Following the update on 12 January 2022, the Institute will begin to pilot a new funding model when making a funding band recommendation. We intend that the pilot implementation of our new funding model will take place over a 12 month period starting in submission cycle 39.

Further information about the work we have undertaken ahead of piloting our new funding model is detailed on the funding improvement project page.

1. Pilot participation

Trailblazer groups will initially be invited to choose between submitting funding information through either the current, or new, funding band allocation process. Voluntary participation through the new process must be agreed between the trailblazer group and the Institute. Trailblazer groups participating in the pilot will receive a funding band recommendation from the Institute using the new funding model only.

Trailblazer groups are advised to familiarise themselves with both funding band processes before deciding whether they would wish to participate in the pilot implementation of the new funding model.

2. Allocating a funding band guidance

3. Pilot structure

From 12 January 2021, the Institute will make all funding band recommendations through either the current funding model, or the new funding model.

The Institute intends to run both processes simultaneously during submission cycles 39, 40 and 41. Participation in the new funding model pilot will be on a voluntary small-scale basis.

Following successful pilot implementation of the new funding model in cycles 39, 40, and 41 the Institute intends to stop using its current model when recommending funding bands. From submission cycle 42, we intend that all funding band recommendations will be made using the new funding model.

4. Ensuring stability

When a standard is revised for any reason through the new funding model, the funding band may be revised to recognise changes to the content or duration of the standard. Our revisions process sets out how this works in detail.

Whilst we have confidence in our data points, the pilot implementation is live testing of our new funding model. To manage volatility, we will utilise a stability mechanism to manage significant changes to revised funding bands.

To minimise disruption, we will apply a stability mechanism that will limit the impact of reducing the funding band for existing standards that go through the new model. For example, this will mean that as part of the pilot implementation funding bands can reduce no more than two funding bands.

To balance the effect that this stability mechanism would have on overall apprenticeship funding levels, we will also apply a similar approach where the model generates a significant increase to the funding band for an existing standard. For example, this will mean that as part of the pilot implementation funding bands can increase no more than two funding bands.

In some cases, it may not be appropriate to apply a stability mechanism. The criteria for exemption from the stability mechanism is set out below:

Where significant structural changes ​have been made to the published apprenticeship 

Clearly defined category criteria: 

  • Significant change to KSBs ​ (typically 50%+ of KSBs)
  • Significant change in typical delivery duration​ (typically 25%)
  • Significant change in delivery method  (typically 25%)
  • Removal or addition of a mandatory qualification/degree​​ 

Where an apprenticeship is separated, or two or more apprenticeships are merged

Clearly defined category criteria: 

  • Two or more apprenticeships brought together into a core and options apprenticeship​
  • Splitting out a core and options apprenticeship into separate apprenticeships with unique ST codes

Where the published apprenticeship isn’t being delivered because of the funding band ​ 

Clearly defined category criteria: 

  • There are no starts, or very low* starts, and the Institute has identified that there are no other reasons for this apart from the level of funding available 

Where the funding band was set a long time ago under a very old process ​ 

Clearly defined category criteria: 

  • Apprenticeships with a funding band assigned; pre IFATE, pre 30 band structure, 3 or more years ago, or where an indicative or initial funding band was accepted and therefore no costing quotes submitted​ 

*Very low in relation to expected apprenticeship starts. 

5. Challenging the funding band recommendation made to the new funding model

The trailblazer’s ability to challenge the Institute’s funding band recommendation through procedural review, where they believe a material procedural error or other material irregularity has occurred as part of our funding band allocation process, is not impacted by their participation in the pilot. Any procedural review would be considered against the funding process within which the trailblazer has participated.