1. Apprenticeship funding bands
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 on GOV.UK
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 end-point assessment organisations (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 theEducation and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) apprenticeship funding rules.
Core and option apprenticeships 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. Training for any options taken beyond the ‘minimum’ required for the apprenticeship, would be outside the apprenticeship and employers will need to pay the difference from other funds.
2. Allocating a funding band
When we agree your occupation proposal, we will provide you with information about the funding bands assigned to apprenticeships 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 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 apprenticeship training providers(RoATP).
You need to develop an outline training plan for training providers to base their quotes on, using the apprenticeship training planform.
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 formto 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 apprenticeships, 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 theregister of end-point assessment organisations (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.
Completed model apprenticeshiptraining planandtraining delivery quote forms can be found in the second sheet/tab in the excel document.
You need to submit yourapprenticeship training plan form,apprenticeship training delivery quoteforms and EPAO quotealongside yourEPA plan.
The information you submit will be used by us during the approval process and funding band allocation process. However, information from submission documents may also be used by us to develop and test potential new processes or improvements to our existing processes. By submitting information, either via the apprenticeship builder or your RM, you agree to us using it for these purposes. If you do not agree to the information being used in this way you should raise this with your RM prior to submission.
RECOMMENDING A FUNDING BAND
The additional information, training provider and EPAO quotes, helps 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 withESFA 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 atRoATPapproved 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 byRoATP approved organisations. If they are significantly different, the funding band is adjusted.
- If the apprenticeship 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 apprenticeships
- Comparisons suggested by you and/or your training provider(s) are reviewed.
- A full review of other apprenticeships 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. The funding team makes a recommendation
After the allocation process
Step 5. Review and approval
- The recommended funding band is presented to the relevant route panel with the evidence outlined in steps 1 to 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 adecision. The Secretary of State may set a different funding band to our recommendation.
Step 6. 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.
3. Completing and submitting an apprenticeship training plan and quotes
You must submit evidence to us to inform the funding band recommendation. You need to complete an apprenticeship training planform, 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. 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, 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.
The completedapprenticeship training plan form,apprenticeship training delivery quote formsand EPAO quote must be sent to us when you submit your EPA plan.
4. Challenging a funding band decision
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 compliance 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).
5. Funding bands when you revise your occupational standard and/or EPA plan
After an apprenticeship is approved for delivery, it might be necessary to revise or amend 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. 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
- Change of duration of six months or more
- Mandatory qualification is added or removed
- Change of level in the apprenticeship
- The apprenticeship is split out into more than one standard
- More than one apprenticeship is merged to make a new, combined apprenticeship
- Changes in entry requirements
Scenarios in which a new funding band recommendation will not typically be made
- Change to list of Awarding Organisations offering mandatory qualification(s)
- Changes to external quality assurance arrangements
- Changes to EPA plans that do not affect how the EPA is conducted
- Where editorial changes have been made to improve clarity, or aid understanding
- Where there are amendments to the title of the apprenticeship, or title of any mandatory qualifications
Scenarios which you should discuss further with your relationship manager:
- Addition or removal of an option in a core and option apprenticeship
- Addition, removal or changes to the knowledge, skills and behaviours or duties
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and any proposed changes should be discussed with your RM.
Further information about submitting revisions.
6. Funding forms
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.
- Apprenticeship training plan form
- Apprenticeship training delivery quote form
- Frequently asked questions
- Funding best practice guide
- Funding continuous improvement
- Cost of delivering apprenticeship standards