We review apprenticeships approved for delivery at regular intervals. This is to decide if they need to be revised or withdrawn. Route reviews look at apprenticeships both individually and in relation to other apprenticeships.
We only want to make changes to apprenticeships where it is right to do so. This will ensure stability for employers, training providers, end-point assessment organisations (EPAO), and apprentices. We also want to avoid unnecessary work for trailblazer groups.
In some circumstances, we may support trailblazer groups to make changes to an apprenticeship ahead of a route review.
Revision status report shows apprenticeships that are being revised.
A request to change an apprenticeship may relate to one or more of the following parts:
A change request may come from several sources, including:
To make a change request you can email us at email@example.com
You need to:
We will consider every change request we receive.
We will decide whether to support a change request or not. We aim to do this within four weeks. If this is not possible, we will let you know.
Where a change request is not from the apprenticeships trailblazer group, we will tell them. We will also seek their views to inform our decision.
When we consider a change request for any part(s) of an apprenticeship, we will also consider if other parts need to change. For example, if we receive a change request relating to an EPA plan we will also consider if the occupational standard or funding band may need to change.
Our decision may be to:
A revision is a change to an apprenticeship which
We will only support a trailblazer group to complete a revision which is consistent with our approval requirements (occupation, occupational standard and EPA) and where a revised apprenticeship will better meet the needs of apprentices, employers, the professions and/or the economy.
Reasons why we may support a revision:
We do not usually expect recently approved apprenticeships to need revisions.
A new occupation proposal may need to be submitted and agreed before we can agree to support the work for a revision of an occupational standard. This is where there is a concern about an occupation meeting our requirements for an apprenticeship.
You will need to submit an occupation proposal to add an additional option (occupation) to an existing core and options apprenticeship or to add an occupation to create a core and options.
A revision to an occupational standard and/or EPA plan may need us to review the funding band.
When looking at a funding band only change request, we will consider if the occupational standard and/or EPA plan needs to change.
For funding band only change requests, the apprenticeship must have been ‘approved for delivery’ for at least 12 months (with or without starts in that period) before we will consider a change request.
We will look at evidence to decide if our criteria to support a revision have been met.
This may include:
It is important that any new version of an apprenticeship is introduced in a managed and transparent way. To help with this, as soon as the revisions process is underway, we place a banner on the relevant webpage. The banner indicates that the apprenticeship is being revised and is updated as progress is made. We also regularly publish a Revisions Status Report detailing all apprenticeships that are currently in revision and providing further details on the stage that each has reached.
It is also important that potential users and deliverers of an apprenticeship have appropriate notice of a new version replacing an old version for new starts. This notice period starts when all elements of the new version (occupational standard, end-point assessment plan and funding band) have been agreed and published on our website. It ends when it replaces the old version for new starts.
The duration of any notice period is for us to decide but should be based on what the trailblazer group (and training providers and end-point assessment organisations supporting the trailblazer) believe to be practical. As a trailblazer, you will therefore need to discuss an appropriate notice period with your product manager during the revisions process. We can then publicly confirm the notice period when the new version is ready to publish for preview.
As a revision should always improve the apprenticeship, our starting assumption is that the revised version should be introduced as soon as possible. However, we recognise that those involved in delivering the apprenticeship may need preparation time and this needs to be factored in.
The duration of a notice period will vary depending on need. It could be the minimum required by ESFA systems (up to 14 days) for minor revisions or revisions essential to enable delivery. However, for major changes to the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) or assessment methods it could be 60 to 90 days. Where a degree is being developed and integrated into the end-point assessment process, the notice period may need to be even longer.
Where a funding band is being reduced, the notice period should be no less than 90 days. However, it can be longer if there are other (non-funding) reasons requiring that.
An adjustment is a minor change, clarification or correction to an occupational standard or EPA plan that does not meet the definition of a revision.
An adjustment will not go through the approvals process.
It does not change the apprenticeship version number.
Exceptionally, the Institute may authorise a dispensation to an approved apprenticeship to protect the interests of apprentices.
It permits employers, training providers and/or EPAOs to deliver the occupational standard and/or EPA plan within amended constraints, usually with a set expiry date.
Where the Institute authorises a dispensation, it normally comes with the requirement to revise the occupational standard and/or EPA plan to address the issue that prompted the need for the dispensation.
We will tell the person who made the request whether we support the change or not. We will also tell the apprenticeship's trailblazer group. We will provide the reason for our decision and evidence considered.
The relevant route panel will be advised of decisions to support a revision or dispensation. The route panel may provide advice to the trailblazer group to inform a revision.
A revision must be prepared by a trailblazer group, which has been approved by the Institute.
An RM leads our support to the trailblazer group. The trailblazer group is responsible for preparing the revised apprenticeship which reflects the changes needed. Further changes needed may be identified during the development process.
The RM will agree an apprenticeship development work plan with the trailblazer group.
If the original trailblazer group cannot support the work, we may commission a new trailblazer group to take the work forward.
Where an occupational standard is revised, we will review its placement on the occupational map.
For approved occupational standard and EPA revisions, the revised version will be available after an agreed transition plan.
Approved revisions have a new apprenticeship version number.
A revision may take an apprenticeship out of scope for a later route review.
We will action an adjustment. The project manager (PM) will advise or seek input from the trailblazer group as required. The PM will tell the trailblazer group when the adjustment has been published.
We will action an EPA dispensation. The relationship manager will advise and/or seek input from the trailblazer group as required. The RM will tell the trailblazer group when the dispensation has been actioned.
The Institute identifies two types of revision. This is based on how the revision is implemented by the ESFA, not the size of the changes.
The two numbers are defined as:
If you are unhappy with any final decision made by the Institute in connection with a revision or adjustment, you may be able to challenge the Institute’s decision by way of procedural review. Time frames for submitting a procedural review and details of the ground which must be met for a procedural review to be granted can be found in our guidance.