Our Approach to Sub-contracting

Coventry University will plan and authorise apprenticeship programmes with the intention of delivering all parts of the programme itself. However, this may not always be possible and, in such circumstances, the University may agree to subcontract the delivery of any part of an apprenticeship. The University will comply with ESFA funding rules when dealing with subcontracting and management of apprenticeships.

Functional Skills

It is a government requirement that all apprentices must have achieved relevant Level 2 qualifications, as defined by the ESFA, in English and Maths prior to completion of the apprenticeship programme. Some applicants to the University’s apprenticeship programme will have already satisfied this requirement prior to commencing their apprenticeship but others may have not. Where this is the case, the University will subcontract the delivery of functional skills qualifications for English and/or Maths.

Our rational for the subcontracting of this functional skills provision is primarily to fill the gap in this expert provision, as the University does not deliver this provision. In addition, we also recognise that by offering applicants the opportunity to complete the functional skills programme alongside their main apprenticeship programme, rather than rejecting their application until such time that they have completed Level 2 qualifications in English and/or Maths, we are also enhancing opportunities for young people and adults and offering an entry point for disadvantaged groups.

Subcontracting to Employers

Subcontracting also occurs when there it is a contractual requirement with the employer that part of the delivery of the apprenticeship is subcontracted to them and the University does not have the in-house expertise or capacity to deliver an essential part of the apprenticeship. This is currently only utilised within selected Trainee Nurse Associate cohorts, where our rationale is to both fill a gap in expert provision and to enhance the opportunities available to young people and adults by utilising the expertise of Practice Educators based within the same employer as the apprentice.

General Considerations

Where any element of the programme, including English and Maths functional skills, is subcontracted to the employer or another provider, they must be either a Main or Supporting Provider on ESFA’s register of Apprentice Training Providers or a registered Employer Provider.

The University is committed to delivering high quality teaching and learning for apprentices and works closely with employers and subcontractors to manage the relationship and the quality of external provision. The University also reviews the performance of subcontractors and provides administrative support functions.

Where subcontracting is required, the decision to subcontract will be discussed with the employer before entering into a subcontract arrangement and the specific arrangements for services with the employer, eligible for the period from when the contract commences until the planned completion date of an apprenticeship, will be agreed between the parties. At all times Coventry University will lead the employer relationship.

All subcontracting will comply with: ESFA Apprenticeship and Performance Management Rules for Training Providers; May 2017 to July 2018, Version 6; ESFA Funding rules for training providers, August 2018 to July 2019, Version 1; ESFA Apprenticeship and Performance Management Rules for Main Providers; August 2019 to July 2020, Version 1; Any updates to ESFA rules published after these dates; Ofsted’s Inspection framework for FE and Skills.

Payment to employer providers will be made to cover direct costs only as required in the ESFA funding rules. Employers subcontracted to deliver part of an apprenticeship must evidence the direct costs of their delivery in order to claim payment.

The management fees are individually negotiated with each subcontractor and are agreed between the parties in advance of the commencement of the subcontracting arrangement.
Typically, the management fees cover the provision of:

  • Administration
  • Quality Assurance
  • MIS function relating to the submission of funding claims to the ESFA
  • Provision of management meetings

Full details of payment arrangements are agreed between the parties in advance of the subcontracting arrangement. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes:

  • The amount of funding we will retain for direct delivery.
  • The amount of funding we will pay each delivery subcontractor for their contribution.
  • The specific amount of funding we will retain to manage and monitor each delivery subcontractor (including monitoring the quality of the provision provided by the subcontractor).
  • The specific amount of funding we will retain for each other support activity we will provide to each delivery subcontractor.

Publication date: 25th September 2020

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