Our subcontractor statement for apprenticeships

(2022/2023 funding year)

A statement on the approach to subcontracting elements of the Apprenticeship offer at the Association of health Professionals in Ophthalmology (AHPO).

AHPO are committed to delivering high quality Apprenticeships that meet the needs of Apprentices and employers. In most cases all delivery of the Apprenticeship will be carried out by AHPO, however in some instances we will work with a third party who would support our delivery with the provision of selected services within the Apprenticeship. This will only be in instances where the use of the third party would enhance the apprentice experience and it is agreed with the employer that the service can meet or exceed the academic standard required within the Apprenticeship.

Use of subcontractors
Our subcontract relationships will be in one form:

Subcontract for Functional Skills English and Maths delivery
Any subcontractor must pass a detailed due diligence process which includes but is not limited to appraisal of Ofsted or applicable assurance reports for validation of quality, appraisal of trainer qualifications, business continuity plans and must be on the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers. If a subcontractor is not on the register, they will not be approved for partnership for Apprenticeship programmes.

In all instances AHPO retain clear and transparent accountability for the quality of training provision, maintain proper and appropriate controls to manage the apprentice experience; and seek to ensure that value for money is achieved by efficient subcontractor management.

In all instances AHPO would provide quality assurance through close monitoring by the Head of Centre. The types of subcontract arrangement, quality assurance and costs of the models are explained in more detail below.

The written agreement (contract) with the employer for Apprenticeship provision will always list the costs of the subcontract in line with the Apprenticeship funding rules, so that all costs are transparent. A declaration is made by AHPO to the ESFA twice a year declaring any subcontractors used.

Subcontract types at AHPO

Functional Skills English and Maths delivery
Where an Apprentice does not possess English and Maths functional skills at level 2 or equivalent, AHPO will select a training provider with specialism for delivery of the English and Maths Functional Skill qualifications necessary for the Apprentice to meet the requirements of the Apprenticeship standard. Where a specialist provider is unavailable AHPO would deliver these aims.

Services we provide to quality assure subcontracted provision
The Head of Centre has responsibility for assuring the quality of delivery of subcontracted provision and a regular programme of activity is agreed to monitor provision

This includes a regular and substantial programme of quality-assurance checks on the apprenticeship training and on-programme assessment provided by delivery subcontractors, including visits at short notice and face-to-face interviews with staff and apprentices to ensure apprentices exist and are eligible; and involves direct observation of initial guidance, assessment and delivery of training and/or on-programme assessment.

AHPO retain all responsibility for resolving any issues and disputes between the employer and delivery subcontractor.

Subcontract funding
Functional Skills will be subcontracted out at the exact ESFA funding rate of £471 per functional skill.

Our contracts with subcontractors
A contract is put in place between AHPO and each delivery subcontractor which specifies the following:

That the subcontractor must:

  • keep to the funding rules
  • provide us with data so that our data returns to the ESFA accurately reflect delivery information
  • Give the ESFA and any other person nominated by the ESFA access to their premises and to all documents related to their delivery of apprenticeships
  • Give AHPO sufficient evidence to allow
    • Assessment of their performance against Ofsted’s common inspection framework or the requirements of the QAA quality code;
    • incorporate the evidence the subcontractor provides into AHPO’s self– assessment report; and
    • guide the judgements and grades within AHPO’s self-assessment report
  • Always have suitably qualified staff available to provide apprenticeship training and/or on-programme assessment
  • Co-operate with AHPO to ensure that there is continuity of learning for apprentices if the subcontract ends for any reason
  • Communicate in writing to AHPO if evidence of irregular financial or delivery issues arises. This could include, but is not limited to, non-delivery of training when funds have been paid, sanctions imposed by an awarding organisation, allegations of fraud, an inadequate Ofsted grade, not meeting relevant QAA quality code indicators, allegations or complaints by apprentices, employers, staff members, or other relevant parties
  • The subcontractor must not use ESFA funding to make bids for, or claims from, any European funding on their own behalf or on our behalf.
  • They must not use payments made by ESFA as match funding for ESF projects.