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.
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.
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.
The additional information, training provider and EPAO quotes, helps to inform our funding band recommendation, alongside other factors.
We follow the steps below:
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.
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, you may wish to consider challenging the Institute’s decision using the procedural Review process. If so, you must notify the Institute within 10 working days of your intention to seek a Procedural Review. The Procedural Review process sets out the grounds upon which a funding band can be challenged and the timeframe for submitting a Procedural Review form and supporting evidence. The Procedural Review process can be found on our website.
If the Procedural Review is accepted as in scope, it will be considered by the Institute. In such cases, the funding band recommendation will not go to the Minister until the Procedural Review is concluded (and, where a Procedural Review is granted, only after a fresh decision is made).
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
Scenarios in which a new funding band recommendation will not typically be made
Scenarios which you should discuss further with your relationship manager:
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and any proposed changes should be discussed with your RM.
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.