The Institute for Apprenticeships is to change its process for setting funding bands after stakeholders said the current system “doesn’t work well”.
Last April the institute took responsibility for advising government on the funding band for each apprenticeship standard. Trailblazer groups said in feedback that the current process for allocating funding bands “doesn’t work well, and needs to change.”
A blog posted on the IfA website states: “You’ve told us that the process is too slow – leading to delays and frustration – and that we’re asking for detailed costing information too early in the process.”
The changes being made will mean:
Trailblazer groups will get an initial funding band allocation when their proposal is approved, which is much earlier on in the process than currently
Funding evidence forms will only have to be provided once, and we have redesigned our forms to make them easier to use
Funding processes will be faster as we join up with the approval of proposals, standards and assessment plans to improve customer service
Streamlining its processes
In most cases, this will mean trailblazer groups will find out their initial funding band allocation when their proposal is approved – and then their final funding band recommendation at the same time as their assessment plan is approved.
The blog continued: “We plan to introduce these changes as soon as possible. We’ll write to all existing trailblazer groups to tell them when the changes will happen, and what it means for them. We’ll also put in place transitional arrangements for those proposals, standards and assessment plans which are already part-way through the approvals process.”
Last week the IfA set out reforms to streamline its processes after being told to "really speed up" by skills minister Anne Milton.