Information for 16 to 19 providers for industry placement(s) capacity and delivery funding (CDF) from academic year 2019 to 2020.

Updates relating to:

Alternate delivery models and approaches framework

Throughout the 2018 to 2019 academic year we have carried out extensive engagement and have listened to suggestions, innovations and concerns raised by those providers and employers engaged in early delivery of industry placements. In response to this feedback, we have identified a series of additional models and approaches which can be used to ensure placements are high quality, meaningful and deliverable across different industries as well as being accessible for all students. The framework comprises models which are applicable to all routes as well as a number of industry-specific models, as listed below. Therefore, we have adapted the principles that providers work to for 2019 to 2020 academic year.

A summary of the new models of delivery are listed here, full details are included in the relevant sections below:

Applicable to all placements

  • Industry Placement across 2 employers: A single industry placement (average 350 hours, minimum 315 hours) can be split across 2 employers if needed
  • work taster activities: Students can undertake short work taster activities, of up to 35 hours in total, to help them decide on an area in which to specialise. These can be counted towards a student’s total number of placement hours of average 350 hours, and minimum of 315 hours
  • SEND: A provider’s on-site facilities can now be used for students with Special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) for up to 105 hours where they are occupationally relevant to the student’s field of study. This must be in the best interests of the student and carefully aligned to their learning and development objectives
  • Young Offenders: On site facilities can be used for the full duration of placements for young offenders
  • minimum duration: The minimum duration of 45 days will not be a requirement for 2019 to 2020 academic year delivery. Industry placements should be on average 350 hours with a minimum of 315 hours. Whilst a typical working day on a placement is between 7 – 7.5 hours, the total 315 hours can be delivered at the discretion of the provider in accordance with the needs of the employer and the student (for example, if shorter days are required for those with SEND, part time work or other commitments, or to accommodate different industries working patterns)

Industry specific placements only

  • Construction: Students can now complete a Commercial, Charitable or Community Project for a maximum of 105 hours of their placement, working closely with an external employer to develop appropriate technical skills. The rest of the hours should be spent individually with an external employer to ensure the student gains experience of the workplace working independently from peers
  • Construction and Engineering & Manufacturing: Students can now spend a maximum of 105 hours of their total hours within an already established Skills Hub or Training Centre: in such a case, students will then need to complete the remainder of their placement with this same employer
  • Digital: Students studying a Digital course can now undertake a placement that develops their general Digital knowledge and skills as opposed to those only relevant to their specific specialism

Employer support fund

CDF providers within the South West and West Midlands have been invited to take part in this pilot. We have selected providers in these regions to ensure that there is a good mix of types of areas (for example rural, urban and opportunity areas) plus a mix of employer and provider types. Selecting providers in these regions also allows us to maximise the number of industry placements that are in the pilot to give us the most robust findings. This will allow us to look at the difference the funding makes to provision of industry placements depending on industry, employer and area types.

The pilot’s findings will enable us to better support all providers delivering T Levels and industry placements through identifying the impact of additional funding on employers’ willingness to offer placements, gathering evidence on employer costs associated with placements and informing our thinking on how to best deploy future funding. Findings from this pilot will be shared with all providers receiving CDF throughout the academic year 2019 to 2020 and a full evaluation is expected to be published in late 2020.

Employer support package

An employer support package will be developed to support employers throughout the 2019 to 2020 academic year. This will be designed to equip employers with the information and understanding needed to build their confidence and effectively plan and implement high quality placements. We will procure an organisation to develop and implement this package of support alongside industry professionals. The package will include both general and industry-specific guidance, face-to-face workshops, webinars and “on-demand” hands-on support. More information will be available at the beginning of the 2019 to 2020 academic year.

Further information about the updated policy and additional support package being developed is set out in more detail is available GOV.UK.


The purpose of this information is to detail the arrangements for delivering industry placements through the CDF in 2019 to 2020 academic year for those providers in receipt of an allocation from the CDF in 2018 to 2019 academic year.


