Migration of initial teacher training accreditation

How initial teacher training (ITT) providers can migrate accreditation to another legal entity.

Migration process

You can only migrate your accreditation to another organisation if you can give the Department for Education (DfE) assurances that:

  • there will be continuity of provision

  • the migration will be a collaborative effort between the existing and proposed holder

  • the migration will take place after a cohort has finished their training (unless there are exceptional circumstances)

We may not agree to your migration proposal if you cannot provide us with the appropriate assurances, which this guidance explains.

We assess all proposals on a case-by-case basis.

We use a 2-stage process to review proposals. Your proposal will only proceed to stage 2 after we’ve reviewed your submission.

The proposed organisation will become accredited, when DfE agrees to this, and will become accountable for all aspects of the ITT provision in accordance with The Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications) (England) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003/1662) as amended.

The migration submission process

  1. If you are seeking migration of your accreditation, you should notify DfE at

  2. DfE will then arrange a short discussion with you and the proposed provider to consider intentions and options - if migration appears to be the most suitable option, DfE will request that you, in collaboration with the proposed provider, submit a migration rationale.

  3. DfE will provide feedback on the migration rationale and agree to the progression of your migration only if full assurances are provided.

  4. The existing and proposed provider will then need, collaboratively, to complete a migration proposal and submit this to the DfE - the level of detail required will be agreed with the DfE following the submission of the migration rationale.

  5. The DfE will assess the proposal - failure to provide full information may mean we have to ask you for more information or ask you to resubmit your documentation.

Submit documentation to DfE

Send your documentation to the market regulation team at You cannot send your documentation by post.

All migration documentation must:

  • be a collaborative effort between the existing and proposed ITT provider

  • be paginated

  • be original (no copies will be accepted)

  • be proofread for spelling, punctuation and grammar

  • be set out against each criterion and specifically address the criterion

  • use correct and up-to-date terminology

  • not use annexes or appendices (unless advised and they’re clearly signposted)

Migration rationale criteria


You must provide the:

  • name, type and address of the organisation currently accredited
  • name, type and address of the organisation proposed to become accredited
  • ITT operating name. If a change to the name is proposed, please provide details
  • name and email addresses of the existing and proposed accounting officers and ITT Manager
  • proposed date of migration - when the proposed provider will become fully accountable for the provision

1.2 Reasons for requesting migration

You must set out the reasons for requesting a migration.

You may want to consider:

  • the reasons for seeking migration

  • if the accredited organisation wishes to withdraw from the ITT partnership entirely or reduce involvement in, and responsibility for, the ITT partnership

1.3 Reasons for choosing your new provider

Set out the reasons for the choice of the proposed new provider.

You may want to consider:

  • how far the proposed organisation is familiar with the current provision

  • providing evidence that the proposed new provider has the ITT expertise necessary to take on the role – for example, their experience as a SD lead school, extensive involvement with programme design and delivery

  • outlining evidence related to the quality of the proposed new provider’s ITT provision and its outcomes, including:

  • any inspection evidence

  • how the proposed provider has been involved in this

  • describing the negotiations that have taken place between the current and proposed provider to secure effective migration

  • listing who has been involved in the negotiations

  • providing a timeline of negotiations or agreements and identify areas still to be addressed

  • describing how the changes associated with the proposed migration will be communicated to partners, trainees and candidates

Transition planning

Transition support plans

You must provide the transition plans to support the migration of the provision and any additional contextual factors which have not been explained in the rationale.

You may want to consider:

  • whether a transition team been set up to oversee the proposed migration and if a timeline should be included which sets out the key milestones and activities involved in the migration

  • whether plans are in place to ensure the effective transfer of all programme planning, records, resources and materials

  • whether the migration will result in a change to recruitment and selection, programme designs, assessment of trainees or quality assurance processes

  • whether there have there been staffing changes in respect of ITT roles, like leadership, administrative or financial roles, and what plans are in place to secure capacity to continue to deliver effectively

  • whether plans are in place to secure effective financial management from the start of the newly migrated provision

  • how the current provider’s responses to the last Ofsted inspection will be carried through by the new provider

  • how will the self-evaluation and improvement planning undertaken by the current provider be taken forward by the new provider

  • what plans are in place to ensure effective communication about the proposed migration with all partners and with current trainees and potential recruits

  • whether the migration depends on retaining existing provider funds and if the proposed accounting officer has been previously involved with the provider, include details of this involvement

Issues and risks

Provide details of all the issues and risks you have identified as part of the migration process which could impact on the compliance, delivery, quality, outcomes and/or viability of the provision.

