Apprenticeship delivery subcontracting statement/policy

We work with employers to identify the best way to deliver our apprenticeship programmes. It may involve engaging with subcontractors. We always inform employers in advance if this is the case.

This Policy sets out the University's approach to subcontracting its higher and degree apprenticeship provision. It outlines the framework that the University uses in selecting and regulating subcontractors including the financial arrangements for subcontracted provision. The policy and any updates are in line with relevant Education and Skills Funding Agency Funding Rules.

Points of reference:

ESFA Funding Rules for Main providers 2019/20

Using Subcontractors in the Delivery of Apprenticeships August 2018

Our strategy Designing our Future 2017-2026 commits our University to substantially increase the number and range of degree apprenticeships we offer. Engaging with delivery subcontractors allows us to extend our expertise and meet the needs of our employers more effectively.

We will ensure that employers are aware of any subcontracting arrangements before they commit to an apprenticeship programme with us.

We are required by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to publish our approach to engaging with the delivery subcontractors; this policy is a response to this requirement and will be reviewed when relevant updates are published. (See footnote 1)

Rationale for subcontracting:

1. The main reason that the University subcontracts higher and degree apprenticeship provision is to enhance the scope and quality of our apprenticeship offer. The specific reasons for choosing to subcontract would be one or more of the following:

a) That a subcontractor would be able to provide access to specialist expertise and resources that would otherwise not be available.

b) As a result of a joint bid or similar for higher and degree apprenticeship funding in which the University was the lead provider (for example to meet the needs of particular employers or sectors).

c) To satisfy particular needs (of employers/ apprentices/ main provider) related to scope or quality of apprenticeship training provision.

d) To meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard.

Selection, approval and monitoring of subcontractors.

2. When we appoint an apprenticeship delivery subcontractor, one or more points above have to be met.

3. When selecting and managing subcontractors for our apprenticeships we will use our existing processes for approving and managing collaborative partnerships and provision as defined in our Senate Code of Practice for Collaborative Provision. We will supplement our practices, as appropriate, with conditions for subcontracting as outlined in the relevant ESFA Funding Rules.

4. All of our subcontractors (existing and new partners) have to go through the approval process which ensures:

a) That they have an appropriate capacity and track record in providing high quality teaching and learning including meeting relevant quality assurance requirements.

b) Due diligence process which includes ensuring their sound legal and financial status, that their funding sources are stable and relevant policies implemented.

c) Regular monitoring and performance reviews including provision for termination and continuity of learning for the affected apprentices.

d) That the proposal fits with relevant policies, ARU strategy and educational objectives

ESFA Compliance:

5. To ensure compliance with relevant ESFA Funding Rules we will:

a) Update our Written Agreements with employers to ensure that they include details required by the relevant ESFA Funding Rules.

b) Manage the quality and performance of our subcontracting provision in line with the ESFA requirements and our Senate Code of Practice for Collaborative Provision.

6. Each subcontracting agreement will outline roles and responsibilities of both parties and require the subcontractor to provide us with timely and accurate information as required by the ESFA.


7. To ensure high quality provision we will:

a) Conduct Regular Quality Assurance reviews including overseeing on programme assessment and visiting apprentices to monitor their progress

b) Nominate a point of contact for any disputes relating to the subcontractor delivery

c) Carry out regular review meetings to ensure compliance with ESFA Funding Rules

d) Keep the subcontractor up to date with any changes to the reporting requirements 


The University will retain a proportion of the apprenticeship funding for the management and quality assurance of the programme and supporting subcontracted delivery. The actual costs are determined on a case by case basis based on the requirements of the subcontracted apprenticeship programme and our established structure for determining costs for delivery partnerships.


Any changes to this policy are be subject to approval by the Degree Apprenticeship Steering Group and will be published here.

1. Apprenticeship funding rules for main providers August 2019 to July 2020 V1 ( relevant Education and Skills Funding Agency Funding Rules: P170 You must publish on your website a broad statement of the approach you take to subcontracting before agreeing the use of subcontractors with any employer. This should include your reason for subcontracting all services you will provide when doing so and how you determine the associated costs.