A guide to issuing authorities

A guide to issuing authorities

Issuing authorities are responsible for issuing, via the AFO, apprenticeship frameworks. Only once issued is an apprenticeship then available for the allocation of funding from the SFA and DECLLS. Designated by the Secretary of State, the FSP has to ensure that an apprenticeship is compliant with the SASE and SASW and the developing organisation has implemented a rigorous quality assurance process. IA's also has to ensure that the framework developer has undertaken appropriate self assessment, consultation and collaborative working with stakeholders and independent review.

An IA will use a compliance checklist for reviewing frameworks for England and Wales. It is strongly suggested that you review these before submitting.

 

Submitting a framework

A framework is submitted to the FSP via the AFO. Along with the framework document, we also require evidence which underpins the apprenticeship development. This needs to be submitted electronically. The evidence must include:

  • A completed checklist in the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils and UKCES guidance document
  • External review documentation
  • Evidence of employer and learner demand
  • Evidence of skills gaps which the framework will address
  • A robust QA process with comments and dates

 

Our response and timeframe

We will respond to a submission within 10 working days with a decision regarding the issuing of a framework. There are two potential responses:

  • The framework is compliant and will be issued

This means that we accept that the framework is compliant with the SASE / SASW, has been developed using a robust QA process, that the apprenticeship does not duplicate other existing frameworks, there is clear demand from learners and employers and that the framework will successfully address skills gaps in the industry.

  • The framework is not yet compliant and will not be issued

This means that one or more of the following elements has not been accepted by the IA

  • The framework is compliant with the SASE / SASW
  • The framework has been developed using a robust QA process
  • The apprenticeship does not duplicate other existing frameworks
  • There is clear demand from learners and employers
  • The framework will successfully address skills gaps in the industry.

This may result in questions to the developing organisation to clarify elements of the framework.

 

Questions we may ask

Although the main responsibility of an IA is to assess whether the framework is compliant with SASE and SASW, and that a quality QA process has been followed, we have discretionary power to hold back issuing a framework should we have additional concerns such as:

  • Has the apprenticeship been developed for the right reason?
  • Is there evidence of a skills gap?
  • Is the framework too exclusive regarding the qualifications which is contains? We will expect that all qualifications on the QCF which are relevant to the framework are included. This may include qualifications from a variety of awarding organisations
  • Is the framework relevant to the job role?

 

Feedback on frameworks which are not issued

We will inform developing organisations with the reasons why a framework has not being issued but will not provide advice on how to improve the submission. If the organisation requires support and advice on improving the submission we will refer this request to our internal experts on developing frameworks. This will ensure that there is no conflict of interest between developing and issuing an apprenticeship.

 

A transparent and fair IA

Our IA process is designed to be transparent to framework developers. The guidelines we have implemented to ensure our role as an IA is fair and unbiased include:

  • There will be a number of FSP staff who are designated IA's to prevent conflict of interest where we have had an advisory role in the development of a framework. The IA role will always be undertaken by a different staff member to that of the development and advisory role.
  • A robust administrative process tracks all paperwork and communication with the developing organisation
  • A FSP Board member will quality assure our decision to ensure consistency and fairness

 

Complaints and appeals

UKCES guidelines state that it is not possible to appeal a decision regarding issuing of an apprenticeship framework. To complain about the FSP IA decision process the following procedure must be followed:

  • Submit a compliant in writing, explicitly stating the aspects of the decision making process that you are unhappy with, within 10 working days of the receiving the decision to:

    Liz Field
    CEO
    Financial Skills Partnership
    51 Gresham Street
    London EC2V 7HQ
  • We will respond within 10 working days of receiving your compliant, following an investigation into the areas you stated dissatisfaction with.


Contact

Jenny Barber
Head of Education and Careers
E: [email protected]


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