Each apprenticeship is allocated to one of 15 funding bands, which range from £1,500 to £27,000.
The Institute makes a funding band recommendation to the Secretary of State for Education, who takes the final decision.
During the apprenticeship standard development process, IfA will make an initial funding band allocation when your occupation proposal is agreed. IfA will make a final funding band recommendation when your end-point assessment plan (EPA) is agreed.
You can submit evidence to them to inform the final funding band recommendation. You do this by completing an ‘apprenticeship training plan’ form, and submitting this, along with quotes from training providers and an end point assessment organisation (EPAO) with your EPA plan.
This page explains how IfA make the initial funding band allocation and final funding band recommendation, and when and how you can submit the ‘Apprenticeship Training Plan’ form and supporting quotes.
1. APPRENTICESHIP FUNDING BANDS
Each apprenticeship is allocated to one of 30 funding bands. Information on the funding of apprenticeships, including the funding bands, is here.
The upper limit of each funding band caps 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 can be found here.
Funding, up to the maximum of the funding band for that apprenticeship, can be used to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment for apprentices. 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 the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s apprenticeship funding rules can be found here.
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.
2. ALLOCATING A FUNDING BAND
During the apprenticeship standard development process, IfA will make an initial funding band allocation, followed by a final funding band recommendation.
Funding band process
- you do not need to submit funding evidence at occupation proposal stage.
- IfA will use a calculation to provide an initial funding band allocation, using information in the occupation proposal.
- the calculation is based on the amount of training, the sector subject area and an allowance for EPA.
- you will be informed of initial funding allocation alongside agreement of your occupation proposal.
- you can accept the initial funding band allocation, or choose to submit evidence to inform final funding band recommendation.
- you do not need to submit funding evidence at occupational standard stage.
- you should start work on funding evidence forms alongside developing your occupational standard, if choosing this approach.
- you can submit funding evidence alongside their EPA plan, to inform final funding band recommendation.
- funding evidence will be considered alongside a range of other factors.
- you will be informed of our final funding band recommendation alongside agreement of your EPA plan.
Initial funding band
IfA make an initial funding band allocation when your occupation proposal is agreed. IfA will do this using a calculation based on:
- an estimate of the amount of training needed to complete the apprenticeship standard (based on the length of the apprenticeship standard and the requirement that 20% of an apprentice’s time is spent on off the job training)
- the Sector Subject Area of the training
- an allowance for end-point assessment
IfA will tell you the initial funding band allocation alongside our agreement of your occupation proposal. This enables you to develop your occupational standard and EPA plan with the initial funding band in mind, and consider whether it is the right amount of funding to deliver a high quality apprenticeship.
Final funding band
If you do not think the initial funding band allocation is right, you can submit evidence to IfA to inform the final funding band recommendation. You do this by completing the ‘Apprenticeship training plan’ form and submitting this with training provider and EPAO quotes alongside your EPA plan.
The ‘Apprenticeship Training Plan’ form requires you to set out the training that you would expect a typical apprentice to receive. You can then send this with the ‘Apprenticeship training delivery quote’ form to training providers to get quotes for the training required to deliver your apprenticeship standard.
It is important to provide all the information requested on your Apprenticeship Training Plan form as this will be your only chance to submit information to inform our final funding band recommendation.
The information in your Apprenticeship Training plan is not the only evidence IfA use to make a final funding band recommendation. IfA will consider a range of factors, including:
- the evidence submitted on your funding form, taking into account only those costs which are eligible for public funding according to the existing funding rules
- the cost and funding bands of any equivalent apprenticeship frameworks
- the level and nature of the training/EPA, and consistency across similar types of apprenticeship standard
- affordability within the wider apprenticeship programme, and other factors in the Institute’s Strategic Guidance
- the initial funding band allocated to the apprenticeship standard at occupation proposal stage
- the expertise of our route panels
IfA will share our final funding band recommendation with you, when your EPA plan is approved. You will have ten working days to either accept or appeal the recommendation.
Following your acceptance, IfA will make a final funding band recommendation to the Secretary of State for Education.
The Secretary of State for Education will make the final decision on the funding band for each apprenticeship standard and IfA will notify you once the final decision is taken.
3. COMPLETING AND SUBMITTING AN APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING PLAN
Apprenticeship training plan
If you want to submit evidence to IfA to inform the final funding band recommendation, you will need to complete an ‘Apprenticeship Training Plan’ form. You can use this form to describe the off-the-job training a typical apprentice needs to achieve the occupational standard, excluding English and maths. You can complete this form either by including relevant information relating to off-the-job training when you submit your occupational standard (on the duties page of the apprenticeship builder template) - in which case a pre-populated apprenticeship training form will be generated for you to send to providers - or you can input the same information directly onto the apprenticeship training form at a later date.
Once completed you can share it with training providers to get quotes for the cost of delivering the apprenticeship standard. To provide a quote, training providers should use our ‘Apprenticeship Training Delivery’ quote form. You can use the same form to get a quote from an EPAO for delivering EPA for your apprenticeship standard, based on your draft EPA plan.
In some instances, IfA may ask you to submit this evidence even if you are happy with your initial funding band allocation. This may be the case where the route panel or Institute board want to look in detail at the proposed funding for your apprenticeship standard. IfA will make sure you know well in advance if this is the case.
IfA 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, and so the two tasks should fit together well.
Once you are happy that you have described the typical training programme for an apprentice you can share this plan with training providers, who will be able to quote for the costs of delivering the training you have described. The quotes will then need to be submitted as part of the completed ‘Apprenticeship Training Plan’ form. There is guidance in the form on how to complete it.
The completed ‘Apprenticeship Training Plan’ form and training provider quotes must be sent to IfA alongside your EPA plan submission, if you want them to consider them as part of your final funding band recommendation. You will need to attach it to the EPA plan part of the template. Your relationship manager (RM) must confirm the form is ready for our consideration, before you attach it to the EPA plan submission.
Information on how to submit the template is here.
4. AMENDING APPROVED OCCUPATIONAL STANDARDS AND/OR END-POINT ASSESSMENT PLANS AND THE FUNDING BAND
In most cases resubmitting your occupational standard or EPA plan to the Institute will trigger a reconsideration of the funding band. When making amendments to an approved occupational standard or EPA plan, you should discuss with your RM whether an existing funding band will be affected.
IfA would expect to reconsider funding bands where a change to a occupational standard or EPA plan is significant. This might include (but is not limited to) instances in which duties, knowledge skills and behaviours are added to or removed from an occupational standard, where qualifications in an occupational standard are added, removed or changed, or where assessment methods are altered.
You can access both the apprenticeship training plan form and the apprenticeship training delivery quote forms by following the links below.