During October 2017, we wrote to providers to advise them about CDF and industry placements (formally known as work placements). Providers were required to complete an implementation plan to access this funding and the Department assessed these plans to ensure they were complete. Funding for the CDF has been included in allocation statements for 2018 to 2019 academic year, as has the number of funded students and the minimum number of placements to be delivered by the end of the year.

CDF is to facilitate the build-up of capacity and capability to deliver substantial industry placements and deliver such placements from the 2018 to 2019 academic year. The placements being delivered are for students on vocational and technical study programmes at level 2 and level 3. It is recognised that the delivery of significant numbers of industry placements as part of T Levels is a significant step change for the sector. This is why this funding has been provided now to help build capacity ahead of the roll out of T Levels, from 2020, which industry placements will be a compulsory part of.

Changes from 2018 to 2019 academic year to 2019 to 2020 academic year

There are changes to the principles and criteria of the CDF for 2019 to 2020 academic year as mentioned above. The new models for industry placements gives stability in funding for providers so they can build on their capacity building in 2018 to 2019 academic year and increase the number of students accessing and completing industry placements.

From 2019 to 2020 academic year if providers arrange industry placements for students studying AGQs that have not been used to calculate the CDF allocation, to help build their capacity in other curriculum areas/industries, this will count towards the 20% delivery target.

For 2019 to 2020 academic year we are increasing the proportion of qualifying students for whom we are requiring an industry placement to be provided. For 2018 to 2019 academic year, this was based on 10% of qualifying students. For 2019 to 2020, this is to increase to 20% of qualifying students.

Now T Levels are confirmed as level 3 programmes we are also increasing our emphasis on level 3 students. Therefore for delivery in 2019 to 2020 academic year we are introducing a requirement to prioritise level 3 placements. Providers will be required to deliver at least 10 percent more level 3 placements compared to their baseline split between level 2 and level 3 qualifying students.

For example – a provider with 1,000 qualifying students, split equally between L2 to L3 (500 students at L2 and 500 at L3):

  • they will need to deliver a placement for 20% of their qualifying students, so 200 placements

  • this is a baseline of 100 level 3 students in a placement

  • the minimum number of placements for level 3 students would be to increase the 100 by 10%

  • therefore a minimum of 100 x 1.1 = 110 level 3 placements during 2019 to 2020

To calculate this we will look at the proportion of qualifying students that were on level 3 study programmes in 2017 to 2018 academic year, apply that proportion to the minimum number of placements required in 2019 to 2020 academic year, increase the level 3 delivery by 10% and then calculate the minimum number of level 3 students we expect to be on a placement in the year.

Giving priority to Level 3 Students for CDF Industry Placements examples

PDF, 225KB, 1 page

Qualifications that count towards the 20% CDF target for the 2019 to 2020 academic year

In 2018 to 2019 academic year, students on Applied General Qualifications (AGQ) courses that undertook ‘T Level style’ Industry placements funded through the capacity delivery fund, were not counted towards the 10% Industry Placement target as they did not fall within the published definition of a ‘qualifying student’ for the 2018 to 2019 cohort.

We have had lots of feedback on this issue and we have reviewed the position for 2019 to 2020 academic year. Based on this feedback, students undertaking an AGQ that undertake an industry placement can be counted towards the target from 2019 to 2020 academic year.

From 2019 to 2020 academic year if providers arrange industry placements for students studying AGQs that have not been used to calculate the CDF allocation, to help build their capacity in other curriculum areas/industries, this will count towards the 20% delivery target.

This change does not affect the 2019 to 2020 CDF allocation where AGQs have not been used to determine the allocation.

Monitoring form and guidance documents

For 2019 to 2020 we will continue with our principle of funding capacity building activity. To avoid asking providers for separate monitoring forms and year 2 implementation plans we have combined these 2 functions into a single monitoring form.

Therefore, to receive CDF funding for 2019 to 2020 academic year all providers, that received CDF for 2018 to 2019, will be required to submit a monitoring form to ESFA via a survey mechanism. The monitoring form is a compulsory return and without a completed monitoring form, ESFA will not make an allocation for CDF in 2019 to 2020 academic year.

Questions and information required and the guidance provided to assist with completing the monitoring form.

