The Royal Free London is a main provider of apprenticeships. As an NHS trust, we use our expertise and up to date practitioner skills to deliver apprenticeships to our staff.

As a main provider, we also have approval to deliver apprenticeships to external organisations. We have relationships with the primary care sector in our local area and with other trusts. 

Many trusts have supporting provider status and can therefore subcontract to deliver apprenticeships. 

Apprenticeship work will only be subcontracted 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 subcontract 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 subcontractor.
  • Where there is a required need within primary care, and they want partners within the Integrated Care System to deliver it, and we would need a sub-contractor to do so.

We will only use delivery subcontractors 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 HMRC and are on the published Register of Training Providers, having applied through the employer provider or supporting provider application route. 

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

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

  • Register of Training Providers approval
  • 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 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 

The management fees are individually negotiated with each subcontractor and detailed in schedule one of the subcontracting agreement.  

The standard management fee charged is 20% of the negotiated apprenticeship fees with the employer, excluding end point assessment costs.

The costs cover the provision of: 

  • administration 
  • software licences for the Apprenticeship Management System 
  • quality assurance 
  • management information systems 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