1. Apprenticeship funding bands

Each apprenticeship is allocated to one of 30 funding bands, which range from £1,500 to £27,000.

The upper limit of each funding band sets the maximum amount of digital funds an employer who pays the levy can use towards an individual apprenticeship. The upper limit of the funding band also sets the maximum price that government will ‘co-invest’ towards an individual apprenticeship, where an employer does not pay the levy or has insufficient digital funds and is eligible for extra government support.

Information about the apprenticeship levy and spending apprenticeship funds is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work

Funding, up to the maximum of the funding band for that apprenticeship, can be used to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment for apprentices. The funding band maximum is not a funding rate. Employers should negotiate with training providers and EPAOs and agree a suitable price. If the costs of training and assessment go over the funding band maximum, employers will need to pay the difference with other funds.

Details about what can and can’t be funded are set out in the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) apprenticeship funding rules

Core and option apprenticeship standards will be allocated one funding band; different funding bands will not be allocated for different options. Where options have different costs associated with them, the funding band will be assigned based on the lowest cost option to achieve the apprenticeship standard. Training for any options taken beyond the ‘minimum’ required for the apprenticeship standard, would be outside the apprenticeship and employers will need to pay the difference from other funds.

2. Allocating a funding band

Pre-allocation process

When we agree your occupation proposal, we will provide you with information about the funding bands assigned to apprenticeship standards that share similar characteristics, for example the same route, similar level and duration. This is to give you an overview of typical levels of funding.

Submitting your training plan, quotes and additional information

When you submit your EPA plan, you should submit at least three training provider quotes and one EPAO quote.  If it’s not possible to get three quotes from training providers, please discuss options with your relationship manager (RM).

To ensure your funding band is sufficient to support high quality training, you need to obtain quotes from training providers on the Register of Approved Training Providers (RoATP).

You need to develop an outline training plan for training providers to base their quotes on, using the apprenticeship training plan form.

The apprenticeship training plan form requires you to set out the training that you would expect a typical apprentice to receive. You need to send this with the apprenticeship training delivery quote form to training providers to get quotes against it. If costs over £100 are unclear, missing, or not itemised in quotes, we may request clarification from you.

The apprenticeship training plan form and apprenticeship training delivery quote forms also invite you and the training providers to identify additional information about comparable apprenticeship standards, training courses or wider information about features of training in your sector(s), which you feel we should take into consideration, alongside other factors, in the funding band recommendation process.

You will also have to submit an end-point assessment delivery quote based on your EPA plan. This quote can be obtained from any EPAO that is able to deliver the EPA and they don’t have to be an organisation on the RoEPAO. You should use the training delivery quote form to capture this information.

It is important to provide all the information and quotes requested, as this will be your only chance to submit information to help inform our funding band recommendation.

Completed model apprenticeship training plan and training delivery quote forms can be found in the second sheet/tab in the excel document.

You need to submit your apprenticeship training plan formapprenticeship training delivery quote forms and EPAO quote alongside your EPA plan.

RECOMMENDING A FUNDING BAND

The additional information, training provider and EPAO quotes, helps to inform our funding band recommendation, alongside other factors.

We follow the steps below:

Step 1. Moderation of quotes

  • Costs in quotes are removed or adjusted in line with ESFA funding rules and guidance.
  • We assume that all quotes provided are for high quality training and assessment. On this basis, the lowest moderated training provider and EPAO quote is taken forward to the next step, to provide value for money.

Step 2. Review of training and assessment costs

  • Additional information provided about the nature of training in the sector is reviewed.
  • Where applicable, qualification costs are adjusted in line with publicly funded rates, or market prices at RoATP approved organisations, to provide value for money.
  • If training courses are named in quotes, or training identified through research aligns closely with the occupational standard, the quoted training costs are compared with costs listed by RoATP approved organisations. If they are significantly different, the funding band is adjusted.
  • If the apprenticeship standard is closely matched to an apprenticeship framework, and the delivery cost is significantly different from the lowest quote, the funding band may be adjusted.

Step 3. Comparison with Institute approved apprenticeship standards

  • Comparisons suggested by you and / or your training provider(s) are reviewed.
  • A full review of other apprenticeship standards with similar characteristics is then conducted, to ensure that the closest comparisons have been identified.
  • The funding band is tested against the most similar standards and may be adjusted if significantly different.

Step 4. Consideration of affordability of apprenticeship programme

  • Finally, we check the affordability of the funding band recommendation.
  • We maintain a programme level model that seeks to apportion the available budget for apprenticeships in a fair and consistent manner. The model considers the number of apprenticeship starts, the distribution of these starts across the occupational map and the particular characteristics of individual standards. 
  • The model provides one data point for each apprenticeship that could be higher or lower than individual recommendations. The funding band may be adjusted at this step, but only if the recommendation is significantly different from this data point.
  • The Department for Education has responsibility for the overall apprenticeship programme budget. We share our affordability data for each individual apprenticeship standard with the Department to enable them to consider the impact on the overall programme.

