How Bud’s unique platform helps training providers of all sizes


No matter how big or small your organisation, Bud can help you minimise compliance risks, reduce costs and increase revenue. Sound too good to be true? Read on to find out how we do it…

Any apprenticeship and skills training provider knows that effective administration is at the heart of a successful and profitable business. And, when it comes to Ofsted inspections and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) audits, eligibility and compliance is paramount – which is why a platform that gathers the right evidence at the right time is invaluable.

Our team has first-hand experience of working in a range of roles at apprenticeship training providers, so we understand the challenges you face and have designed the Bud platform to solve them. We also understand that needs differ depending on the size of the organisation and what stage it’s at.

So, can one platform really fit all? Read on to find out how Bud can help, whatever stage your business is at…

How Bud differs from other platforms

Bud is a single joined-up platform that’s been designed to streamline the process of delivering apprenticeships and skills training, from enrolment to qualification achievement.

Through workflows built to drive compliance, Bud captures the right information at the right time from every learner and stores it in its data warehouse. This means the business reporting that Bud provides is built from a single source of truth and based on real-time data.

Bud’s end-to-end solution means reduced administration and improved data accuracy, giving your team more time to spend on delivering high-quality training.

Bud is driving compliance at every stage of the learner’s journey. This increases your opportunity to claim funding, such as Additional Learning Support, whilst reducing the risk of clawback. We see the benefits first-hand, when our customers receive 0% errors in their ESFA audits.

We’ve seen immediate ROI with Bud. In the past we couldn’t claim ALS because we weren’t comfortable with the recording mechanisms of our old systems. Bud’s functionality has given us the confidence to do it. This coupled with the fact that we have replaced multiple systems with one means significant cost savings.

Jamie Crinigan, Operations Director at Skills4Pharmacy

Case study: How Skills4Pharmacy have seen immediate ROI since adopting Bud

Benefits for businesses at different stages in their life cycle

Years of experience working with training providers of different sizes has taught us that needs vary depending on what stage the business is at.

Startups and niche training providers

For startups and niche training providers, Bud’s one-stop solution takes away the worry of set-up and makes compliance less complicated.

If your business is new to delivering apprenticeships, it might not have lots of in-house technical expertise, and your team may be wearing multiple hats. The team at Bud can take on that technical role and get the system in place for you.

And, as you grow your learner numbers, the platform will help your business to continue to run efficiently without automatically increasing your headcount. Bud enables trainers to have larger caseloads whilst maintaining consistently high-quality training, minimising the amount of resources required to run your training provision.

“There’s the ‘sleep at night’ factor with Bud, which startups simply won’t get with other systems,” explains Ruth Johnson, Business Development Manager at Bud, and former Operations Manager at one of the UK’s largest training providers. “Bud customers know that when an auditor comes calling, they’ve got everything there in one place. All the compliance is taken care of and they don’t have to panic.”

Established companies

When it comes to bigger companies, the numbers speak for themselves. Bud boasts six of the country’s top 20 providers among its clients, and another that sits just outside the top 20.

“We’re the only provider of a system like this that has successfully transitioned a large number of enterprise-level businesses, within acceptable time scales,” says Jesse Johnson, Business Development Director at Bud.

Jesse explains that bigger businesses often have more capability in terms of in-house costly tech teams. While that allows them to build and configure their own functionality, bespoke in-house systems don’t always deliver what’s really needed to drive compliance and business efficiency.

For example, they are often unable to meet common requirements, such as tracking Off the Job hours, or are clunky and time-consuming providing a poor user experience. Tasks such as enrolment take far too long causing problems for business forecasting when learners stall during the process.

At Bud, we purposely limit how much the system can be customised. Why? Because we’re built around compliance. Customisation requires a lot of manual work and creates a more complex system that can lead to compliance failures and data inaccuracies in the long run.

A central place for real-time data

Bud gathers real-time data into one central place, our Data Warehouse. All Bud’s reports are generated from the Data Warehouse, which means our customers know that their reports, across their business, are accurate and aligned.

Bud’s customers can see an overview of their business’s health and resilience at any time. This is a great advantage for large providers whose senior leadership team can all be sure they are working from the same data. Ultimately, the insight that Bud provides leads to better informed strategic decision-making at board level.

Other systems will give you a fair idea of the situation at the time of reporting, but the next day the data will be out of date. Bud’s reports are based on real-time data, so our customers simply login at any time from any device to see how their organisation is performing in the moment.

Bud reports on all the different areas involved in training delivery including learner progress, activity progress, off the job hours tracking, enrolment data, programme numbers, those who were on a break in learning or claiming additional learning support, qualification achievement rates, progression rates per programme, and success and pass results.

Read more: How Bud’s data dashboards help boards

Companies looking to sell or raise investment

If you’re looking to sell or raise investment, the technology you have in place will be a strong indicator that illustrates to investors whether your business is a sound investment.

Technology plays a crucial part in securing investment because it shows investors that:

  • Your business is running as efficiently as possible – for example, enabling you to increase trainer caseload while driving positive learner outcomes
  • You have a strong management system in place
  • You’re delivering a consistently high standard to every learner

“Prospective investors will review your systems and look at how they can contribute to increasing revenue and profitability,” says Ruth.

Some training providers are still completely paper-based and many are using multiple systems that don’t integrate with one another. Ruth explains that with Bud, it’s easy to address the inefficiencies in an organisations’ processes:

“There are so many examples where training providers are needlessly keying in the same data across multiple platforms, increasing administrative time across the board and allowing inaccuracies to creep in. Using our joined-up system reduces that time burden and minimises risk of inaccurate evidence, many tasks are automated so human resources are significantly reduced.”

A smooth implementation process

Changing your systems over to a new platform is a big deal. It can be time consuming and requires careful management. Key members of the Bud team have enjoyed previous roles within training providers, so we understand the pressures and are always looking to make the transition period a smoother one all round.

That’s why we manage adoption of our platform differently, keeping the implementation team with you until the system is up and running. We only hand over account management when we’re sure the system is implemented to your satisfaction.

The Bud team were not daunted at all by our huge file of standards, their build speed was very impressive. During our 12 weeks of implementation, we had a weekly meeting with Craig who was our Delivery Consultant at Bud. Everything that Craig promised was completed and built, key milestones were met at every meeting.

Brynne Roberts, Operations Director at Train Together

Implementation case study: Train Together

Book your Bud demo now

Bud’s industry-leading platform is built around compliance by people with first-hand experience of what your organisation needs. We help training providers of all sizes and stages to streamline their processes and improve efficiency.

Book a demo with our friendly team today to discuss your individual needs and how we can help add value to your systems.