How Bud supported Apprentify to achieve Ofsted Outstanding


ApprentifyIn October 2022, the team at Bud were extremely pleased to hear that our long-standing customer, Apprentify, had achieved Ofsted Outstanding. This article was written following an interview with Apprentify’s COO, MD and Founder, Paul Drew, to explore how Bud had supported them to achieve this result.

During the interview, key comments from the Ofsted report (listed below) were discussed, and Paul kindly explained how his team had achieved each item and where Bud had supported them.


What does the provider do well and what does it need to do better? Leaders and board members have high expectations and aspirations for their staff, apprentices and employers. Leaders choose their employers carefully, ensuring that they are committed to providing a high-quality learning experience for their apprentices.

Bud has supported us to provide a high-quality learning experience, it provides a simple way for learners to view and track their progression. Learners can login and see their RAG rating and their distance travelled at any time on any device.

Ofsted were very impressed with the bespoke report created by our Bud account manager, which demonstrated learner engagement. The report showed how many learners had engaged over a period of days, weeks, and months, and enabled us to benchmark ourselves alongside similar providers using Bud. Ofsted were impressed that we were benchmarking ourselves in this way. We now use this report in our monthly performance meeting.

We used Bud’s reports to demonstrate to the inspector’s evidence of safeguarding and the delivery of ALS. By using Bud’s reports, we were able to show inspectors that we have instant access to the data, and we can easily view learner progression. If the report, we wanted wasn’t already available in Bud’s reporting suite we were able to build it ourselves. This evidenced to inspectors that during our quarterly curriculum and quality reviews each department head is using quantitative and qualitative data to ensure the quality of every programme. This can help identify, for instance, where a programme might not be delivering the intended learning outcomes, enabling us to intervene and amend it, then track again to look for improvements. Thereby keeping a constant focus on learner outcomes.

Inspectors were not only interested in what we were doing well, but also our approach to identifying and implementing improvements to the areas that required it and measuring the effectiveness of the changes through data.

We used Bud’s reports to demonstrate to the inspector’s evidence of safeguarding and the delivery of ALS. By using Bud’s reports, we were able to show inspectors that we have instant access to the data, and we can easily view learner progression.

Paul Drew, COO, MD and Founder at Apprentify


As a result, apprentices make excellent progress on their apprenticeship and at work. Leaders develop an ambitious curriculum that meets the needs of both employers and apprentices. Leaders include additional learning to meet the needs of employers.

Apprentify is different to other training providers, we call ourselves a ‘Talent Development Organisation’. At the outset, we ask employers what they need and what ‘good’ looks like to them. We then assess all the employers’ apprentices for competencies at our Assessment Centre. This means we can see the exact start point for each learner, and by using our RPL calculator, create the curriculum that will ensure the learner can develop into the intended role, based on the required Knowledge Skills and Behaviours.

There are fixed Standards that need to be delivered for, e.g., a Digital Marketing apprenticeship, but by adding the bespoke training elements necessary for each learner and their employer we now have around 50 bespoke versions. Once the programme is built, Bud enables us to add or exempt activities depending on the learner’s need. That’s why Ofsted said our Leaders develop an ambitious curriculum.


Leaders create a well-structured curriculum where apprentices, including those on programmes taught by the subcontractor, incrementally build their knowledge, skills and behaviours over time.

By using Bud, we are able to capture evidence of Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours building overtime, we showed Inspectors this evidence in a graph which we accessed in Bud at the touch of a button. The graph showed when the qualifications were achieved, meaning inspectors could easily see the journey travelled, from start point to end, by programme and by learner.


Development coaches provide highly effective feedback to apprentices that enables them to improve their work rapidly.

At Apprentify, we conduct quarterly progress reviews and monthly coaching sessions which show how the apprentice can apply their learning to their role. Our coaches are mentoring the learner, and this is captured as evidence in the Learner Overview in Bud. From this we create a separate monthly report which is signed by the learner and line manager. We develop the whole person and show the impact on both the learner and their job.


Junior content producer apprentices use feedback to improve their copywriting skills. Apprentices develop their English and mathematical skills as a result of their apprenticeship.  Development coaches carefully monitor apprentices’ progress.

Coaches are using Bud to regularly monitor progress, submissions, off the job hours, assessment, and e-learning. In addition to their monthly scheduled sessions, coaches will speak to learners to check how everything is going, all of this is captured in Bud.

Bud is the central point for evidence, it gives coaches the information they need to put together action plans to support individual learners who have fallen behind.

We always stay on track with submissions, e-learning, and training sessions. Every month the Delivery Manager goes through every record with each coach to check progress. The RAG rating in Bud is a simple tool that has made this process much easier, meaning we can invest the administrative time saved on supporting and developing the learners.


Leaders identified the need for further support for those apprentices who have additional support needs to improve their English skills and to improve their ability to multitask at work.

Ofsted really liked how, using Bud, we were able to demonstrate that every person who had a ‘need’ had received support and that the impact of the support was measured

Paul Drew, COO, MD and Founder at Apprentify


Development coaches use skilful questioning, discussions and quizzes to identify gaps in apprentices’ knowledge and plan their teaching. At the time of the inspection, all apprentices who had come to the end of their apprenticeship had passed, with most achieving distinction grades.

The quizzes that Ofsted refer to are SCORM, in fact most of our training is SCORM enabled and accessed via Bud. We provide a mix of face-to-face and e-learning, to provide the best solution for our learners.

Read more: Balancing face-to-face and remote training


Board members receive high-quality reports that enable them to provide support and challenge to senior leaders.

The data that drives our board reports is all downloaded from Bud’s data warehouse. Through bespoke reports, we demonstrate distance travelled and identify of areas of concern, this means we can see where improvement cycles are needed. Bud’s reports per learner are excellent, they provide what line managers and Ofsted need to see.

Bud’s reports per learner are excellent, they provide what line managers and Ofsted need to see.

Paul Drew, COO, MD and Founder at Apprentify

Find out more about Bud

As pioneers of technology, Bud Systems can support with many aspects of training delivery.

For example:

  • Create a consistent, easy-to-use digital learning environment that learners, employers and trainers will love.
  • Capture real-time business intelligence giving training providers a complete overview of every aspect of an organisation’s performance.
  • Quality check programme delivery, identifying areas for improvement in real time.
  • Automatically collate evidence needed to demonstrate learner outcomes and hit compliance targets to release funding.

Get in touch with the team to learn more about how we can help you maximise your training performance or book a demo now.