Step 5. The funding team makes a recommendation

 

After the allocation process

Step 6. Review and approval

  • The recommended funding band is presented to the relevant route panel with the evidence outlined in steps 1-4 for their input.
  • The recommended funding band and route panel input are then presented to the Approvals and Funding Committee, a sub-committee of the Institute’s Board, for approval.
  • The committee may approve the recommended funding band or, where they require more information, defer it for consideration at a future meeting.
  • The recommended funding band is presented to the Secretary of State for a decision. The Secretary of State may set a different funding band to our recommendation.

Step 7. Continuous improvement

  • We compile information about training and costs. We plan to share findings regularly to increase understanding of apprenticeship costs and assist the Department for Education with monitoring the affordability of the apprenticeship programme.

3. Completing and submitting an apprenticeship training plan and quotes

You must submit evidence to us to inform the funding band recommendation. You need to complete an apprenticeship training plan form, to describe the off-the-job training that a typical apprentice will need to achieve competence against the occupational standard, excluding English and maths (which is funded separately).

Once completed you should share your training plan with training providers to get quotes for the cost of delivering the off-the-job training component of the apprenticeship standard. To provide a quote, training providers must use our apprenticeship training delivery quote form

You should also get a separate quote from an EPAO for delivering the EPA for your apprenticeship standard, based on your EPA plan. You should use the apprenticeship training delivery quote form to capture this information.

We recommend that you start completing the apprenticeship training plan form alongside writing your occupational standard. The form asks you to provide information about a typical training programme for an apprentice based on your occupational standard.   

For guidance, model forms can be found in the second sheet/tab in the excel document of each form. Further guidance for completing the forms can be found in the frequently asked questions

The completed apprenticeship training plan formapprenticeship training delivery quote forms and EPAO quote must be sent to us when you submit your EPA plan.

4. Appeal

We will consider all evidence provided by you whilst making our funding band recommendation. We will advise you of our funding band recommendation, when the Approvals and Funding Committee, a sub-committee of the Institute’s Board, approves the funding band recommendation.

At this point, if you feel as though a material procedural error or other material irregularity has occurred, an appeal may be requested within 10 working days. The appeal procedure sets out the grounds upon which a funding band can be appealed and the timeframe for submitting an appeal. The appeal procedure can be found on our website.

If the appeal is accepted as in scope, the appeal will be considered by the Institute. In such cases, the funding band recommendation will not go to the Minister until the appeal is concluded (and, where an appeal is upheld, only after a fresh decision is made).

5. Funding bands when you revise your occupational standard and/or EPA plan

After an apprenticeship standard is approved for delivery, it might be necessary to revise the occupational standard and/or the EPA plan. 

Depending on what those changes are, we might need to recommend a new funding band. You should discuss any changes with your RM, who will consult with a funding manager (FM), then advise you on the likelihood of the proposed changes resulting in a new funding band.

If a new funding band recommendation is needed, we will use the same approach as we do when setting a new final funding band (see section 2 above).

It is important to note that if a new funding band recommendation is made, the funding could be lower, the same, or higher than the current funding band assigned to the apprenticeship standard. If we recommend a new funding band this will be based on the 30-band structure. 

In order for your RM to provide you with a view on whether a new funding band recommendation is likely, you need to provide them with as much information as possible about the changes you intend to make to the occupational standard and/or EPA plan.

Some common scenarios are set out below. 

Scenarios in which a new funding band recommendation will typically be made

  • Change of duration of six months or more
  • Mandatory qualification is added or removed
  • Change of level in the apprenticeship standard
  • The apprenticeship standard is split out into more than one standard
  • More than one apprenticeship standard is merged to make a new, combined apprenticeship standard
  • Changes in entry requirements

Scenarios in which a new funding band recommendation will not typically be made

  • Change to list of Awarding Organisations offering mandatory qualification(s)
  • Changes to external quality assurance arrangements
  • Changes to EPA plans that do not affect how the EPA is conducted
  • Where editorial changes have been made to improve clarity, or aid understanding
  • Where there are amendments to the title of the apprenticeship standard, or title of any mandatory qualifications

Scenarios which you should discuss further with your relationship manager:

  • Addition or removal of an option in a core and option apprenticeship standard
  • Addition, removal or changes to the knowledge, skills and behaviours or duties

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and any proposed changes should be discussed with your RM.

Further information about submitting revisions.

6. Funding Forms

You can access both the apprenticeship training plan form and the apprenticeship training delivery quote form by following the links below. For guidance, model forms can be found in the second sheet/tab in the excel document of each form.

7. Resources

 

Changelog

Date Change
28/11/2018
  • Scenarios and information included, indicating when a change to an occupational standard and/or EPA plan might lead to the Institute recommending a new funding band.  
22/08/2018
  • Apprenticeship builder replaced on-line template terminology