Guidance on completing the industry placement capacity and delivery fund (CDF) monitoring form

PDF, 812KB, 23 pages

Monitoring forms will fulfil a number of functions. Firstly, they will demonstrate a commitment from the provider to building capacity and capability within their organisation to deliver high quality, substantial industry placements. Secondly, they will allow the provider to describe the progress made in delivering industry placements for 2018 to 2019. Thirdly, they will provide information on how delivery will be scaled up to deliver the 20% requirement for 2019 to 2020 and how an provider plans to utilise the allocation to do so, and finally they will allow the Department to assess if sufficient progress has been made to qualify for an allocation for 2019 to 2020 academic year.

This monitoring form, and provider’s response to feedback based on this form, will be used to assess whether or not that provider will receive a further CDF allocation for 2019 to 2020 academic year.

The monitoring form will ask for a description of progress on actions that the provider will take to deliver placements and for an outline of how this additional funding will be used to lead to high quality industry placements for qualifying students.

A monitoring form must be completed by providers receiving CDF in 2018 to 2019 academic year. Providers with an Ofsted rating of Requires Improvement must answer additional questions so ESFA can be assured that quality improvement activity, which might affect the quality of delivery, is being addressed.

ESFA will write to all eligible providers before the end of July identifying their number of qualifying students, the number of placements required in 2019 to 2020 academic year and providing a direct link to the monitoring form they need to complete.

ESFA will review all monitoring forms. The Department is looking for you to demonstrate how you have used your CDF allocation to progress the activities you included in your Implementation Plan. We are asking for your assessment of progress in implementing these actions and the number of placements you have arranged, and for your estimate of the number of placements you will deliver by the end of the year. We are also looking to understand the initial barriers you are experiencing and how you are overcoming these.

Should the ESFA not be satisfied with the progress demonstrated then we will provide detailed feedback and may ask for additional information. We will then expect that these issues have been addressed by the time your next monitoring form is submitted on 1st February 2019.

Should the ESFA still not be satisfied with progress your 2019 to 2020 allocation will be at risk.

When completing your monitoring reports, we advise you to take advantage of the supporting documentation we have produced on principles for delivering high quality placements and the materials from the Industry Placement pilot that was run by the Challenge.

The deadline for submitting your monitoring form is midnight 7 June 2019.

Principles of a substantial industry placement in 2019 to 2020 academic year

Industry placements delivered with this funding must be:

  • delivered to the published standards and principles
  • a minimum of 315 hours in length, with an expected average within each provider of 350 hours (this excludes 1 hour per day for lunch). Whilst a typical working day on a placement is between 7 – 7.5 hours, the total 315 hours can be delivered at the discretion of the provider in accordance with the needs of the employer and the student (for example, if shorter days are required, or to accommodate different industries’ working patterns)
  • occupationally specific and focused on developing the practical and technical skills required for the profession or trade that the student is studying for (Digital placements may be industry-specific where students develop general Digital knowledge and skills, as opposed to being occupationally specific)
  • taking place normally with a single employer but in all cases with a maximum of 2 external employers that is; on a site external to the student’s learning environment independent of their fellow students and teaching staff.
  • SEND students may spend a maximum of 105 hours of placement within a providers’ on-site facilities, and those in Young Offenders Institutes may spend the full duration of placement within on-site facilities
  • set learning objectives that are agreed between the employer, student and provider (note: the same objectives is to be worked towards even if a placement is conducted with more than one employer)
  • adequately supervised by a named member of the employers staff
  • monitored by actual site visits from the provider, with review meetings at the start, middle and end at a minimum to review the student’s progress, and supplemented by more informal engagement and communication throughout

And should also:

  • be delivered within the academic timetable as far as possible but we recognise in some occupations, peak times will either be seasonal or fall outside the providers’ normal working hours, such as catering, hospitality or events management
  • deliver a real life job role
  • have learning aims agreed at the start of the industry placement between the provider/employer/student and monitor progress throughout

Providers should ensure that students with Special Educational Needs will (as far as possible) be able to access the same quality of industry placement provision as their peers.

Qualifying students

For 2018 to 2019 academic year allocations we identified a proxy for students that were in scope for a substantial industry placement. We used 2015 to 2016 academic year end-year data from the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) and the school census and HESA.