You may want to consider:

  • tabulating risks and issues and include mitigation steps and a timeline

  • whether any staffing changes planned to leadership, teaching, administrative or financial roles

  • what procedures will be established to ensure effective knowledge transfer, including of all records, planning, resources and materials

  • whether redundancies could happen as a result of migration

  • what plans are in place to secure effective redundancy arrangements

  • taking specialist advice if there are likely to be any issues regarding Transfer of Undertakings (protection of employment) (TUPE) as a result of redundancies

  • who will make sure provision is compliant with the ITT criteria and whether this will change from existing procedures

  • whether any partner higher education institution (HEI) has withdrawn from the partnership

  • what plans are in place to work with a different HEI and whether they’ll be any changes to training facilities

Migration proposal criteria

1. Comply with the ITT criteria

You must provide a table which:

  • sets out each ITT criterion

  • describes briefly how you’ll meet each criterion

You must:

  • reference the most up-to-date version of the ITT criteria

  • signpost to the relevant sections of your submission

Read the ITT criteria and supporting advice for further guidance.

2. Governance

2.1 Diagram: management structure

You must provide a diagram that includes:

  • the proposed strategic management structure

  • key governance roles (if applicable)

  • the accounting officer (if applicable)

The accounting officer and governing body must sit at top of the strategic management structure.

You may want to consider:

  • identifying the links between operational management (see 2.2) and strategic management structures

  • showing the reporting lines between committees and the governing body

2.2 Diagram: proposed operational structure

You must provide a diagram of the proposed operational structure, identifying all:

  • partners

  • committees

  • groups and individuals involved in the partnership

You may want to consider:

  • including all partners, committees, groups and individuals with a role in the operational management of the provision

  • links between operational and strategic management structures

2.3 Proposed staffing details

You must provide details of proposed staffing, particularly where roles, responsibilities and staff are changing.

You should include staff who are responsible for administration and finance.

You may want to consider:

  • including staff roles and responsibilities

  • your staff’s relevant prior experience

  • any relevant training staff will need before the migration

  • identifying staff new to any post

3. Trainee selection and partnership arrangements

3.1 Trainee selection

You must provide details of the selection of trainees.

You may want to:

  • identify the stages of the selection process

  • set out the selection criteria employed at each stage

  • describe how the selection process meets each criterion

  • set out how you’ll keep the selection process rigorous and secure

3.2 Partnership arrangement details

You must provide details of the partnership arrangements, including:

  • giving reasons for any significant changes
  • justifying your changes
  • a proposed new partnership agreement, which you can provide as an annex

4. Programme delivery

You must provide details of the programme or programmes for which the proposed new provider will be responsible.

You may want to consider:

  • providing a programme calendar and programme handbook for all programmes

  • setting out details of your changes if you plan to change the programme as part of the migration

  • setting out the justification for changes to the programme

  • whether all courses or phases proposed are offered by the current provider, and if not, you should record this as a risk

5. Assessment and quality assurance

5.1 Assessing trainees

You must provide an overview of how you’ll maintain the assessment process, including:

  • who will be involved in assessing trainee progress

  • when and how you’ll assess progress

  • any changes to previous assessment arrangements and the justification for making them

  • how you’ll make the assessment (both progress and attainment) is accurate, including any use of:

    • standardisation procedures

    • grade descriptors

    • internal moderation arrangements

    • external moderation arrangements

5.2 Quality assurance processes

You must provide what quality assurance processes you have in place or will be established as part of the migration.

You may want to give details of trainee outcomes over the previous 3 years, including:

  • final attainment

  • the quality of their teaching

  • completion rates and employment rates

  • the outcome trends these data reveal (these data and its trend analysis would normally be included in the self-evaluation that is provided for Ofsted)

  • a copy of your improvement plan

  • details of who is responsible for quality assurance across the provision and the evidence they employ

This evidence should include feedback on the effectiveness of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) employed within and outside the partnership.

6. Viability and recruitment

6.1 Recruitment allocation

You must set out recruitment against allocation for the last 3 years.

You may want to consider:

  • including a table showing your allocations over the last 3 years against secondary subjects or primary phases, along with those recruited

  • setting out any shortfalls in recruitment

  • describing any planned recruitment activities for the coming year, including plans for tackling any shortfall trends

6.2 Evidence, accounts and reports

You must provide the most recent evidence available on:

  • the past financial performance of the organisation to hold the accreditation

  • its audited financial accounts for the past 2 years

  • auditor reports for the past 2 years

Local authority-maintained schools will not have audited accounts although consistent financial reports are an acceptable alternative.

