We were speaking with an Apprenticeship Levy paying organisation last week who were considering becoming an employer provider. It was an interesting conversation – well we found it interesting – you may not share the same enthusiasm! It was interesting because they wanted to start a large-scale apprenticeship programme to maximise their apprenticeship levy payments. No problem with that. They were keen to do this as they already had an in-house training team and wanted to maximise their trainers. No problem with that either. And they were ready to go now! Well, we had a slight problem with that as they were clearly totally unprepared.

As well as going through the standard requirements of programme delivery, which they could do, they had failed to consider functional skills delivery, data management, safeguarding, Prevent and of course, quality assurance.

What do employer providers need to consider?

Delivering apprenticeships is complicated. There are lots of different elements, they take at least a year to complete and involve lots of people – the apprentice, trainers, assessors, mentors, managers and in some cases parents too. They are complicated because there are a lot of elements to consider; diplomas, technical certificate, functional skills, personal learning and thinking skills, employment rights and responsibilities and now apprenticeship standards and the Levy. On top of all of this, there is OfSTED to consider as well as audit from the ESFA. Then there is quality assurance.

In our conversation with the levy employer, we only managed to talk about some of the quality assurance requirements that they had to consider but we think it helped demonstrate some of the things they had to consider. These included:

  • OfSTED Self Assessment Reports
  • Quality Improvement Plans
  • Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safeguarding
  • Prevent
  • Data Analysis
  • Feedback from learners

What it demonstrated to the employer was that there was a lot to do before they could launch their programme. Any employer who is considering becoming an employer provider really needs to consider all of the areas and more that we pointed out in our conversation. Apprenticeships are not just about delivering training programmes. There is so much more that needs to be considered.


If you are considering becoming an apprenticeship employer provider and think you might need some additional support then please contact us to discuss your requirements further.

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