For 2019 to 2020 we have initially used 2016 to 2017 student data to calculate provisional qualifying student numbers. For the allocation for 2019 to 2020 we will use actual year end 2017 to 2018 student data.

Students that meet all the following criteria will be treated as qualifying students for CDF in 2019 to 2020:

  • students that are full time, that is those with total planned hours recorded as above 540 if aged 16 or 17 and 450 hours for an 18 year old. This includes High Needs Students (HNS) that have met the qualifying start period for their study programme

  • students aged 16, 17 and 18

  • students aged 19 to 25 with an educational health care plan (EHCP) are included. (students who are 19 to 25 years old at the beginning of their 2-year programme are not included)

  • students who are enrolled on a level 2 or level 3 programme, with a vocational core aim, which might be included in the technical education routes planned for introduction from 2020 to 2021 academic year. A list of qualification types included is set out below. It should be noted that General Vocational Qualifications are included but Applied General Qualifications (AGQs) are not. A list of excluded AGQs is available below

This list of AGQs excluded from the allocation calculation has been updated in February 2019 to include some older AGQs that were not previously included, to ensure consistency with previous years data. The updated list has been used to calculate CDF allocations for 2019 to 2020. An earlier list was used to calculate the CDF figures in the allocation calculation toolkit (ACT) for this year, so the figures in your allocation may be different from those in ACT as a result.

List of Excluded Applied General Qualifications

PDF, 200KB, 5 pages

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The above criteria in no way indicates which qualifications will be subject to defunding in the future.

The qualification types included in identifying qualifying students are listed below:

  • Advanced Diploma
  • Associate Diploma
  • Award
  • Certificate
  • Certificate of Competence
  • Diploma
  • Diploma (14 to 19)
  • Edexcel First Diploma (new syllabus)
  • Edexcel First Extended Certificate (2012 onwards)
  • Edexcel National Award
  • Edexcel National Certificate (new syllabus)
  • Edexcel National Diploma (new syllabus)
  • First Certificate
  • Introductory Certificate
  • National Certificate
  • National Diploma
  • National Extended Diploma
  • National Vocational Qualifications
  • Principal Learning within Diploma (14 to 19)
  • Professional Diploma

Qualifying provider

Allocations are offered to all providers funded by the ESFA for 16 to 19 study programmes with qualifying students as defined above. This inclusive approach allows almost all providers currently offering vocational programmes that could evolve into one of the Technical Education Routes to receive an allocation. Allocations will be based on the number of qualifying students enrolled with each provider in 2017 to 2018 academic year.

Allocation of funding

The funding methodology reflects current delivery and made the funds widely available to all providers that met the criteria and deliver full time Technical Education at levels 2 and 3. Allocations were made to those providers that met the criteria, opted in and submitted a completed Implementation plan.

We base the level of funding for each provider on the number of qualifying full time students, at a rate of £250 per student enrolled on eligible programmes.

We avoid small payments, which providers may find to be of little use by making:

  • a minimum payment of £2,500 for providers with 1 to 10 qualifying students

  • a minimum payment of £5,000 for providers with 11 to 20 qualifying students

To qualify for funding providers will need to have an Ofsted overall effectiveness grading of “Requires Improvement” or better. In addition, the Department for Education reserves the right not to make an allocation where a Notice to Improve is in place, where a provider is at risk of financial difficulty or where there are any other known issues that could prevent or affect quality delivery.

Providers should be clear that access to the CDF does not imply future eligibility to deliver or receive funding for the development or delivery of T Levels. We will monitor delivery of industry placements in 2019 to 2020 academic year.

Opting in or out of an allocation in 2019 to 2020

We expect that providers that received a CDF allocation in 2018 to 2019 will also take advantage of the funding in 2019 to 2020. The monitoring report has been designed to let the Department know your intention to deliver industry placements in 2019 to 2020 by choosing whether to opt in or out of CDF in 2019 to 2020.

