How MTD Training are ensuring ESFA compliance with Bud


MTD TrainingMTD Training are award winning management training specialists, they work with a variety of clients, large and small. Since 2001 they have delivered training in over 25 different countries to over 9,000 different organisations and have helped over 250,000 managers. 

The challenge

Ensuring ESFA compliance for newly launched apprenticeship training programmes.

In 2021, MTD launched their apprenticeship training programmes but as an established training provider of commercially funded programmes they had never had to worry about being ESFA compliant before. As a ‘right first time’ company they were keen to set their processes in place before enrolling a single apprenticeship learner.

Bud was initially recommended by a consultant to MTD Founder and CEO, Sean McPheat, after which he completed his own market research and due diligence before deciding to implement Bud. Shortly after, Head of Apprenticeships, Ian Jackson joined MTD and having worked with Bud previously he already knew it was the right choice.

I joined MTD to set up their apprenticeships from scratch, I knew that using paper or other basic systems and having to spot errors manually could never be 100% accurate. Having used other platforms in the past, I was really pleased that Bud had already been selected. As a company new to delivering apprenticeships it was a real advantage to have Bud from the outset and reduce our ESFA compliance worries.

Ian Jackson, Head of Apprenticeships at MTD Training

The solution

Bud has provided many benefits to MTD Training’s business across the key areas of:

  • Learning delivery
  • Management
  • Compliance

Learning delivery

MTD were keen that the platform they chose would be innovative, engaging and intuitive for learners to use. To enable learners to access their learning activities and resources, contact their trainer, upload work and supporting evidence from smartphone, tablet or computer.

MTD’s learners have found Bud’s progress tracker extremely useful, and line managers value the graphics and graphs that give them all the information they need for monthly progress reviews powered by accurate live data. Having the data to identify disengaged learners and take positive intervention or even remove them from programme in a timely manner, thereby avoiding funding issues or clawback, is essential.

“Our trainers have fully embedded Bud into their working day. By logging in first thing every day, they can then plan their day, they can see how their learners are progressing, identify those who require intervention and access any work that’s been submitted.”

Even though MTD’s programmes are bespoke for each of their customers Bud’s programme design suite has helped to shape their design. Ian said, “We took time setting up our programmes and even though they are bespoke, Bud’s templates have proved a useful guide. And our programmes can be updated when they’re live which means we can be sure every learner is seeing the most up to date content.”

When content is added or removed from a programme Bud provides a name and date stamp, meaning everything is ready for audit.


MTD’s Senior Leadership Team find Bud’s dashboards easy to use, they are confident in the information Bud provides because they know it’s built from accurate, live data. Ian said, “I can easily share Bud’s reports with our customers, show them when the last learning interaction took place, and back that up with accurate evidence.” Through streamlining processes with workflows, Bud has reduced the opportunity for bottle necks throughout learning delivery, improving efficiency end to end and automatically creating an audit trail.


Bud is built to support compliance, and as an established training company who were new to apprenticeships, this has proven essential for MTD.

Ian said “Knowing that Bud is supporting compliance from the moment a learner enrols has certainly reduced my stress levels. Bud doesn’t allow a learner to be live on the platform until they’ve completed all ESFA required enrolment evidence, which has meant less problems later on. And enabling the learner to self-enrol, including checking previous qualifications, uploading proof of ID and digital signatures means, for the trainer, enrolment is a simple ‘tick box’ exercise to confirm information rather than filling in forms. This process is accurate, efficient, simple to complete and date stamped.”

Ian described Bud as being ‘a safety net’ especially when working under time constraints. The audit trail Bud provides has instilled confidence in the MTD team.

Knowing that Bud is supporting compliance from the moment a learner enrols has certainly reduced my stress levels. Bud doesn’t allow a learner to be live on the platform until they’ve completed all ESFA required enrolment evidence, which has meant less problems later on.

Ian Jackson, Head of Apprenticeships at MTD Training

Cultural fit

Bud and MTD have developed a close working relationship. Ian said “Craig Robinson is our ADC, he has a background in training delivery and his knowledge has been invaluable. Craig completely understands our pains from an ITP operations perspective, and he has supported us in using and understanding the platform.”

“I have worked with Bud before and always found their Support team, their ADCs and developers to be responsive compared to other platforms.”

Brad Tombling, Head of Customer Success at Bud said “We’re really pleased to be working with MTD Training and excited to be supporting their ambitions for growth. Once again, it’s fantastic to hear customers value the in-depth knowledge of training delivery that the Bud team can bring as well as our outstanding platform.”

What is Bud?

Bud is the No’1 training management platform for apprenticeship delivery. Our single joined-up system is designed to streamline the processes involved in delivering training. Bud reduces the time your teams spend on repetitive administrative tasks, freeing them to spend more time using their valuable expertise delivering high quality training. Bud’s customers benefit from improved data accuracy and reporting, meaning their opportunity to claim valuable funding is increased and their risk of clawback reduced.

Want to find out why more of the Top 20 Independent Training Providers choose Bud than any other platform? Book a software demo to chat with a friendly Bud expert.