As far as I know, if you have an error you won’t be drawing down any funding, so the auditor won’t have anything to audit. The problem will be how quickly you get the NIno to remove the error and get paid, and that doesn’t seem to be a predictable length of time.
You only get an error if the NI number returned is wrong. If none is returned, it will still show up on PDSAT, but I think that’s more to encourage the provider to get the number wherever possible than to punish them for not having it.
While I believe it has match funding relevance, it certainly doesn’t affect eligibility for funding from the SFA, so I would advise putting him on.
The Employer Rules require for eligibility the following:
3. Have I checked the eligibility of the apprentice?
Eligibility checks include, but are not limited to:
• having the right to work in England
• spending at least 50% of their working hours in England
• the apprentice must work for you, or a connected company, or connected charity as defined by HMRC
The references to HMRC and the requirements of the ILR specifications require a NI number in the correct format see below:
Providers should treat completion of this field as compulsory for apprentices and must obtain an apprentice’s NI number on start: this will be validated for programmes funded through a contract for services with the employer (Learning Delivery FAM Type = ACT1). Learners who do not know their NI number should be encouraged to obtain it by the provider. All employed status learners must have NI numbers in order to be paid by the employer.
Validation rules require that a NI number in the correct format is returned for Apprenticeships funded from the Levy from May 2017.
Is this for funding from a source other than the SFA? I’m not familiar with the levy rules yet, so thanks for that point, but I also haven’t heard of these Employer Rules before. Are they for employers delivering their own training?
This document applies from May 2017 and sets out the guidance which will apply to all employers participating in the apprenticeship programme. It also includes the funding rules which will apply to all levy-paying employers participating in the apprenticeship programme through a digital account on the apprenticeship service.