The Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) is facing its third refresh in less than 4 years. The refresh brings with it a “new set of application criteria” that all providers must meet. From May 2021 all providers must reapply through a phased reapplication process.
The ESFA has said the refresh forms part of the agency’s plan to improve the quality of apprenticeship delivery. The plan has not, however, been well received by training providers who are ‘fatigued’ from the continual changes.
We thought it would be useful to provide a summary of the key changes in the 2021 RoATP refresh:
Widening of the current ‘employer provider’ entry condition
In April 2020 the register closed. It was announced that only levy-paying employers delivering services critical to the COVID-19 response were able to apply to the register. Employers were able to apply through the ‘employer’ route. Now, they are able use both the ‘main’ and ‘supporting’ routes to the register. This change will come into effect on 1st March 2021.
Widening of other entry conditions
The government is widening the current entry conditions to the register. More training providers will be able to register through the ‘main’ and ‘supporting’ routes. Providers will be eligible if they can demonstrate that they are catering to critical workers and have a linked employer’s endorsement.
A provider endorsement is a further step for ‘main’ and ‘supporting’ application routes. It seeks to verify that any new training responds to an identified training gap. A provider wishing to take up this opportunity needs to submit an employment endorsement form and a main provider and supporting provider form.
It should be noted that all successful providers will only be able to deliver the critical worker-linked provision described in their application. Providers will be unable to deliver more general apprenticeship training.
Due to the pandemic significantly delaying Ofsted’s ability to undertake full inspections, providers who were previously graded 4 (“inadequate”) by Ofsted and are overdue a full re-inspection, are temporarily eligible to reapply to the register. Providers will, however, need an Ofsted re-inspection monitoring showing either “reasonable” or “significant” progress.
Removal of inactive providers from the register
All providers on the register who are not actively delivering training will be considered for removal. A provider is considered not actively delivering training if they have not delivered within a 6-month period. Any provider who has not delivered within this period may appeal. This change will come into effect on 10th May 2021.
Requirement to reapply to the register for all remaining, active providers
In order to deliver quality training throughout the country, the government requires all remaining, active providers to reapply to the register. A phased re-application process will take place throughout 2021 and 2022.
Matt Wood, Funding and Compliance Manager at Bud:
“The RoATP refresh has undoubtedly caused a great deal of frustration for many training providers. The ESFA are placing a real emphasis on having the right systems in place to collect data and having the correct resources in terms of the ILR.
Bud captures thousands of pieces of data from every learner every day and feeds it into its data warehouse which can be integrated with your preferred reporting tool. Bud also collects the ILR is collected in real time, reducing administrative burden, minimising error and improving accuracy. The ILR is automatically updated throughout the learner journey.
We know this is a challenging time for many providers. We will do all we can to support providers through the phased re-application process.”
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