will publish their findings online. We may take action following a visit or inspection report.
ESFA will publish your annual achievement rates for apprenticeships.
Employers using the apprenticeship service can provide feedback on their main provider. This is published on find apprenticeship training.
From 1 April 2021, Ofsted will become the single body responsible for the inspection of apprenticeship training provision at all levels. Please refer to this announcement for further information.
How we will support you
As a registered apprenticeship training provider, you will have access to different types of support. For example, access to newsletters and online resources (including FE connect and the Education & Training Foundation) and you may have a named manager if you are a main provider or employer provider.
What you can do next
If you want to be a registered apprenticeship training provider, check your eligibility before you apply.
Last updated 11 August 2020 + show all updates
Updated to remove reference to apprenticeship frameworks.