On 12 December 2018 we published a new application process for the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) with more stringent and challenging entry requirements.

This was introduced to help fulfil the government’s continued commitment to improving the quality of apprenticeship training.

The strengthened approach means only ‎providers that apply to the new RoATP and meet the new higher standard will be able to continue to access government funding for apprenticeships.

Every provider that intends to deliver apprenticeship training will need to successfully apply to the new RoATP. This includes those already approved and listed on the old RoATP.

Providers listed on the RoATP are being invited to apply in phases during 2019 and will receive a formal notification giving them a deadline to apply.

Purpose of this policy

This policy describes the approach that will be used, and the actions that will be taken by ESFA, for any providers that apply to the new RoATP and are unsuccessful in their application, and providers that do not apply following an invitation.

Actions taken under this policy include removal from RoATP, termination of funding agreements and stopping a provider from taking on new apprentices.

Scenarios

What happens if a provider does not apply to the new RoATP by their given deadline?

If a provider does not make an application to the new RoATP by their deadline, we will contact them formally giving 10 working days to confirm whether they plan to apply to the new RoATP or that they are withdrawing from delivering apprenticeship training.

If a provider confirms they wish to make an application, we will give a new deadline.

If a provider fails to engage with the process by not responding to ESFA, or failing to submit an application by the new deadline, or a provider confirms that they are withdrawing from delivering apprenticeship training, ESFA will take actions as set out in the consequences section of this policy.

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What happens if a provider applies to the new RoATP but does not meet our requirements?

If the provider does not meet our requirements they will be formally notified that their application was unsuccessful.

The provider has the right to make an appeal within 10 working days of receiving the notification.

On receipt of an appeal, ESFA aim to review and respond to the appeal within 15 working days.

For further information on appeals, including the possible grounds for appeal, please refer to the application guidance

If the appeal is successful, the provider will be added to the new RoATP.

If the appeal is unsuccessful or the provider decides not to make an appeal, ESFA will take actions as set out in the consequences section of this policy.

Consequences

If a provider has not applied to the new RoATP or has not met our requirements as set out in scenarios one and two, we will write to the provider advising that:

  • they are being given 10 working days’ notice of their removal from the RoATP
  • if operating as a subcontractor they must not take on any other apprentices. They must work with their lead provider to support the transfer of apprentices to other delivery options chosen by the prime provider in consultation with the affected employers and apprentices. We will notify prime providers of the subcontractor’s change in status with regard to the RoATP

If a provider has a levy and/or non-levy agreement, we will usually give notice to terminate these agreements with three months notice.

The provider will not be able to take on any new apprentices during this termination period.

ESFA will engage with the provider following the issue of a notice of termination to ensure effective exit, protecting the interests of apprentices and employers.

ESFA will terminate agreements immediately if there are no apprentices in learning.

In exceptional circumstances and only in instances where a provider is actively delivering apprenticeships, ESFA may:

  • issue a termination for a period longer or shorter than three months

Or

  • issue a contract variation to enable the suspension of starts instead of terminating the agreement

These exceptional circumstances include but are not limited to:

  • the proximity of the planned end dates for the existing apprentices is such that moving them to alternative provision would cause them significant disadvantage
  • the size or complexity of the provider’s apprenticeship programme would require additional time to transfer apprentices to other suitable providers
  • a suitable alternative provider is not available due to the niche nature of the provision or delivery location

Where ESFA considers that exceptional circumstances exist it will write to the provider to inform them of its decision and the reasons for it.

Where there is to be a suspension of new starts, ESFA will also issue a variation to the provider’s agreements, to reflect that taking on new starts is suspended as a consequence of not being listed on the new RoATP.

I want to get on to the RoATP after being removed under this policy

Providers are able to apply or re-apply if they have been removed under this process. Details of how to apply are available in the application guidance.

What happens if a provider is accepted onto RoATP after being removed?

Where a provider has been removed from RoATP (through a failed application or a failure to engage in the process) and is later successful with an application, they will:

Any non-levy contracts terminated due to removal from RoATP will not be reinstated. If the provider wishes to deliver non-levy provision they will need to:

  • enter into subcontracts with an existing contract holder (where prime providers need to subcontract)
  • engage with and use the apprenticeship service following the transition of non-levy employers

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