Statement on the use of Sub-Contractors in Apprenticeships


This statement covers the activity for which the apprenticeships is funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for sub-contracted provision.

It applies to our use of subcontractors in apprenticeships in the 2022 to 2023 funding year.


This statement is a mandatory requirement of the ESFA funding rules. Our approach has been developed in line with the ESFA funding rules.


The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Apprenticeship team has a commitment to deliver excellence for apprentices and the employer, meeting organisational needs and generating opportunities for employees to develop, progress and excel.

All of our apprenticeship delivery is carried out by the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Apprenticeship team internal team.

As is the requirement, we use approved Independent End Point Assessment Organisations (IEPAO’s) to conduct the End Point Assessments with our apprentices at final three months of their apprenticeship study programmes. This element is fully funded by the levy, as per ESFA Funding rules.

The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Apprenticeship team seeks to secure value for money in our selection of Independent End Point Assessment Organisations. The cost of which is agreed prior to commencement and is included in the levy payments made via the Digital Apprenticeship Service.

Use of Subcontractors

The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Apprenticeship team has the expertise to deliver the full content and curriculum of our specified apprenticeship programmes. We currently do not use subcontractors to deliver any part of the apprenticeship programmes. Our subcontracting relationships will be in one form:

Subcontract for Functional Skills English and Maths delivery
Any subcontractor must pass a detailed due diligence process which includes but is not limited to appraisal of Ofsted or applicable assurance reports for validation of quality, appraisal of trainer qualifications, business continuity plans and must be on the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers. If a subcontractor is not on the register, they will not be approved for partnership for Apprenticeship programmes.

In all instances Royal Devon retain clear and transparent accountability for the quality of training provision, maintain proper and appropriate controls to manage the apprentice experience; and seek to ensure that value for money is achieved by efficient subcontractor management.

In all instances Royal Devon would provide quality assurance through close monitoring by the Head of Centre. The types of subcontract arrangement, quality assurance and costs of the models are explained in more detail below.

The written agreement (contract) with the employer for Apprenticeship provision will always list the costs of the subcontract in line with the Apprenticeship funding rules, so that all costs are transparent. A declaration is made by Royal Devon to the ESFA twice a year declaring any subcontractors used.

Subcontract types at Royal Devon

Functional Skills English and Maths delivery
Where an Apprentice does not possess English and Maths functional skills at level 2 or equivalent, Royal Devon will select a training provider with specialism for delivery of the English and Maths Functional Skill qualifications necessary for the Apprentice to meet the requirements of the Apprenticeship standard. Where a specialist provider is unavailable Royal Devon would deliver these aims.

Services we provide to quality assure subcontracted provision

The Head of Centre has responsibility for assuring the quality of delivery of subcontracted provision and a regular programme of activity is agreed to monitor provision

This includes a regular and substantial programme of quality-assurance checks on the functional training and assessment provided by delivery subcontractors, including visits at short notice and face-to-face interviews with staff and apprentices to ensure apprentices exist and are eligible; and involves direct observation of initial guidance, assessment and delivery of training and/or on-programme assessment.

Royal Devon retain all responsibility for resolving any issues and disputes between the employer and delivery subcontractor.

Subcontract funding

Functional Skills will be subcontracted out at the exact ESFA funding rate of £471 per functional skill.

Our contracts with subcontractors

A contract is put in place between Royal Devon and each delivery subcontractor which specifies the following:

That the subcontractor must:

  • keep to the funding rules
  • provide us with data so that our data returns to the ESFA accurately reflect delivery information
  • Give the ESFA and any other person nominated by the ESFA access to their premises and to all documents related to their delivery of apprenticeships
  • Give Royal Devon sufficient evidence to allow
    • Assessment of their performance against Ofsted’s common inspection framework or the requirements of the QAA quality code;
    • incorporate the evidence the subcontractor provides into Royal Devon’s self– assessment report; and
    • guide the judgements and grades within Royal Devon’s self-assessment report
  • Always have suitably qualified staff available to provide apprenticeship training and/or on-programme assessment
  • Co-operate with Royal Devon to ensure that there is continuity of learning for apprentices if the subcontract ends for any reason
  • Communicate in writing to Royal Devon if evidence of irregular financial or delivery issues arises. This could include, but is not limited to, non-delivery of training when funds have been paid, sanctions imposed by an awarding organisation, allegations of fraud, an inadequate Ofsted grade, not meeting relevant QAA quality code indicators, allegations or complaints by apprentices, employers, staff members, or other relevant parties
  • The subcontractor must not use ESFA funding to make bids for, or claims from, any European funding on their own behalf or on our behalf.
  • They must not use payments made by ESFA as match funding for ESF projects.

Subcontracting contingency plan

Last updated: December 20, 2023.


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