The accredited provider:

  • is liable for the governance and internal controls of the provision

  • is accountable and responsible for public funds, including that they are spent for the purposes intended

  • will be expected to support the ITT provision if recruitment does not meet expectations, which could have an impact on funds and reserves

  • is responsible for producing the annual accounts for the ITT provision

Although separate accounts are not necessary for academy based school-centred initial teacher training providers (SCITTs), DfE expects to see references to ITT funding in the academy accounts or notes.

Use the Provider viability forecast (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 88.2KB) spreadsheet to help you do this.

6.3 Three year financial plan

You must provide a 3-year financial plan for the provision. This is based on optimum and minimum (to remain viable) number of trainees (see appendix 6.2 as below), including:

  • projected income statement and cash flow statement for each year

  • sources of finance and revenue

  • breakdown of costs, their categorisation into fixed, variable, semi variable and stepped-fixed and their relationship to trainee numbers

  • breakdown of the dates when costs will be incurred and monthly income, including Student Loan Company payments (if applicable)

  • any existing commitments and how and when these will be met (if applicable)

  • any existing monies owed to the organisation and how and when these will be collected (if applicable)

  • any existing or planned capital expenditure, including a description and details of the purpose of assets, monetary values and timing of purchase (DfE does not fund capital projects)

  • underlying assumptions and the detailed narrative behind the figures

Historical financial information for the provision should also be set out, such as:

  • carry-forward funds from the previous organisation

  • redundancy costs

  • asset transfers

Best-case and worst-case scenario planning

You may want to:

  • refer to the Provider viability forecast (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 88.2KB) and present data for your best-case and worst-case scenarios over a 3-year period

  • consider whether your best-case scenario returns a significant surplus

  • consider whether your worst-case scenario highlights a serious viability concern

  • consider including a third case scenario (most likely) showing a reasonable budget if you have surplus or validity concern

  • ensure no deficit is recorded and provide a supporting narrative for each scenario

You will receive 3 instalments from the Student Loan Company (SLC), usually as follows:

  • 25% in October

  • 25% in February

  • 50% in May

You may wish to check the exact timing with the SLC.

As the responsible body for the accreditation, the new organisation will be required to submit:

  • income and expenditure forecasts

  • monthly cash flow forecasts in each scenario

Cost per trainee should also be provided. Please note that accredited providers do not receive direct funding for School Direct (Salaried) trainees.

6.4 Summary of financial performance and financial forecast

You must provide a:

  • one-page summary of the past 2 years’ financial performance of the proposed organisation where relevant

  • financial forecast for the following 3 years after migration, showing that the organisation will be viable at the end of each year.

You may want to:

  • refer to the Provider viability forecast (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 88.2KB) ‘6.3 finance tables’

  • provide high level figures for the proposed organisation for the past 2 years

  • provide a 3-year forecast for the provider in both best- and worst-case scenarios

6.5. Financial management structure

Include a financial management organisation structure (organogram) that identifies:

  • lines of accountability

  • responsibilities

  • the segregation of duties, including job descriptions and person specifications

  • a financial management organogram for the proposed provider, ensuring reporting lines are clearly defined. Include job descriptions and person specifications for all staff with financial responsibilities.

6.6 Designate an accounting officer

You must designate an accounting officer who will ensure:

  • financial and governance obligations are met

  • proposers comply with ITT requirements

You may want to include the account officer’s:

  • name

  • job title

  • job description and person specification, including accountability for regularity, propriety and value for money

6.7 Systems of control

Describe what appropriate systems of control you will establish to maintain the correct:

  • separation of the proposer’s financial records from the accredited provider’s records

  • bank account arrangements, control and reconciliation process

  • risk management procedures, particularly relevant to ITT and business continuity

  • inventory and asset management procedures, including the maintenance of appropriate registers and records (this should include any insurance commitments)

  • managing of gifts, ex-gratia payments and conflicts of interest

  • procurement of goods and services (including measures to ensure value for money), receipting and the payment of creditors

  • collection of income, including grants and sales invoices

  • management of the payroll system and tax liabilities of self-employed staff

  • accounting procedures for all financial transactions in accordance with relevant accounting policies or standards, and employment of appropriate accounting systems and safeguard

  • segregation of duties relating to procurement, signing off processes, invoices, payments, cheque authorisation, income, payroll, accounting systems and reconciliations

  • data protection procedures for system and information management security, and student records

  • budgeting and management accounts reporting

  • preparation of annual statutory accounts and specifying who will do this (if applicable)

  • approach to any other areas exposed to finance or fraud-related risk

The migration of the provision should be finalised once the current cohort has completed their training and payments have been completed, normally in July.

New provision can then start, normally in September, leaving enough time to agree any funding transfers.

7. Further information

Published 20 September 2013