One of the steps in our published funding band allocation process is continuous improvement. In April 2019 we introduced a suite of improvements to the funding band allocation process. At this stage we also committed to keep gathering feedback, improving our processes and how we work with you.

This post is the first in a series which will highlight how we’re trying to improve, examples of great practice from trailblazer groups and training providers, and some areas for improvement. We would really welcome feedback from training providers and trailblazer groups via this short survey- your feedback will help guide our future improvements.

What have we done to improve our process and transparency so far?

  • Scrapped the initial funding band and replaced it with information about funding for similar apprenticeship standards.
  • Introduced funding workshops, which can be arranged via your relationship manager.
  • Published FAQs
  • Clarified our funding forms and added a model quote form
  • Improved our feedback letters to give a lot more information about how we have reached our funding recommendation
  • Myth busting blog post

How do you think we are doing?

We would really welcome feedback from training providers and trailblazer groups via this short survey- your feedback will help guide our future improvements.

How do we think the market is working?

Great examples we wanted to highlight

Trailblazer Groups

Various trailblazer groups, including those for Early years lead practitioner and the Stonemasonry standard added a funding session to their End-Point Assessment workshop and therefore understood more about the funding process and how to gather and present their quotes effectively.

The trailblazer groups for the Environmental Health Practitioner standard and the Public Health Practitioner standard submitted their quotes early. This allowed funding team time to review them and get the clarification we needed before submission day. This helped these standards have a smooth journey through the governance process.

Lots of trailblazer groups, including the one for the Facilities Service Operative standard, provided three detailed provider quotes. Having a range of well itemised quotes gave the route panel and the Approvals and Funding Committee more confidence in the submitted costs.

Lots of trailblazers are now submitting three detailed training quotes. The trailblazer group for Boatmaster obtained three detailed quotes with a breakdown of the cost of the mandatory qualifications. This helped funding managers understand the structure of the training delivery accurately.

Areas for improvement

Table showing two identified areas for improvement. The first area is ‘quoting costs in line with competitive market rates’. The table shows a medium level of maturity in the market, because ‘a minority of quotes contain quoted figures which are significantly higher than competitive market rates. The second area is ‘fully itemising costs in quotes’. The table shows a low level of maturity in the market and states that ‘We often receive quotes which are not sufficiently itemised. This delays development of the apprenticeship standard. Route Panels and the Approvals and Funding Committee are likely to request that the trailblazer resubmits more detailed evidence in a later cycle’. Both identified areas for improvement are recorded as ‘getting better’ and the final column sets out some things the Institute is doing to help, including publishing a Best Practice Guide and model funding forms.