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The ESFA has updated the off-the-job training rules… again

We’re looking at the ESFA’s proposed changed to the off-the-job training rules – and finding solutions.

The ESFA has updated the off-the-job training rules... again

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The ESFA has proposed another change to the off-the-job training rules – that training providers should start tracking actual off-the-job hours in the ILR as well as planned hours.

The proposed change has caused a bit of a stir in the sector, and people have taken to social media and Government forums to voice their concerns. These people are right to be chagrinned – the ESFA has moved the goalposts a lot since the 20% off-the-job minimum requirement was introduced in 2017. So to help clear things up (and cast a more positive light on the proposal) we've found a solution.

The actual hours field

In the apprenticeship funding rules for 2019/20 published in September, the ESFA proposed a new mandatory field in the ILR – actual off-the-job hours. This means that on top of recording planned off-the-job hours, providers will have to track actual off-the-job hours completed by each apprentice to comply with ESFA funding rules.

There’s been uproar in the sector, with some providers calling out the ESFA for mistrusting providers and adding more unnecessary bureaucracy to delivery.

Jill Whittaker, the managing director of HIT Training, tweeted: “As an employer, I am disappointed that the ESFA don’t trust my award winning organisation to give my #apprentices the right amount of training, as a #training #provider I’m irritated that the @ESFAgov see timesheets as a proxy for #quality.”

The solution

Recording actual off-the-job hours may seem like extra bureaucracy – but not with OneFile. OneFile’s learning journal and timesheets have a built-in off-the-job tracker, making it easy to record and track actual hours. Apprentices can submit learning entries on the system and simply select whether they were completed on or off the job. OneFile will then calculate their actual hours against their contracted hours and display their progress as a percentage. Apprentices, tutors, employers, IQAs and EQAs have full visibility – which is great for Ofsted inspections and ESFA quality audits.

OneFile makes it easy to record the actual amount of time a student has spent completing a task, so it’s easy to track off-the-job training in a compliant way.”

John Plummer, senior lecturer | Edge Hill University

At OneFile, we’re ahead of the game – that’s why we’re the leading software for apprenticeships. To find out more about using OneFile to track off-the-job actual hours, download our free guide.

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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.