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2.1 It is common for delivery of apprenticeships to involve two or more organisations, but one provider is required to act as the ‘main provider’ for the apprenticeship. It is also typical for apprenticeships to be delivered through partnership (subcontracting) relationships with more than one provider, in order to gain access to appropriate specialisms for the delivery of elements of the apprenticeship. Contracting and subcontracting rules can be found in the DfE guidance on Apprenticeship funding (see link in section 4 below).
2.2 The main provider is ultimately responsible for:
2.3 If the University will be responsible for a significant aspect of delivery of a particular apprenticeship, it is advisable for Brookes to take on the role of main provider. Other potential models are set out below:
2.4 This is likely to be a fairly standard arrangement for the University, and a bespoke contract and financial schedule has been prepared for the scenario involving ACP members. In this model the college will use a Brookes qualification to meet part of an apprenticeship standard. The contractual relationship resembles the normal relationship between the University and the college delivering the award, and it is therefore not necessary to enter into a subcontracting relationship with the college (unless Brookes staff are to be involved in any teaching and/or assessment on the programme).
2.5 The partner college must be approved to deliver the programme leading to the award (through the normal approval processes described in Chapter 5 of the Quality & Standards Handbook); and even if the college is already teaching the relevant programme, the University must approve its use as part of a degree apprenticeship.
2.6 In this scenario, the college takes responsibility for:
2.7 This scenario may occur, for example, for a level 6 or 7 degree apprenticeship where the main provider delivers levels 4 and 5 of the programme and Brookes delivers levels 6-7 of the qualification; or where the EPA is integrated into the qualification. The main provider would need to set up a subcontracting arrangement with the University which specifies the aspects of delivery for which the university is responsible. It is likely that this would only involve delivery of some or part of a degree or postgraduate programme. If an end point assessment is integrated into a degree programme and the University is responsible for carrying out or quality assuring the assessment arrangements, a sub-contract is required.
2.8 In some cases, the main provider may wish to sub-contract the delivery of the whole qualification to Brookes; for example, if the main provider has a relationship with an employer for a wide range of apprenticeship provision but does not have capacity to deliver a degree programme in the required subject area. In this case, it is important to establish what the main provider expects in respect of the University’s contribution to the development of the apprenticeship evidence pack and preparation towards the end point assessment. It should also be noted that since the main provider leads on the relationship with the employer, this may have implications for any other connections that exist between the employer and Brookes.
2.9 While acting as main provider, the University may need to set up partnership arrangements for delivery of part of an apprenticeship standard. For example, it might be more cost effective to sub-contract certain activities, such as in-company delivery, monitoring of work-based learning, or the delivery of English and Maths or a professional/technical qualification which forms part of the standard. The University is responsible for setting up subcontracting arrangements with the proposed partner, and must ensure that the relationship with the chosen subcontractor does not breach ESFA funding rules, such as the limits on the involvement of providers who are not on the register of training providers. Brookes is also responsible for managing the relationship with the employer, which cannot be devolved by the main provider to any partner. Consideration should also be given to how the information needed for audits of contract compliance/quality assurance will be gathered from subcontractors.
2.10 Employers are able to apply to the ESFA to join the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers as employer providers. They are only permitted to deliver to their own employees or those in a connected company, and can only claim for the direct cost of delivery to apprentices. In this scenario consideration will need to be given to the employer’s capacity to deliver, and the University must monitor the employer’s contractual compliance and to quality assure the training they are delivering. Where there are strong relationships with employers and clear standards that map from a qualification to work-based practice (e.g. professional standards frameworks), this model can offer a beneficial and cost-effective way of delivering work-based training (e.g. arrangements with schools for delivery of in-school teacher training).
2.11 There may be instances where large companies, or organisations funded by the public sector (e.g. the police force), may issue large-scale contracts for the delivery of training on a national scale. In these cases, Brookes may wish to enter into arrangements with other providers in order to increase the likelihood of winning the contract, and to ensure appropriate geographical coverage can be achieved. In this model, one provider would need to act as the main provider, and the other parties would be subcontractors.