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Apprenticeship Subcontracting Policy

Apprenticeship Subcontracting Policy


This document outlines the Apprenticeship Subcontracting Policy for the University of Warwick in compliance with the requirements set forth in the Apprenticeship Funding Rules.

The University's commitment is to ensure the highest quality of apprenticeship provision, and subcontracting is considered when it enhances the learner offer without being motivated by financial gain.

Rationale for Subcontracting:

The decision to subcontract must be driven by a clear educational rationale, contributing to one or more of the following aims:

  1. Enhancing opportunities for learners.
  2. Filling gaps in niche or expert provision.
  3. Providing better access to training facilities.
  4. Supporting better geographical access for learners.
  5. Offering an entry point for disadvantaged groups.
  6. Considering the impact on individuals with shared protected characteristics.

Services and Costs:

The University does not charge a management fee for subcontracted provision. All fees for the subcontracted provision are paid to the subcontractor for delivery of the subcontracted provision, and due diligence is undertaken to ensure that the fees charged by the subcontractor are appropriate and proportionate to the delivery requirements.

Selection Criteria:

The selection of subcontractors involves comprehensive due diligence, including:

  1. Ensuring that the proposed subcontractor and its staff have the capacity and capability to deliver the required provision
  2. Review of the subcontractor’s most recent Ofsted outcomes.
  3. Financial background checks, and checks against the Apprenticeship Funding Rules
  4. Examination of subcontractor’s policies, particularly their approach to safeguarding apprentices
  5. Ensuring the subcontractor is listed on the Apprenticeship Provider and Assessment Register as a Supporting Provider or a Main Provider.

Decision Criteria:

The University will only subcontract when there is a clear need for niche or specialist expertise that cannot be provided internally.

Monitoring of subcontracted provision:

The University will conduct on-programme QA monitoring and review of the elements of the provision delivered by a subcontractor including but not limited to:

  • Regular meetings with the subcontractor’s representative(s) to discuss apprentices’ progress
  • Obtaining employer and apprentice feedback on subcontracted provision

Where concerns are identified with the subcontractor’s provision, the University will work with the subcontractor to make improvements to address these in a timely manner. If the issues cannot be addressed in a timely manner then the University will undertake to find an alternative subcontractor, or take this provision in house where appropriate.

ESFA Reporting:

The University will provide a fully completed subcontractor declaration to the ESFA as per the dates specified in the Apprenticeship Funding Rules.

Programmes that include subcontracting:

All apprenticeship programmes delivered by the University could include subcontracted provision where individual apprentice require support with achieving approved level 2 qualifications in English and Maths functional skills.

Currently, the University only subcontracts with one organization, Runway Apprenticeships Limited, for the delivery of functional skills training in English and Maths at level 2.

Policy Publication:

An up-to-date copy of this policy will be published on the University's website once it has been fully approved within the institution.

This draft policy is effective from 1 October 2023. Any updates will be communicated and reflected on the University's website accordingly.

This policy is currently in draft and awaiting full approval through the University’s appropriate Governance mechanisms.

Dr Sam Hardy
Director of Flexible and Online Learning
Deputy Chair of the Apprenticeships and Work-based Learning Steering Group
University of Warwick