What it takes to be named to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers

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The Skills Funding Agency (which oversees funding for apprenticeship training in the UK) recently released its Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) for 2017. Only companies that train with a RoATP approved training provider will be eligible to receive Apprenticeship Levy funding. So manufacturers training apprentices should be sure to check out this list before undertaking any training.

EEF, through its home of technical training in Birmingham which trains hundreds of engineering apprentices annually, was one of the approved organisations added to the RoATP list. In this Q&A, Neil Withey, Training and Development Director at EEF, explains what this accreditation means and provides advice for employers.

 

What is involved in getting RoATP approval?

EEF applied to be included on the list of approved providers last November when applications opened. To be named to the list is quite a significant achievement as the criteria were very rigorous, including proving your organisation has

  1. an Ofsted-approved business with a rating of 1 or 2

  2. all metrics ‘within tolerance’ with the SFA allocated funds, including accurate budgeting within 6%

  3. a student satisfaction rating of 75% or better, with 80% of apprentices filling out the voluntary satisfaction form on completion of their apprenticeship

  4. a national success rate of at least 70%

  5. a strategic and realistic plan for your management structure, financial forecast and anticipated number of apprentices

  6. audited accounts that prove you are a financially viable business and demonstrate you could cover current training contracts

Even once a training provider gets added to the list, you get audited every month so at any point an organisation can be suspended. In fact, approximately half of providers that applied to be on the approved list were rejected, so this is a very stringent approval system.

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Why should companies look to see if their training provider is on the list?

It is absolutely necessary for any training provider looking to train apprentices to be on this list to receive funding. If your training provider is on the list, you know you’re working with an organisation with bona fide credentials, has been assessed and come through it.  

Beyond ensuring their provider is on the approved list, employers should ask questions like what is your success rate and what is your student satisfaction rating?

At EEF we’re proud of getting more apprentices to the ‘end of the race’ than other organisations. We have a completion rate of 85% which is far above national averages, despite increasing the number of apprentices we train significantly every year.

Employers should ask questions like what is your success rate and what is your student satisfaction rating?

What other qualifications or designations should employers look for in a training provider?

We also achieved ISO9001, 18001 and 14001, which are widely recognised standards in excellence. However, what really convinces employers to train with us is to come and tour our facilities, talk to our apprentices and current employers about their experience.

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