How to become an employer-provider
The apprenticeship levy opens a lot of doors for employers.
You can upskill your workforce, grow your own talent and dedicate time to professional development. But the real opportunity lies in delivering your OWN training.
That's right – no invitations to tender or contracts to sign with training providers. You can create training programmes that suit your style of work, so there's no compromises – ever. Plus, if you're savvy with the training tools you choose, you can save money and get the best ROI on your apprenticeship levy payments.
But that's not to say it's a simple process. You'll need to hire training and assessment staff, liaise with EPA organisations and prepare for the inevitable Ofsted inspection. Here's what you'll need to get your apprenticeship delivery up and running as an employer-provider:
First off, you need to apply to be on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP). If you pass all the requirements and due diligence checks, you're likely to be accepted. Welcome aboard! If not, don't be disheartened – the window for applications reopens regularly, so you can use the time to brush up on your apprenticeship knowledge and reapply.
Staff & standards
Ensure you have the staff in place to deliver apprenticeships. The new standards emphasise training and learning over assessment, so make sure you research which roles you'll need to fill for the standards you want to deliver. Each standard follows an individual assessment plan and some even specify methodologies – find these online before you start hiring, so you know the skillset your staff will need.
Funding & performance management
Here's where things get a little tricky. Employer-providers need to brush up on all the funding rules involved in apprenticeships before they deliver them, so they can claim the correct costs from their digital or co-investment account. These can change each year, so make sure your team's knowledge is topped up!
Ofsted checks that apprenticeship delivery is up to scratch – including in-house training for employer-providers. If you're new to delivering apprenticeships, chances are you won't have had an Ofsted inspection before, so make sure you know what to expect.
When your staff reach the end of their apprenticeship, they have to complete the end-point assessment. The style of the EPA depends on the standard – it can include exams, portfolio showcases, interviews and projects, or a combination of the above. Employer-providers need to link up with EPA organisations to get their staff fully qualified.
Delivering apprenticeships in-house takes time and dedication, but ultimately it can really pay off for your business and your staff. But first you need to decide if you want to train apprentices outside of your company, as well as your own staff.
Download our step-by-step guide to the 3 separate routes to becoming a fully fledged employer-provider.