Well it looks like the bad joke continues folks. The people behind the Apprenticeship payments system have decided to add a second row of data now in the period and payments report for the erroneous ones made last month. The first row appears to take the full P7 amount back and the second row what looks like the correct YTD payment however I have yet to go through in fine detail. Just a warning for anyone else interested.
I can also see some duplicate ZPROG data rows have also appeared as if by magic.
I have actually found one apprentice with 27 programme aim rows!!! What the hell is going on??????????
ChrisApril 10, 2018 at 11:35 am #248602
We have picked up errors in the Apprenticeship Monthly funding reports for this month also. There are duplicate lines in the funding report and some of the prior month payments columns, which should not change, now have different totals to the previous versions of the reports which we think is due to the duplications.
The ESFA are looking in to it but you may want to check and hold fire on running any income reports using this information.April 10, 2018 at 1:21 pm #248636
It is time someone fell on their sword PaulApril 10, 2018 at 1:26 pm #248638
I’d prefer just having a funding report that was delivered on time and told me how much money we had earnedApril 10, 2018 at 1:39 pm #248642
I have experienced the same for R08 – 22 duplicated ZPROGs!April 10, 2018 at 5:18 pm #248695
Well Paul, I am afraid it just makes me incredibly angry having to compensate for others lack of ability to be honest just to try and do my job with a set of tools that are inadequate. I think that is perhaps OFSTED would describe the performance if there was a similar system for inspection of you know who
ChrisApril 11, 2018 at 12:04 am #248740
The way to deal with this is to raise it. The technical and funding issues that we are experiencing in the sector at the moment are getting lost amongst some of the bigger headlines (apps starts, Ofsted, Apprenticeship Service).
For the first time since I can remember the ESFA are delivering funding reports that we cannot trust to be correct. The Apps monthly payment report is supposed to be available on the day after the hard close and in most months this has not been the case and has been delivered up to a week late. This is incredibly frustrating for anyone responsible for providing financial information within an organisation. The ESFA may take the view that as long as this is correct by the end of the year then this will be fine. However, if you have financial year’s running April – March, or have subcontractors/associates/suppliers etc who are paid using this information then this creates issues.
I would urge all experiencing these issues to raise this through the ESFA/AELP/provider network groups.
April 11, 2018 at 8:54 am #248799
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by paultaylor.
Can i ask what report is the Periods & Payments report please, and where it came from – so i can check it.
I am really struggling to get a good grasp of everything. We are a small organisation and i wear MANY hats so can not dedicate 1/2 my month to trolling through ESFA reports each month.
I check my MI reports against the Funding Summary Report each month, and up until recently the FSR agreed to our remittance (which a colleague deals with) – so we trusted the ESFA reporting, and in turn the payments we received.
I’m now realising here are many many other reports i need to check.
We challenged the ESFA regarding our Functional Skills claw back from R7. The detailed report they (eventually – after having to request it) sent us includes claw backs we firmly believe to be inaccurate. We reported this to Data Svs, who passed it to the Financial Team, we have now chased this 3 times butheard nothing, and now R8 is closed. Are they just going to claw it back anyway – who knows….?
I looked at the Apps Per End report for R7, and i actually found several additional over payments – that the ESFA had not included on their detailed report – and reading the above it appears i will probably find more in R8.
I need more hours in my week.April 11, 2018 at 9:42 am #248824
The report is the Apps Monthly Payment Report which is part of the Apps Period End Reports bundle available after month end (this has been delivered consistent late this year).
You need to use this report as opposed to the Indicative reports available via FIS if you want to report on what you will be paid as this more accurately splits out levy/coinvestment/ESFA payments and discounts Apps Service mismatches.
Within here you have various earnings and payments columns. Earnings should drop funding into the month that the activity took place (an October start will have monthly payments in each month from October) and payments will show when you reported the activity via the ILR return (an October start reported for the first time in January will have 4 monthly payments in January and then a payment each month thereafter).
Theoretically the total YTD earnings and payments should match. For the last two months they have not (and maybe longer but we’ve not checked beyond this). In P7 the report created over-payments for some functional skills. This month the lines containing ZProg aims have been duplicated for some learners which has created duplicate payments.
I would check the Zprog aims but also compare the total funding in this report to the Apps Values in the ‘Funding Summary Report’. I would split out levy/non levy/small employer income as part of this.
The new reports are incredibly complicated to use – we have been doing this for years Caz and find this information difficult to work with. That they now contain errors is unacceptable and as above providers need to voice their concerns on this issue.
April 11, 2018 at 10:51 am #248834
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by paultaylor.
yes also done this for years, know how it should work and has successfully for years until the stupid methodology this year.
I can confirm based on experience and dedication to the work I have done on this now for well over 15 year it is garbage.
I am willing to represent this in any forum for sure Paul.
ChrisApril 11, 2018 at 11:00 am #248837
Just noticed this message on the Hub:
“We have identified an issue with the Apprenticeship Monthly Payment Reports.
This is under urgent investigation.
