This August, the ESFA has made some updates to the Apprenticeship Service to improve how it works for you and your learners.
First launched in April, the Apprenticeship Service is the online portal allowing training providers, employers – and now apprentices – to better manage their apprenticeships. If all this is new to you, read our Employer’s Guide to get started.
The latest updates, which will be active from 26th August, focus on two elements of data collection.
Apprenticeship Service Update #1: Selecting Standard Versions
Following the introduction of version control for apprenticeship standards, you can now select the specific standard that your apprentice will take.
This change will apply to both bulk uploads and to manual apprentice record updates. You must add this information before the record can be approved.
Alongside this, the ESFA has introduced new functionality to allow a “broader set of users” to use the file upload functionality.
Apprenticeship Service Update #2: Introducing Apprentice Accounts
The next main update is the collection of apprentice email addresses. This is a precursor to the introduction of apprentice accounts on the Apprenticeship Service.
As per GOV.UK:
“From 26 August 2021, the employer or training provider must add a unique email address when adding an apprentice record to the apprenticeship service. Without a unique apprentice email address, you will not be able to save or approve the apprentice record, so funding cannot be allocated.”
Once you have added the apprentice’s email address, they will receive an invitation to create a “My Apprenticeship” account. This is a new service that aims to improve the onboarding process for apprentices.
An account will allow apprentices to:
- Confirm their apprenticeship details are correct as the apprenticeship starts
- Access guidance on what is expected of them, their training provider, and their employer
- Access additional support
- Review their apprenticeship details throughout the apprenticeship
Whilst encouraged, this account is not mandatory. It will have no impact on the apprentice’s start date or your ability to claim relevant funding.
Besides our services as an EPAO, Instructus Skills is a pan-sector skills body and the UK’s largest apprenticeship certification authority. If you have any questions about managing your apprenticeships, feel free to contact us for impartial advice.
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