From education to employment

ALP Conference Sees Training Providers Told of Reduction in Bureaucracy

Delegates at the Association of Learning Providers” (ALP’s) “Partner’s in Learning 2006” conference held at London Stansted Airport received copies of the Learning and Skills Council’s (LSC’s) “Administration Guide for Work Based Learning.”

The ALP and the membership of learning providers have commended the Guide, which claims to benefit learning providers delivering training for the LSC by cutting down on bureaucracy. Previously the LSC’s stringent claims procedures required providers to submit lengthy papers validating their claim in order to release payment. The process was so severe that if a provider were to make the smallest of errors, they could be faced with a suspension in payment; not the most conducive system for providers to maintain a high standard of service delivery.

Guide to Guide?

However, with the launch of the Administration Guide, which advocates a simpler and less time consuming paperwork process, providers are being promised more time to spend on service delivery. The new streamlined claims process will now only require providers to submit a short return for employed learners each month to release payment. Jaine Clarke, the LSC’s Director of Skills for Employment, detailed the new process to delegates at the ALP conference.

Graham Hoyle, ALP’s Chief Executive, and many learning providers have heralded the new Guide as a positive development in the LSC’s attitudes towards the intrusive management of learning contracts. Hoyle comments: “The Administration Guide is a further indication of the growing trust between the LSC and its suppliers which has developed in line with the significant improvements in the quality of service delivered by work based learning providers in recent years.”

He goes on to say: “The Guide represents a major step forward in the reduction of bureaucracy which will help to make Train to Gain, apprenticeships and other programmes have a real impact on the skills needs of the economy.”


Factors including recent job cuts at the LSC would have also had an impact on the reduction of bureaucracy ““ fewer staff means less man hours to verify lengthy claim submissions. Added to this, the government’s extensive promotion to encourage learners onto vocational programmes to meet the skills gaps in Britain may be another measure that has influenced the implementation of a simpler administrative process and hopes to make money more readily available to learning providers.

Regardless of the actual reasons behind the change in stance from the LSC in regards to claims bureaucracy, providers can breathe a sigh of relief and, more importantly, get on with delivering their services.

Manju Rani

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