We will provide an update at 3:30pm.”
SteveApril 11, 2018 at 11:05 am #248842
They should have another mechanism of communicating this and they should also remove the existing funding reports until it’s fixed.
There will be people across the country working with this information that do not know about the issue that will pass this to accounting teams – who will already be busy with year end work – that will have to do all the work again once they realise that there is an issue.April 11, 2018 at 11:09 am #248846
Steve, if an issue was identified with the reports why publish them in the first place and why no message on the Hub to alert users to not use them?
A similar but less serious problem occurred in a previous period, I think it was P6, whereby a second set of period end reports appeared without explanation. I spent time using the first set only to be told by the Service Desk when I queried the error that I should be using the second set published. How are we supposed to know when it is not communicated? Poor practice.
Do you realise the problems this creates?
ChrisApril 11, 2018 at 11:13 am #248849
Absolutely Paul, I could not agree more!!!!!!
It has gone on for far too long now.
ChrisApril 11, 2018 at 11:16 am #248851
THANK GOODNESS FOR FECONNECT! 🙂
I gain more helpful advice and guidance from here than i ever would from the ESFA.
There has to be a better way of communicating with providers than dumping a message on the HUB and hoping people read it. If you have already been on the HUB to download your reports why would you return the next day to see they were wrong?
I used to get Inform e-mailed to me, then it suddenly stopped and i have to dig around on Gov.UK, the service desk has a 5 day turn around (or in the case of our R7 claw back query a 2.5 week turn around).
I am downloading and (trying my best to use) the Apps Monthly Payments report. It was from this that i identified over payments/errors going back to R5.
This may make me sound really stupid but… the Apps Monthly Payment report only includes learners on the new methodology (01.05.17 onwards), whereas i reconcile my MI reports to the Funding Summary Report for all my learners, so i don’t see how i can then reconcile to the Apps Monthly Payment report?
I think i need a drink……..April 11, 2018 at 12:06 pm #248858
@chrisbradley, just read your post and assume it’s directed at me? I just posted after noticing the message on the Hub, I don’t work for the ESFA and am equally frustrated! 🙂April 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm #248889
Hello Steve, I do apologise.
I note there is no reply from the ESFA on here though. It is time whoever is accountable stood up and answered what is going wrong. If there is a problem with resource it is no excuse. If you or I were failing either directly or as a result of the team we would be held accountable for sure. I have experienced the one-way traffic from the LSC to the SFA to the ESFA for a long time i.e you must do this, you must do that etc. It is time those that point the finger looked in the mirror long and hard.
ChrisApril 11, 2018 at 1:42 pm #248891
I have just read the message on the Hub, “we have identified”. I don’t think so. WE have identified and the ESFA has benefited from those that have told them there is an error. Where is their quality control?
ChrisApril 11, 2018 at 1:48 pm #248893
Agree there should be a much better notification system from the ESFA for when things like this happen, surely an email to everybody wouldn’t be too hard to do…
And I think members of FE Connect are the quality control 🙂
SteveApril 11, 2018 at 1:55 pm #248897SFA STAFF
We have noticed an issue with the Apprenticeships Monthly Payments Report and have now identified the cause of the issue and are currently working on a resolution to this.
The report is currently generating errors and we are advising all providers to not use their current report and wait until we have resolved the issue before accessing an updated report.
We will post an update on both the Hub and FE connect tomorrow morning. In the meantime, please keep an eye on the Hub and FE connect to get the latest update on the status of the resolution.
April 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm #248920SFA STAFF
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Martin Taft.
We are now testing a fix to the issue which was identified on the current version of the Apprenticeships Monthly Payments report. We will provide a further update this afternoon. In the meantime, you should not use your current Apprenticeships Monthly Payments Report and wait for us to confirm that we have resolved the issue before accessing a new updated report. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this. If you have any further queries please contact the Service Desk on SDE.SERVICEDESK@education.gov.ukApril 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm #249367SFA STAFF
The testing of the fix to the issue identified on the current version of the Apprenticeships Monthly Payments report is ongoing.
We will provide a further update on Monday morning, 16th April.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this. If you have any further queries please contact the Service Desk on SDE.SERVICEDESK@education.gov.ukApril 13, 2018 at 5:12 pm #249422
Caspar VerneyParticipantApril 13, 2018 at 8:57 pm #249446
How many £millions have been spent on this entire set up since introducing the Hub? The Government Digital Strategy is working really well isn’t it? How many people have been lost from the LSC/SFA/ESFA? Machines don’t always replace people successfully!!!April 14, 2018 at 12:58 am #249470SFA STAFF
Responding to the feedback we have had from users, we have brought forward the work we had started to improve the Apprenticeships Monthly Payment Report. In addition to resolving the issues identified last week, this updated report will also resolve a number of the known issues published on GOV.UK.
As soon as testing of the new report is complete we will republish the R08 reports. We anticipate this being completed before the end of the week.
A further update will be published tomorrow morning by 11 am.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this.April 16, 2018 at 4:09 pm #250057
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