How to prepare apprenticeship data for the ESFA and Ofsted

In apprenticeships, quality assurance and quality delivery go hand in hand.

How to prepare apprenticeship data for the ESFA and Ofsted

Recording and reporting on data is an important part of apprenticeship delivery. Without the right data to hand, you can’t deliver personalised learning, track off-the-job training, monitor progression, and ensure learners get the support they need to succeed.

An important component of apprenticeship data is quality – that you’re using data to deliver high-quality learning experiences and comply with ESFA and Ofsted regulations.

In apprenticeships, quality assurance and quality delivery go hand in hand. You need to collect data at every stage of the apprenticeship journey and use to inform the next stage of your delivery.

Prior learning data

To comply with Ofsted and ESFA regulations, you need to recognise and record prior learning data for all your apprentices.

The ESFA expects providers to record and evidence prior learning data, and use it to adjust the apprenticeship funding claim for each apprentice. If the learner has prior learning that covers any KSBs in the standard, reductions to the apprenticeship claim, duration and content should be made.

Ofsted also expects providers to use prior learning data, but in a slightly different way. According to Ofsted, prior learning data should be used to adjust apprenticeship content.

Using data to inform curriculum delivery

When you've recorded prior learning data, Ofsted expects you to use the data personalise your curriculum delivery for each apprentice. This will ensure apprentices aren’t repeating learning and are getting the most out of their apprenticeship.

Off-the-job training data

To comply with the latest apprenticeship funding rules, providers need to record how many hours of off-the-job training they plan to deliver to each apprentice. You also need to record and evidence the actual off-the-job hours completed by the apprentice, and submit the actual hours on the ILR each month.

If, at the end of the programme, the actual off-the-job hours completed is less than the planned hours, providers need to explain the difference in a statement, which must be countersigned by the apprentice and employer.

Ofsted requires apprentices to spend at least 20% of their contracted hours completing off-the-job training. If the apprentice has covered all the KSBs in the standard, but hasn’t met the 20% off-the-job minimum requirement, the apprenticeship isn’t valid and the ESFA may even claw back funds.

Tracking the progression of learning

To comply with Ofsted guidelines, providers need to evidence each apprentice’s progression of learning – that they’ve learned, retained and can apply knowledge and skills, rather than have completed a series of tasks.

In terms of the Education Inspection Framework, the definition of progress is about knowing more and remembering more – it's about knowledge, it’s about skills, application, it’s about recall. So it’s not about progress through a series of units or test points, it’s about learners knowing and remembering more.

- Dr Chris Jones, former Ofsted HMI Specialist Advisor

To track the progression of learning, you need to know each apprentice’s starting point – their prior learning. You can then use this data to track how apprentices progress over time.

Ofsted also expects providers to track how apprentices apply their knowledge and skills in a series of small assessments. Providers can then use assessment data or gap analysis data to identify any gaps in learning and provide personalised support – to help at-risk apprentices or stretch and challenge high performers.

Tracking complete, correct and compliant apprenticeship data

The best way to track apprenticeship data is with an apprenticeship system like OneFile. Data is recorded and stored at every stage of the apprenticeship journey – from prior learning to learner progress – so you have compliant data at your fingertips.

Data is also displayed in dashboards, scorecards, reports and gap analysis tools, so your tutors and employers have the information they need to inform their delivery. As we said, quality assurance and quality delivery go hand in hand. Providers need to use data to inform every stage of their delivery – it's what the ESFA and Ofsted want to see.

To find out more about using OneFile to collect compliant apprenticeship data, book a demo with a member of the team.

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.