Sub-contracting apprenticeships with Royal Free London

Rationale for sub-contracting

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust is a main provider of apprenticeships. We deliver apprenticeships to our own staff with the key driver being the quality of education that other training providers cannot match. As an NHS trust we have expertise and up to date practitioner skills that we can call upon as part of the delivery.   

As a main provider we have approval to deliver to external organisations. As an NHS trust we have many relationships with the primary care sector in our local area and with other trusts. Many trusts have supporting provider status and can therefore sub-contract to deliver apprenticeships. 

As a main provider we will only sub-contract apprenticeship work to meet a need and to deliver quality education using the expertise of our and our partners’ staff to health and social care organisations. We will only sub-contract in the following circumstances to the health and social care sector:

  • where there is a specialist apprenticeship provision required and the provider is only a supporting provider requiring a main provider as a prime contractor 
  • where there is no other option due to a lack of providers and we could provide the apprenticeship with a sub-contractor 
  • where there is a required need within primary care and they want partners within the STP to deliver it and we would need a sub-contractor to do so 

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust will only use delivery sub-contractors who satisfy one of the following two criteria: 

  1. They are on the published Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers and have applied by the main provider or supporting provider route. 
  2. They are either the apprentice’s employer, a connected company or charity as defined by HMRS and are on the published Register of Training Providers, having applied through the employer provider or supporting provider application route. 

Due diligence 

Each provider that wishes to be a sub-contractor must complete a two part due diligence process providing evidence that the Apprenticeship Steering Group (governance process) can judge they are high quality and low risk and approve as a subcontractor.

Part one judges that the provider has the capacity, quality systems and are approved to deliver apprenticeships as a sub-contractor. The following evidence must be provided: 

  • approved on Register of Training Providers (ROATP) 
  • current public liability and indemnity insurance 
  • organisational policies in place that relate to apprentices/trainees/students 
  • equality and diversity 
  • safeguarding  
  • health and safety 
  • quality assurance of training 
  • approved assessment centre status (if necessary) 
  • Ofsted reports (if applicable) 
  • External Quality Assurance (EQA) reports (if necessary) 
  • accounts — we run a credit check to determine credit worthiness 

Part two focuses on the ability to deliver an apprenticeship in a particular subject area. The following evidence must be provided: 

  • CVs of staff 
  • schemes of work for the programme 
  • example lesson plans and materials 
  • examples of apprentices’ work 
  • examples of progress review notes 
  • success rates for the apprenticeship 

Costs and fees 

The management fees are individually negotiated with each sub-contractor and detailed in Schedule 1 of the Sub-contracting Agreement.  The standard management fee charged is 20% of the negotiated apprenticeship fees with the employer (excluding EPA costs).

The costs cover the provision of: 

  • administration 
  • software licences for APTEM 
  • quality assurance 
  • MIS function relating to the submission of funding claims to the Education and Skills Funding Agency 
  • provision of management meetings 
  • apprenticeship expertise 
  • initial assessments  
  • NARIC (now ENIC) conversions - if required