Apprenticeships not in scope
Apprenticeships not eligible for an exceptional funding band review may use the established system. There are a number of key things you should consider when asking IfATE for a funding-only revision.
Requesting a funding band revision
Apprenticeships not eligible for an exceptional funding band review may use the established system to request a review of their funding band. If your apprenticeship has not been selected by DfE for an exceptional funding band review and you would like to request a funding band review, please read the following information carefully as it will help to inform your next steps.
Key things you should consider when asking IfATE for a funding-only revision through the established system
- The funding band maximum is not a funding rate and represents the maximum government contribution to the cost of apprentice training and assessment. It is expected that employers negotiate a price within that band to achieve value for money.
- A funding-only revision request may happen where there is already a published occupational standard and end-point assessment (EPA) plan, which do not need revising also. Funding-only requests are generally quicker to work through for all involved.
- IfATE is committed to high quality apprenticeships, so if we find the occupational standard and EPA plan need revising also, we may decline your funding-only request and encourage you to revise the apprenticeship content too.
- If IfATE agrees a funding-only revision can happen, there needs to be a representative trailblazer group in place to engage with us over typical costs of apprenticeship delivery and assessment.
- IfATE has limited capacity to undertake funding-only reviews and may decline requests where it considers the case for a review is weak or where resource is not available.
Will a funding band be increased due to inflation if it is revised?
- Our proposed model is designed to provide value for money, transparency, and flexibility. It calculates a funding band recommendation using research-based rates, alongside trailblazer evidence of the actual cost of delivery at the point in time the review is undertaken.
- Our funding model is more accurate than ever in reflecting typical eligible costs.
- This means that, despite any rising costs, funding-only revisions can still result in the new IfATE funding band recommendation going down, or staying the same, as well as going up.
- With over 650 apprenticeship funding bands in place, IfATE may need to take some difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising which apprenticeships to review. Trailblazers can help by providing us with good quality evidence about the reasons for change.
Our commitment to you:
- If we agree that a funding band should be reviewed through the existing or accelerated process, we will work with the trailblazer to support you to gather any costings evidence needed prior to submission.
- For funding-only revisions, we commit to working at the pace the trailblazer can manage. We will agree an action plan with you that sets this out in detail.
- We normally work to 8-week approval cycles. However, we will do all we can to speed up funding-only revisions without compromising quality.
- All funding band recommendations are made by IfATE before being shared with officials in the Department for Education, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State, who consider our recommendation before making the final funding band allocation decision. DfE has committed to working as quickly as they can to support final funding allocations.
What we need from you when requesting a funding-only revision
For funding-only change requests, the apprenticeship must normally have been ‘approved for delivery’ for at least 12 months, (with or without starts in that period), before we will consider a change request and we will expect to see evidence showing that attempts have been made to work within the band. By this, we typically mean all of the following:
A. Any information that explains why starts and/or completions are fewer than planned
B. Any wider information you are aware of – such as provider plans to enter or leave the marketplace or geographical location having an impact on apprenticeship starts
C. Why the funding band is the problem (i.e. all other aspects of the apprenticeship standard are in place and the delivery would work if it were affordable)
D. Information regarding the attempts that have been made to work within the band, including details on why the apprenticeship is not working or at risk of failure. For example, exploring different cohort sizes or different blended delivery approaches
If the apprenticeship has been approved for delivery for less than 12 months, then we would additionally expect to see:
A. An explanation of the key changes in costs for the last 12 months (compared with those previously submitted by the trailblazer) which demonstrate that the funding band is actually preventing starts
B. Any evidence that suggests the changes in costs are not temporary
We understand that consumables costs associated with apprenticeship training and delivery will be impacted by rising costs. As part of our funding band recommendations to the department, we ensure that costs submitted by the trailblazer group are proportionate and typical. When providing evidence to support a funding-only revision, as set out above, we ask that you consider proportionality and that the information you provide supports typical delivery expectations. For example, if specific eligible consumables costs are spread over a cohort and duration, then we would expect your evidence to reasonably demonstrate the breakdown of costs and how they have been apportioned per apprentice. The more evidence and information provided to support your case will help the funding manager to process your application.
Published 17 Jan 2023
Last updated 17 Jan 2023