Summary of the Apprenticeship funding rules for 2023-24


The Apprenticeship funding rules for 2023-24 have recently been issued, as well as the Apprenticeship Funding Rules Summary of Changes. On 6 April, Rupert Crossland, Director of Audit and Compliance at Professional Assessment, kindly provided us with a quick summary of the key points, with his comments in italics.

Key points

The rules are now a single document for providers, employers and employer providers.

Initial assessment

  • Policy change: If the employer is unable to attend the discussion, the provider must give them the opportunity to contribute and must send them the relevant information after the meeting, for review and signature.
  • The discussion must include an agreement on recognition of prior learning and on how all parties will work together to achieve the apprenticeship (i.e. roles and responsibilities of the provider, employer and apprentice).
  • Policy change: The employer must agree to take part / provide input into progress reviews.

Apprenticeship agreement

  • If the apprenticeship agreement is incomplete, or not signed, the individual will not have a valid agreement and the provider will therefore not be eligible to receive funding for them. Expect this to be a funding error if found at audit.

Apprentice wages

  • If an employer does not pay an apprentice a lawful wage, the individual is ineligible to receive apprenticeship funding. Expect this to be a funding error if found at audit.

Minimum duration

  • Any apprentice, including those who are part-time or on a zero hours contract, can complete their programme earlier than their learning planned end date, provided the minimum duration (12 months) and the minimum off-the-job hours for the actual time in training have been met. Clarification that if they work less than 30 hours per week, you must have a planned extended duration, but they may complete in 12 months and the provider will be paid the residual funding.


  • Revision, examinations and other testing must not be included as off-the-job training. Providers should revisit their programme plans of OTJ to ensure this is not included in planned OTJ, and actual OTJ.
  • All planned off-the-job training activity (not just shadowing / mentoring) must be agreed in advance of delivery.
  • Policy change: Some active learning (off-the-job training or English/maths training) must take place in every calendar month of the practical period. A break in learning must be used where there is no plan for any active learning to take place within a calendar month. The only exception to this is for those apprentices with a term-time only contract, where we do not require a break in learning for the month of August.

Training plan

  • The training plan must be agreed before any training is delivered (this agreement can be virtual), with a fully signed version of the plan being in place by the end of the 42 day ‘qualifying day’ period. The plan must detail the total volume of hours to be delivered for the full programme. Additional content related information can be added as this becomes available.

Progress reviews

  • If the employer is unable to attend, they must be given the opportunity to contribute. They must also be sent relevant information after the meeting, for review and signature. Allows flexibility where the employer is unable to attend a review meeting.

Subsidy control

  • For any transfer an employer receives, a percentage of the transferred funds will count towards the employer’s Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) exemption. This percentage represents the amount of co-investment the employer would have otherwise had to contribute towards the apprenticeship, if funds had not been transferred. The provider must ensure the employer completes a MFA declaration for relevant funding they receive as a result of the waiver of the employer contribution for small employers and transfers. New evidence requirement.

Summary of action following a change of circumstance

This section is currently under review, and not yet included.