ESFA weekly round-up - Issue 383

Education & Skills Funding Agency's weekly round-up of business-critical information to ESFA-funded colleges, other training organisations and direct grant employers. (13 Dec 2017)

Non-levy apprenticeship procurement

ESFA have now notified bidders, via BRAVO e-tendering portal, of the outcome of the non-levy apprenticeship procurement process.

As this remains a live procurement we are unable to provide any further details until we have entered into contracts.

Any provider queries should be sent via Bravo e-tendering portal, which is accessible by the provider nominated contact that made the application.


Procured Adult Education Budget (AEB)

Action required

The procured AEB contracts have now been issued.

To distinguish between allocated AEB in the run down contracts or grant agreements, providers must use Learn Delivery Monitoring (LDM) code 357 for the procured AEB activity that starts from 1st November.

Individualised learner record (ILR): R05

For Action

The ILR R05 data collection for the 2017 to 2018 funding year opens on Monday 18 December and will close at 6pm on Friday, 5 January.

As always, ESFA recommend that you submit your data as early as possible and that you review your validation and funding reports that are made available to you on the hub.

If you need to submit an Earnings Adjustment Statement (EAS) and you do not have access to this on the Data Returns tab in the Hub, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0370 267 0001 to request this.

Hub corner

For information

In R04 ESFA processed 6,125 files from 1,486 providers.

Over 540 providers submitted their first R04 file in the last 3 days of the collection window with 1346 ILR files submitted on the last day of the collection window, over 21% of the total files submitted during the entire collection window.

Known Issues Documents

For Information

ESFA publish Known Issues documents for Data Returns, Funding Information System (FIS) and the ILR Learner Entry Tool on

These documents include details of all active and closed known issues for the systems, they provide details of any suggested actions and advise when the issues have been resolved.

An updated version of the 2017 to 2018 document will be published for R05 opening, this will include details on the resolved issues and new issues that have been opened. If you identify any issues that are not included in these documents, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call them on 0370 267 0001

2016 to 2017 Final Reconciliation Transactions

For Information

Following submission of your 2016 to 2017 final funding claims for the grant funded allocations listed below, you should now have received your final reconciliation statement which were published via the Skills Funding Service.

  • Adult Education Budget
  • Adult Apprenticeships (up to April 2017)
  • Advanced Learning Loans Bursary
  • Learner Support
  • Community Learning

You can access the reconciliation policy here.

The final reconciliation payment/recovery transaction (if applicable) relating to the 2016 to 2017 funding year will be processed in January 2018.

Apprenticeship Grant for employers (AGE) - Closure

For Information

The final date for amending ILR data relating to the AGE programme was 2016-17 ILR hard close was on 19 October 2017.

You received an AGE Report on 11 November 2017 that showed any pipeline payments for apprentices that reached their 13 weeks “in Learning” in September 2017. This delivery was paid on 25 November 2017.

You will receive a final AGE report on 20 December 2017 that will show any pipeline payments for learners who reached their 13 weeks “in learning” in October 2017, plus any agreed exception payments. We will be performing a check of R03 ILR 2017 -18 to ensure that these learners remained in learning for 13 weeks. Eligible learners will be paid on 29 December 2017.

Following this payment, providers that are capped will be considered for release during January 2017, subject to budget availability and any under delivery will be removed from the contract.

Following this the AGE programme will be closed and no further payments will be made. Any queries from eligible employers relating to non-payment of the grant after this date will be will be handled as stated in your contract as follows:

“Where the Provider fails to comply with the requirements in this Agreement which results in the Employer not receiving AGE 16 to 24 to which they are entitled, the ESFA reserves the right to pay the AGE 16 to 24 direct to the Employer and recover the funding from the Provider. This may be recovered from deducting the amount from any sums due to the Provider under this or any other Agreement with the ESFA”.

If you have any queries relating to the AGE grant, then please forward them to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 31 January 2017.

Withdrawal of frameworks by Issuing Authority

For Information

The Issuing Authority, Skills for Care, announced in April 2017 that they planned to withdraw the Care Leadership and Management framework (code 584).

The withdrawal date for new starts on this apprenticeship has now been deferred to 31 August 2018 due to the replacement standard for Leader in Adult Care not yet being available.

The Health and Social care framework (code 444) will still be withdrawn to new starts on the 29 December.

These frameworks are being replaced with these standards:

Any apprentices starting on the Health and Social Care or Care Leadership and Management frameworks before their withdrawal dates will be able to continue on the framework until completion and successful apprentices will be able to claim their certificate using the current system.

Qualification achievement rates (QAR) 2016 to 2017 – provisional data window

For Information

Release of provisional data

ESFA will publish your provisional QAR data for 2016 to 2017 in the week commencing Monday 8 January 2018.

You have until 5pm Friday 2 February 2018 to inform us of any concerns about how they have implemented their published methodology; you cannot request fixes or adjustments to your 2016 to 2017 ILR data.

Your final QAR data will be published during March 2018.

Accessing provisional QAR data

ESFA will publish your data through the data returns tab of the Hub and through BIRST reports.

Guidance on how to use data extracts in the Hub and how to navigate BIRST will be published shortly on GOV.UK.

Each provider should have at least one super user account to access data; please ensure this is still a current user as they will need to approve user permission requests. Please also ensure you have the correct user permissions set up for your organisation in advance of the release date.

ESFA have published guidance on GOV.UK on how to request access to the Identity and Access Management System (IDAMS) and how to request the required user permissions to access your QAR data.

The roles you need to access QARs are:

  • ‘Data Exchange Service – Provider Information Officer’ for accessing the ‘data returns’ tab on the Hub
  • ‘BI Hub User’ for the BIRST reports

R04 data returns - reminder

ESFA only use the R04 ILR return for the 2017 to 2018 funding year to identify:

  • late notified apprenticeship achievements
  • restarts for learners returning from a planned break
  • achievements within 90 days for the timely QAR calculations.

The R04 ILR return for the 2017 to 2018 funding year will not be used to correct any changes from the data recorded in the R14 ILR return for 2016 to 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Financial assurance: monitoring the funding rules 2017 to 2018

For information

ESFA have published the funding rules monitoring plan for the funding year 2017 to 2018.

This covers Adult Education Budget (AEB) delivery, Advanced learner loans, and all apprenticeships (frameworks and standards). The plan includes details of all the policy areas they are reviewing, and the rules and guidance that you must follow.

To support this document, ESFA have begun publishing the new suite of funding monitoring reports on the Hub. The remaining reports will be available following the R04 ILR data submission.

The Funding Monitoring Reports user guide explains how to access the reports and correct your data if required. It also details the action ESFA will take to rectify any identified funding issues. This action will normally be at year-end. However, some issues may affect in-year processes, such as performance management points and growth requests.

Please review your data and ensure that you have made the necessary corrections, or that you have appropriate evidence to support funding claims as required.

For further information, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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