Applications for English Apprenticeship certificates will be made to a central point from the end of September, instead of to one of 25 certification bodies.
The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards is the certifying authority for Apprenticeships in England and hosts Apprenticeship Certificates England, to whom applications for certificates and payments will be made with effect from 30 September. The assessment of applications will continue to be carried out within ten days.
The change will generate greater consistency in terms of how applications and payments are received, providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for individual applicants, employers, training providers and colleges.
Payment rates will not change but will normally be made with the application, although some of the larger training providers will be able to purchase ‘credits’ in advance to simplify their own processes.
The change follows a period of consultation with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the National Apprenticeship Service, as well as with employers, training providers and colleges.
The Federation is piloting credit card and BACS payment systems in the early summer and welcomes training organisations and employers who would be interested in participating.
Federation Managing Director Mark Froud said; ‘The centralised billing system will make for greater consistency across sectors and provide a single point for apprenticeship certificate applications. We are grateful to BIS, NAS and all of our partners for helping us develop an approach that will build on the success of the programme. In just 15 months some 280,000 certificates have been issued in England with the vast majority within ten days of receiving a formal application’.