By “opting in” for CDF in 2019 to 2020 and completing the monitoring report, providers will be agreeing to:

  • utilise the funding to build capability and capacity for delivery of high quality substantial industry placements

  • the delivery and completion of high quality substantial industry placements from the 2019 to 2020 academic year following the published principles set out on GOV.UK.

  • deliver and complete a set number of high quality substantial industry placements in 2019 to 2020 academic year, based on no fewer than 20% of the number of qualifying students

  • where possible, prioritise the delivery of placements for level 3 students

  • provide a completed monitoring form template to the ESFA by midnight on 1st October 2018 for review, that clearly outlines what the short and medium term actions are that will be taken to prepare for delivery from 2019 academic year

  • provide monitoring/progress reports termly by 1 October 2019, 1 February and 1 June 2020

  • conduct student satisfaction surveys

  • to record all high quality substantial industry placements fully in the ILR, school census or HESA at each data return point

By “opting out” providers will be indicating to ESFA they do not wish to receive this funding for 2019 to 2020.

To opt out providers are asked to notify ESFA by selecting the appropriate answers on the monitoring form and completing a brief explanation, to inform future planning.

Supporting students financially

Information relating to supporting students financially can be found on GOV.UK.

Recording substantial industry placements

The Department will be issuing new guidance on how to record CDF industry placements soon; and this will be included in the updated version of the ILR user manual for 2018 to 2019, and the guidance for the school census.

CDF industry placements are to take place on top of the existing study programme hours and providers have been allocated CDF funding in addition to mainstream funding for qualifying students. Therefore, industry placement hours must not be included in the planned hours recorded for the study programme, as stated in our 2018 to 2019 information on GOV.UK on GOV.UK.

We have introduced a new learning aim on the ILR and the school census specifically for recording industry placements, for monitoring and funding purposes and this will help to differentiate between CDF industry placements and external work experience that forms part of the students’ Employability, Enrichment and Pastoral (EEP) study programme hours.

It is also important to note that, as things stand, where hours are currently spent on work experience that is an existing and compulsory part of a study programme, these cannot be counted towards the industry placement hours delivered through CDF because providers are already being government funded for these through mainstream funding. This is unless students are able to do the required industry placement hours (minimum of 315) on top of those hours for the existing work experience that are recorded as planned ‘qualification hours’ on the ILR and school census. As we set out in the consultation response, we will be working with the sector over the coming months to consider whether any flexibilities should be applied.

Update to funding agreements

We have updated some clauses in our annual funding agreements / contracts for services with providers, to provide for the following:

  • where a provider does not meet the minimum number of placements, the ESFA may seek to recover funds, and/or may take this into consideration when considering future CDF allocations

  • where a provider is assessed to be financial health inadequate, or the provider / education and training provided is judged by Ofsted to be inadequate, the ESFA may withhold any remaining profiled allocations, and may take such assessments into consideration when considering future CDF allocations

These clauses may vary by provider type therefore it is advisable that providers become familiar with the new clauses in their funding agreement.

Links to T Levels

As T Levels are rolled out, we will investigate making future funding conditional on placements being completed. Over time, the delivery of industry placements will become a requirement of the T Level programme completion and at that point will be monitored via accountability measures through ILR/school census and HESA data. Additional funding will be available to support delivery of T Level programmes in future. We will consult on wider T Level funding arrangements in autumn 2019 in advance of the introduction of T Levels.

ESFA enquiries

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Timeline for 2020 to 2021 allocations for providers receiving a CDF allocation for 2018 to 2019

Activity Date
Allocation statements issued for 2019 to 2020 March 2019
Deadline for third monitoring form submitted back for 2018 to 2019. 7 June 2019
Confirm 2019 to 2020 CDF allocations to providers July 2019
Deadline for Autumn monitoring form submitted back for 2019 to 2020 CDF Autumn 2019
Deadline for second monitoring form submitted back for 2019 to 2020 CDF to be determined TBC
Deadline for third monitoring form submitted back for 2019 to 2020 to be determined TBC

Published 9 July 2018
Last updated 19 June 2019 + show all updates

  1. information updated for the employment support fund.
  2. Information updated to reflect new package of support following announcement on Sunday 19 May
  3. We have added the List of Excluded Applied General Qualifications.
  4. First published.