In May, we held three webinars for trailblazers to explain the new funding process.
Since we introduced the funding process in February 2018, there have been a lot of questions about funding bands. We therefore wanted to give trailblazers a forum to have an open discussion with us about the changes.
We received a lot of interest and more than 100 people joined the sessions, representing a number of sectors including finance, healthcare, travel, emergency services, catering, energy and technology to name a few.
Initial feedback has been positive and we hope all who attended gained a better insight into the new funding process, and the role of the Institute and the Department for Education in making funding decisions.
During the sessions we gave trailblazers the opportunity to ask us questions and there seems to be some common themes around the initial funding band, final banding and the Institute’s appeals process.
We’ve captured the frequently asked questions and answers below.
What are the main changes?
Funding will still be a two-step process: an initial funding band will be generated alongside the approval of the proposal, and then we’ll make a final funding band recommendation alongside the approval of the assessment plan.
How is the initial band assigned?
We make an initial funding band allocation when we agree an occupation proposal for development.
We do this using a calculation based on:
- an estimate of the amount of training needed to complete the apprenticeship standard (based on the length of the apprenticeship standard and the requirement that 20% of an apprentice’s time is spent on off-the-job training)
- the sector subject area of the training
- an allowance for end-point assessment
What should I do if I think my initial band is wrong?
If you think your initial funding band allocation is wrong, you can submit funding evidence alongside your end-point assessment plan to inform our final funding band recommendation.
How are final funding bands assigned?
In making our final funding band recommendation we consider a range of factors in addition to the initial funding band. We will consider:
- the evidence submitted on your funding form, taking into account only those costs which are eligible for public funding according to the existing funding rules
- the cost and funding bands of any equivalent apprenticeship frameworks
- the level and nature of the training/end point assessment, and consistency across similar types of apprenticeship standards
- affordability within the wider apprenticeship programme, and other factors in the Institute’s Strategic Guidance
- the initial funding band allocated to the apprenticeship standard at the occupation proposal stage
- the expertise of our route panels
How do I appeal my final funding band recommendation?
We have an appeals procedure that allows trailblazer groups to appeal a final decision on procedural grounds.
For example, failing to comply with agreed procedures; failing to take account of relevant information or taking account of irrelevant information; making a decision based on a mistake of fact; or the Institute exceeding its powers.
Trailblazer groups cannot appeal a final funding band decision if they simply disagree with our recommendation.
What are the changes to the structure of funding bands? When will they apply and how am I affected?
The Department for Education is increasing the number of funding bands from 15 to 30.
This funding band structure will take effect for new starts from August 2018, and newly developed standards will be allocated bands in the 30 band structure.
Existing standards and frameworks will be placed in the new structure at the same level as they have been under 15 funding bands.
Apprenticeship standards are subject to regular review by the Institute for Apprenticeships and any future reviews will make recommendations on the appropriate funding level based on the new 30 band structure.
For more information on the new funding process visit our website.