Apprenticeship Pathway Transfers Post 1st May 2017

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Ruth CJ 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • Ruth CJ

    Does anyone else transfer apprentices from one pathway to another within the same framework?

    It’s something we do from time to time, but we’re obviously concerned about the implications regarding funding for pathway transfers after 1st May (that started before 1st May). You’re supposed to code pathway changes as a transfer (PSM is really clear), but what if that’s after 1st May 2017? Employers are not going to negotiate to pay for an apprentice that’s part way through their programme, and just changing pathway (electrical to mechanical or vice versa is typical).

    I’ve queried the service desk. The first time, they said that pathway changes can stay on the old funding method. Excellent! Except, there’s a new validation rule that won’t allow funding stream 35 after 1st May unless it’s coded as a Restart. A pathway change isn’t a restart, so I asked if we should use the restart indicator for pathway transfers. The reply was that transfers after the 1st May have to be coded as 36! That directly contradicts what they said about using the old funding method for pathway changes *sigh*.

    So, I’m querying again, and I just wondered if anyone else had received another response. Does anyone even have this issue?




    The response I ve had in the past is that we can just change the pathway number and there is no need to show it as a transfer.

    My query related to minimum duration so by doing the above meant that the student would meet minimum duration.


    Ruth CJ

    That will probably be what we have to do as I can’t see an alternative, but it contradicts what the Provider Support Manual says!

    I honestly don’t think they know their own rules half the time.


    Ruth CJ

    So it turns out the original reply I got was wrong. I was told;

    Where there is a pathway change for an apprenticeship which has already been started, that will continue on the old funding system.

    Then later told that transfers had to be coded as 36. Pathway changes are, by definition in the PSM, transfers. So that didn’t tally. Clearly they weren’t aware of the PSM rules.

    So, since there’s no way that employers are going to negotiate a payment part way through, we’re going with your option jessicar! I’d rather follow the PSM rules, but we don’t have an option here.



    Afternoon all,

    I wanted to jump in on this as we are looking at this potential issue too for a learner.

    Ruth, did you ever get a response when you re-queried from data service?

    Speaking with our data manager, they believe that merely changing the pathway would cause issues including:

    QAR problem where the previous export would become orphaned and therefore count against you under the new rules;
    Financial implications due to different funding rates (if applicable);

    Any views on this? Particularly interested in the most recent response from the data service too.



    Ruth CJ


    No further response above what I already said. As far as they’re concerned, transfers of apprenticeships after 1sy May have to be funding 36, no exceptions other than restarts, that’s the end of it. According to the PSM, pathway changes have to be recorded as transfers. Therefore, apprenticeships changes in pathway now should move to the levy model.

    That’s just not going to fly with employers.

    You might be right about QAR. If they started this year, I can’t see a problem with simply switching the pathway. If they started in a previous year, would it leave a hanging record (and therefore a fail) from last year? I don’t know if they match on pathway though (never been in a position to test it).

    Just switching the pathway shouldn’t impact on funding, unless the new aim is significantly different, but that’s always the way with transfers.

    The only other option for switching pathways that started in a previous year, would be to code them as restarts. That will allow you to use funding 35. Whether we’d get away with that, I don’t know. I’d feel that it was within the spirit of the rules.


    Cris Hale

    Hi Ruth,

    For what it’s worth, I’d have to agree. Why require a significant change in funding for a small change in course and a minor (if any) change for changing to an entirely new course? I doubt they would consider that sensible.





    Thanks for the update Ruth. Disappointing that no further response was given.

    Currently we are planning to go with the PSM despite the difficulties this brings.

    I do wish however that the points raised here would be reviewed by ESFA and consideration be given to amending their current stance in light of the new funding model, as ultimately, all that is going to happen is some employers will refuse to support the change and the learner will lose out on achieving their apprenticeship and we get penalised in success rates through no real fault of our own.

    Even an acknowledgement of the issue would be good ESFA and whether this policy is going to be reviewed.



    Ruth CJ

    Excellent news! 🙂

    They’ve just published an Annex for Additional guidance: recording apprenticeship pathway transfers on or after 1 May 2017 for programmes started prior to 1 May 2017.

    Restarts are officially allowed, which is good, because that’s what we’ve been doing anyway. I was so determined that this was the morally right thing to do, and was ready to argue to with an auditor, but now it’s been officially sanctioned. We can use EEF2 for transfers after the 19th birthday too, to keep full funding.

    Also, I did subsequently find out that changing a pathway between years does impact on QAR, so you can’t do that. You have to close off the old pathway somehow (with a transfer), or it shows as overdue.



    Silly question, but how would we correct data?



    Ruth CJ

    What do you mean? Have you already coded this situation differently? If so, I’d just change it. You can always just change data if it’s an admin error, and in year.

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