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Helping apprenticeship training providers prepare for the new Accountability Framework

Kerry Linley, STEM ambassador and CEO of Rubitek
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From April 2022, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) began monitoring apprenticeship provider performance against a range of measures. The measures which identify areas for concern are set out in the ESFA’s Accountability Framework Technical Specification document. This framework applies to all apprenticeship provisions, at all ages, and to all training providers from the academic year 2021 to 2022.

At Rubitek, we speak regularly to apprenticeship training providers and know that many are still getting accustomed to the framework and what it means for their business. So we produced a guide, which you can download by following the link at the end of this article. But first, here’s a very brief overview of the framework and one or two things training providers need to look out for.

What is the accountability framework?

The accountability framework is a set of measures, designed to support those apprenticeship providers willing and able to improve in certain areas. It will be applied through monitoring of Individualised Learner Records (ILR) data, and feedback from employers and apprentices.

The indicators being measured will include:

  • Outcomes from Ofsted reports
  • Achievement rates
  • Retention rates
  • Withdrawals
  • Employer and apprentice feedback
  • Off-the-job training
  • Learners who are past their planned end date
  • Breaks in learning
  • End point assessment organisation data

Providers with whom the ESFA has a cause for concern will be expected to respond positively and make improvements where necessary. And for those that don’t, the ESFA will take action to enforce contractual requirements.

Off-the-job training

Monitoring off-the-job training will be a key focus under the new accountability framework. As yet however, there is no clear guidance as to what the ESFA will be looking for, or measuring providers against.

What we can say is that by monitoring off-the-job training hours, providers can intervene when learners fall behind, and even help them to catch up.

Timely Completions

The ESFA will monitor providers with learners who have gone past their planned end date by 180 days or more. This is why it is essential that as a provider you keep a close eye on planned end dates, and continually monitor gaps in learning that need to be filled.

Breaks in Learning

The ESFA will monitoring breaks in learning to ensure providers are not abusing the break in learning rule. Where learners are on a break in learning, it’s vital they return to learning as soon as possible. 
The ESFA will be monitoring those providers with apprentices totalling 15% of the cohort, who are on a break in learning for 180 days or more. So, we think it’s important to take special care in ensuring your learner programs are not at risk of falling into this category.

You can download Rubitek’s free training provider guide on the Accountability Framework here.

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