1. Allocating a funding band

The Institute is responsible for making a funding band recommendation on every apprenticeship standard to the Secretary of State for Education, who takes the final decision. Each apprenticeship is allocated to one of 30 funding bands, which range from £1,500 to £27,000. We make a funding band recommendation to the Secretary of State for Education, who takes the final decision. We follow the process below.

Pre-allocation process

When you receive approval from the Institute for 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 end-point assessment (EPA) plan, you should submit at least three training provider quotes and one end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) quote.  If it’s not possible to get quotes from three training providers, please discuss options with your Relationship Manager.

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 EPA 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 apprenticeship 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. For guidance, model forms can be found in the second sheet/tab in the excel document of each form.

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

Recommending a funding band

The additional information, training provider and EPAO quotes, help 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.

Funding bands for core & options standards

One funding band will be allocated to each apprenticeship standard. 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.

Trailblazer groups developing a core and options apprenticeship standard should ensure that the information covers all the options and clearly identifies the training required for each option.

2. Explanation of the form

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 a typical apprentice will need to achieve competence against the occupational standard, excluding English and Maths (which is funded separately).

You must send this with the apprenticeship training delivery quote form to training providers in order to get quotes for the training required to deliver your apprenticeship standard. Your relationship manager will be able to provide advice on these forms and the level of detail required. You may also wish to make use of a funding workshop, the model forms found in the second sheet/tab of each form and the FAQs.

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

The training programme that you set out is an example of how training might be delivered. Different employers and training providers may opt for different training approaches. The training and assessment methods set out must focus on meeting the knowledge, skills and behaviours specified in the apprenticeship standard.

This process map describes how the form should be completed:


3. The form

Apprenticeship training plan form

Apprenticeship training delivery quote form