Recording 20% off-the-job training
There's still a lot of confusion around how you manage and record off-the-job training.
The Government guidance published in 2017 goes into more detail about what can and cannot be used as off-the-job training – but it moves the goalposts a bit when it comes to how the 20% is measured and recorded.
So to help clear things up, we've answered some fundamental questions:
Why was off-the-job training introduced?
Off-the-job training is designed to diversify apprenticeships. It reinforces practical, work-based learning with technical and theoretical learning – giving apprentices a well-rounded skill set when they complete their course.
What exactly is off-the-job training?
Off-the-job training is defined as 'learning that takes place outside the normal day-to-day working environment.' The training must be relevant to the apprenticeship standard, and could include:
• Theory – such as lectures, role playing or online learning
• Practical training – such as industry visits, mentoring or competitions
• Learning support – such as assignments or assessments
Apprentices must spend 20% of their contracted hours completing off-the-job training – which works out around 1 day per working week. Employers and training providers must decide when training is delivered (for example 1 day a week, 1 week out of every five etc).
Do English and maths count?
Functional skills in English and maths is funded separately so it can't be used as off-the-job training. This means apprentices completing functional skills will need additional time off on top of the 20%.
How do you measure and record off-the-job training?
The 20% off-the-job requirement will be assessed in the ESFA audit, so it must be tracked and recorded. To comply, each apprentice must have a commitment statement that outlines the programme of training they'll receive.
This commitment statement should also include how the provider intends to deliver the 20% off-the-job training set out in the funding rules. The type of evidence that should be recorded will vary from course to course, but the ESFA have said they'd prefer to see naturally occurring evidence where possible.
All training providers who deliver level 2-5 apprenticeships will have to demonstrate the quality of their off-the-job training during Ofsted inspections. Apprenticeships that are level 6 and above will also have to provide evidence to show how their off-the-job training was planned, delivered and observed – as well as how the quality and value of the training impacts each apprentice's learning experience.
How can OneFile count?
We've developed OneFile so apprentices can track and record their off-the-job training within their eportfolio. Learners input their learning activity and upload evidence as normal, and simply select whether it was completed off-the-job. This data is then automatically calculated into a percentage and displayed on the dashboard, so learners and managers can track their progress at a glance.
To find out how OneFile can help you manage and record your off-the-job training, download our free guide.