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Recording 20% off-the-job training

Apprentices must spend 20% of their contracted hours completing off-the-job training.

Recording 20% off-the-job training

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It has been over five years since the Government published guidance on how to manage and record off-the-job training – but many people tell us they’re still struggling.  

To help clear things up, we’re answering some of the most commonly asked questions – such as what can and cannot be used for off-the-job training, and how training providers should measure and record the 20%.  

Why was off-the-job training introduced?

Off-the-job training is designed to give apprentices a well-rounded skill set when they complete their course It’s a way of bringing in technical and theoretical learning to complement the practical, work-based learning apprentices gain in the workplace. 

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 one  day per working week. Employers and training providers must decide when training is delivered (for example one day a week, one week out of every five etc).  

Do English and maths count?

Functional skills in English and Mathsare funded separately so don’t count towards the off-the-job training allowance. This means apprentices who need additional 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. 

Download our commitment statement checklist. 

This commitment statement should also include how you intend to deliver the 20% off-the-job training set out in the funding rules. The type of evidence which needs to be recorded varies 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 help?

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 on or 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. 

Download guide

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.