We have recently been approached by a large employer who is on the RoATP (RoATP Main Provider) who wishes us to partner with them under a subcontracting arrangement with us being the Main provider and for them to act as the delivery delivery partner. Although we are familiar with subcontracting we have not subcontracted ESFA Apprenticeships before. I have read all the necessary ESFA Funding Rules and Subcontracting for the First Time guidance and am happy we meet all ESFA requirements. We have had an independent audit conducted and the auditors have signed the subcontracting controls certificate.
Am I now able to send the ESFA subcontracting request letter to my ESFA Provider Management Advisor for consideration?
You do have to question why they require you to take the Main Provider role when the employer is approved as a Main Provider on RoATP.
It is explicit in the funding rules that Employers must not profit from apprenticeship delivery to their own employees and that you can only pay them actual evidence costs, but some employer do have difficulty understanding and accepting this.
I would proceed with caution as it seams you are taking all of the risks and responsibility for what will be classed as your learners by the ESFA and Ofsted.
Not trying to put you off but subcontracting is full of pitfalls and a risk for Providers.
Yes you will have to obtain prior approval from the ESFA where you have not subcontracted before.
We have asked the organisation to carry out a delivery cost analysis which we will be corroborating on as part of our due diligence to ensure only actual costs are drawn down.
I agree there is an element of risk however the organisation is a public service government funded organisation that is expected to have the highest levels of integrity.
Everything I can find indicates that we must obtain prior approval from the ESFA where you have not subcontracted before. However, the ESFA have just informed me there has been a relaxation on this;
Providers are no longer required to:
a. Request permission to subcontract for the first time
b. Request permission when appointing subcontractors where there is a conflict of interest (ie where you and your proposed subcontractor have common directors) as subcontracting is agreed at the outset with the employer….