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RoATP: Tougher Rules to Ensure High Quality Apprenticeships

The following article was written by the ESFA.

We have published new, tougher rules for providers and employers applying for and securing a place on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP).

The strengthened approach will mean only ‎providers that meet the tougher registration requirements can access government funding. The‎ move follows a review of the RoATP, taking on board valuable feedback from provider representative bodies, providers and employers, and forms part of the Government’s continued commitment to improving the quality of apprenticeship training.

To secure a place on the RoATP, providers and employers must now prove they have actively traded for 12 months, are financially stable (evidenced by their financial information), skilled and are able to deliver quality apprenticeship training, before they apply, rather than when they begin delivery. The 3-month trading history requirement for supporting providers has been retained to enable new providers to build a delivery track record.

Acting on feedback from the sector, the register will open for applications on 12 December 2018 and will remain open throughout the year, with no closing date. This means providers can apply when they feel they are ready and can prove they have the appropriate capacity, capability and skills in place to meet the registers robust entry requirements. Two applications in a 12 month period will be allowed. ‎

ESFA is also considering the introduction of provider earnings limits and in the coming months, will be seeking views from the sector on these. The limits will ensure control, not just for quality reasons but the potential size Anne milton100x100and expansion of providers.

Anne Milton, Skills and Apprenticeship Minister said:

“Apprenticeships are giving people of all ages and background the chance to gain the skills they need to secure a good job and progress in their careers.

“It is vital that the training apprentices are receiving continues to be of the highest quality. Our new tougher approach builds on the robust checks already in place to provide even greater assurance that public money for apprenticeships is being used effectively.

“I would like to thank all those who took the time to respond to our review. Your feedback has been invaluable and has helped us to shape this new process.”

Eileen Milner, ESFA chief executive said:

“Thank you to all those that participated in our review of the Register of Apprenticeships Training Providers. We all share one thing in common – stamping out poor quality apprenticeship provision.

“Our new RoATP application process ensures that only those that can stand up to our tough quality assurance entry requirements can access government funds to deliver apprenticeship training. We are also being tougher on subcontractors entering the market, to ensure a focus on quality training and mitigate risk to government funds.”

Additionally, providers with an outstanding or good grade from Ofsted (no more than 3 years before applying) will be exempt from certain questions on the leadership and management of their delivery. This also applies to universities funded by the Office for Students.

The new register requirements:

  • All organisations delivering apprenticeship training must be on the RoATP. By August 2019, it will be a funding rule requirement for all subcontractors delivering apprenticeship training to be listed on the RoATP including those delivering less than £100k a year as a subcontractor.
  • Main providers and employer providers must directly deliver apprenticeship training. Employers and providers that only want to operate as a subcontractor will need to apply to become a supporting provider.
  • Providers not currently listed on the RoATP and want to be an apprenticeship training provider may apply when the RoATP re-opens for applications from 12 December 2018.
  • As the register is now open throughout the year, with no closing date, providers only need to apply at the point they are ready to deliver.
  • All providers currently on the RoATP will have to go through the new process; we will invite them to re-apply in phases during 2019.
  • Supporting providers (subcontractors) can only receive funding of up to a maximum of £500,000 per year, and this is limited to £100,000 in their first year if they have no recent history of apprenticeship delivery.

Further guidance information on the application process can be found here.


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