From education to employment

Using the apprenticeship service as a training provider

What you need to do in the apprenticeship service to support employers, add and approve apprenticeships for funding.

1. Set up your apprenticeship training provider account

To set up your apprenticeship service account you need to complete the relevant steps detailed on our How to become an approved training provider and bid for funding page.

Once you have completed the steps you can register on the apprenticeship service.

2. What to do after you’ve set-up your apprenticeship service account

After you have set up your account, you can start working with employers to provide apprenticeship training.

If you have not, you will need to sign your ESFA apprenticeship training provider agreement in the Skills Funding Service.

Once signed you can approve apprentices for funding.

Employers will contact you about providing their apprenticeship training. You will need to have your own offline agreement in place with the employer.

Help employers with their apprenticeship service account

Before you can see any apprentices or cohorts in your account, you might need to help the employer add:

  • PAYE schemes to their apprenticeship service account
  • organisations employing the apprentices – that you’ll be training
  • apprentices, unless the employer has asked you to do this for them

The employer also needs to sign their agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Transferred funds

If the employer is funding their apprenticeships using transferred funds, you need to know:

  • how transfers work and how apprenticeships can be paid for using transferred funds
  • that transfers count towards state aid, so receiving employers must be aware of the rules around this
  • you won’t have contact with the sending employer
  • if you are transferring funds to an employer you won’t be able to provide the training for that transfer of funds

3. Managing cohorts

In your apprenticeship service account, you need to:

  • view the cohorts that have been added
  • see if there are any cohorts for review
  • see how many cohorts are with the employer to approve
  • approve new cohorts

Before you approve your cohorts

Make sure that:

  • you’re checking the correct cohort or apprentice
  • the apprenticeship matches what’s been agreed between you and your employer
  • the total price of the training, including any end-point assessment costs, is correct
  • you’re aware that if the price of the training is greater than the funding band, you will need to invoice the employer directly to recover any additional costs
  • that all of these details match the ILR

Your employer can ask you to add all or some of the apprentice details. They may choose to add the details themselves.

4. Adding and managing apprentices in your account

Adding apprentices for employers

You can bulk upload apprentices to your cohort from your own learner management system (MIS) or use our template from within the service or on GOV.UK.

If you use our template you must:

  • open it in your spreadsheet software (for example Excel)
  • follow the exact format when adding your apprentices
  • create a unique name for the file, so you don’t overwrite the template
  • save the spreadsheet document as a .csv file on your computer
  • upload the file you’ve saved into your apprenticeship service account

Before you can approve the cohort, you need to add the unique learner numbers (ULN) if your employer has already added the apprentice details.

Apprentice details in the apprenticeship service must match the Individualised Learner Record (ILR). The service checks apprentice details as part of your month end submission.You have to confirm that the employer’s information is correct and that you have agreed to be their training provider the first time you are asked to add or approve apprentices.

Managing apprentices in your account

You can see the full list of apprentices and their details. You can filter the list by:

  • status – whether the apprentice has started their training or not
  • what tasks need to be completed
  • which apprenticeship you want to group them in
  • the organisation employing the apprentice

You can view more details of each apprentice, where you can edit and update some of their information.

Changing apprentices’ details

The employer needs to approve any changes you make to the details of an apprentice, in the apprenticeship service.

5. View employer requests for training providers

Find employers that need a training provider lets you view requests for apprenticeship training and share your contact details with employers if you can meet their training needs.

If employers haven’t been able to find a suitable training provider for a particular apprenticeship training course, they can share their interest with all training providers.

You can view these requests in the Find employers that need a training provider section of your training provider account. If you are interested in the request, you can share your details so the employer can get in touch with you.

6. Payments

Before you get paid

Once your agreement with an employer is in place and before we can make payment, you need to make sure:

  • you have both approved any changes to the cohort or apprentices
  • the employer has started the process of adding apprentices in their apprenticeship service account

Monthly payment cycle

  1. 19th of the month – employer declares levy to HMRC.
  2. 23rd of the month – funds appear in employer account.
  3. By 4th working day of the following month – employer approves apprentices. This approval is authorisation for the release of funds.
  4. By 4th working day of the following month – you submit ILR returns.
  5. 5th working day of the month – funds released from employer account.
  6. 11th working day of the month – you receive payments from the ESFA.

As a training provider the payments for training and assessment will be part of the ILR process, whether they’re paid from levy or transferred funds.

7. Data returns and reports

We provide more information about data reports and when to do them.

Available reports

There are a number of reports in addition to the usual ILR reports available. These include:

  • a ‘data match’ report to confirm whether the ILR data matches the apprentice data in the apprenticeship service
  • an ‘indicative earnings’ report
  • a ‘month-end payment’ report
  • a ‘co-funding’ report to show whether you need to claim any co-investment payments from employers

8. Working with employers to advertise apprenticeship vacancies

Recruit an apprentice allows you to post vacancies on behalf of employers, so that potential candidates can apply using the find an apprenticeship service.

9. Working with assessment organisations

For apprenticeship standards, employers will select an end-point assessment organisation from the register of end-point assessment organisations.

You must:

  • contract with the employers selected apprentice assessment organisation
  • have a written agreement in place with the assessment organisation
  • make payment to them for conducting the end-point assessment

The agreement must set out the end-point assessment arrangements, including details about any re-takes and payments.

You can find further details in the apprenticeship technical funding guide.

If you are interested in becoming an end-point assessment organisation the register of apprentice assessment organisations page provides more information on how to apply.


You can email the National Apprenticeship Service for advice or help using the service.

Telephone: 0800 015 0600 – Find out about call charges

Published 12 September 2017
Last updated 29 June 2021 + show all updates

  1. Updated section 5 ‘View employer requests for training providers’ to include information about a new service ‘Find employers that need a training provider’.

  2. Updates about new functionality.

  3. First published.

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