Monitoring of Subcontractors
& Supply Chain Fees and Charges

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MONITORING OF SUBCONTRACTORS

SECTION 1

1.1 CONTEXT

Although this document represents a comprehensive set of subcontracting funding rules across the AEB, ESF and 16 to 19 funding streams it should be viewed in context of the wider funding rules for each individual funding stream.

The purpose of this manual is to set out the way in which SCL Education, SCL hereafter, will identify, select and manage subcontractors. SCL has taken the decision to utilise subcontracting to enhance the quality of our learner offer, we will not subcontract delivery to meet short-term funding objectives.

We have identified the need to ensure that the appropriate breadth and depth of our provision meets the diverse needs of our learner offer, including opening up our offer to meet learners needs and requirements for the future. Our strategy for subcontracting is that our principal offering to learners is focused around being a Provider supporting local, regional and national needs.

While direct delivery will always be our preferred delivery model, we recognise that in order to satisfy the expanding needs of learners and employers, and where there is demand for qualifications, or offer which traditionally falls outside of our area of expertise, we will look to subcontract these to compatible third-party organisations. Our specific rationale to subcontract will meet one or more of the following aims:

  • Enhance the opportunities available to learners,
  • Fill gaps in niche or expert provision or provide better access to training facilities,
  • Support better geographical access for learners,
  • Support an entry point for disadvantaged groups,
  • Support individuals who share protected characteristics, where there might otherwise be gaps.

We only use subcontractors for delivery of the provision if we have staff with, the knowledge, skills, and experience (for example, with appropriate qualifications or experience, as evidenced by their CVs) within our organisation to:

  • Successfully select subcontractors in-line with the requirements of these funding rules and our contract with ESFA, and
  • Contract with and actively manage those subcontractors,
  • Those charged with governance/board of directors and our accounting officer (senior responsible person) determine the subcontractors as being of high quality and low risk to public funds,
  • We have robust procedures in place to ensure subcontracting does not lead to the inadvertent funding of extremist organisations.

 

SCL’s Intent

SCL is committed to extending and diversifying the range and accessibility of courses it delivers to widen participation, deliver to niche markets, engage in new and emerging markets and meet the regional and local economic development agenda. It also enables engagement with learners who may not ordinarily consider attending formal learning environments. In order to achieve this, SCL has taken the strategic decision to subcontract part of its provision to partner organisations who can demonstrate high quality delivery and excellent success rates.

SCL will ensure that:

  • The proposed delivery is in the best interests of learners and employers (where applicable),
  • The proposed provision fits with SCL’s mission, objectives and values,
  • There is sufficient expertise within SCL to quality assure the provision,
  • There is sufficient staff resource in support areas to administer the process,
  • The Subcontractor is approved via our due diligence process,
  • The Subcontractor agrees to work within the terms of our contract, and that a signed contract is in place.

SCL will provide eligibility checks and support with enrolment of learners and take full responsibility for registration of learners with awarding bodies and the delivery of English and maths as required.

SCL will provide an English and maths specialist in all subcontracted provisions on a weekly basis allowing us to monitor the programme and the quality of the delivery on a weekly basis in addition to termly monitoring visits.

SCL provides support and training opportunities to improve the quality of teaching and learning for learner programmes delivered by our delivery partners.

Regular quality monitoring of the sub-contractor provision and subsequent action plans ensure that a high quality of teaching and learning is maintained by all subcontractor’s.

Funding is apportioned according to the proportion of provision and other services provided by the partner and SCL respectively.

 

Contract

A draft contract will be written following a successful due diligence process. The draft contract will be seen and agreed by both parties and agreed by SLT. If the contract value with any one party exceeds £100,000, the contract will need to be agreed by SLT and SCL Corporation will be notified at their next scheduled meeting.  No learners will be enrolled until the contract has been signed by both parties.

The contract details the management costs, quality monitoring activities and costs and other supporting activities agreed between the parties. Payment terms, timing of payments and the process for invoicing is clearly included in the contract.

 

Subcontract flowchart with integrated SCM (Supply Chain Management)

Business partnering is the development of successful, long term, strategic relationships between customers and suppliers, based on achieving best practice and sustainable competitive advantage. The following process flowchart depicts how SCL should approach subcontracting.

 

 

Determine Capability

This will fall part of the initial discussion to securing a quality supply chain, a focused meeting will concentrate on capability and capacity to deliver contract requirements, as a prime and as the subcontractor.

As part of a thorough due diligence approach, both parties will need to exercise a capability assessment of each other to ensure clear clarity of contract, deliverables and ensure capacity and capability to deliver the apprenticeship. The assessment (capability) will be used to inform the depth and breadth of examination.

  • Consider the capability and capacity,
  • Thoroughly examine the information provided,
  • Conduct a financial audit,
  • Interview the management team,
  • Conduct a health, safety and safeguarding assessment, which is inclusive of Prevent,
  • Identify strengths, potential risks and development needs.

Agreements entered into by you and the main provider (SCL) are legal agreements and dispute resolution should be in accordance with the terms of the written agreement and ultimately would be enforceable through the courts.

 

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

CONTACT ROLE RESPONSIBILITIES
Kate Lou

Kate.lou@wearescl.co.uk

Group Director of Quality Contract management, Due Diligence,

Quality audit

Josh Hill

josh.hill@wearescl.co.uk

Head of Employability Contract management, Due Diligence,

 

James Field

james.field@wearescl.co.uk

Head of Finance Financial Audit
Joanne Collier

joanne.collier@wearescl.co.uk

Safeguarding and Prevent Manager Safeguarding & Prevent
Kerry Johnson

Kerry.johnson@wearescl.co.uk

Health and safety Manager Health and safety
Andrea Deckers

Andrea.Deckers@wearescl.co.uk

Head of MIS Audit and compliance

 

SECTION TWO

In accordance with our contract(s)/agreement(s) with the ESFA we must notify subcontracting.requirements@education.gov.uk about any circumstances which might lead to an actual or perceived conflict of interest. For example, where SCL and the proposed subcontractor have directors or beneficial owners in common.

We will:

  • Not award the contract without the ESFA’s written permission,
  • Keep as evidence both SCL’s request and the ESFA’s reply.

SCL will not subcontract, without written ESFA permission, to any institution or organisation which is not permitted to recruit 16 to 18 year old students and/or 19 to 25 year old high needs students (HNS), for example an 11 to 16 school.

SCL will at all times follow the ESF rules for subcontracting of funded provision by the ESFA, specifically the “Subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022”, which can be found:

 

2.1    SELECTING A SUBCONTRACTOR

SCL must at all times ensure that we comply with current and relevant procurement regulations. SCL must ensure that we select subcontractor(s) fairly transparently and without discrimination and ensure that potential subcontractors have sufficient capacity, quality and business standing to deliver the provision that is being subcontracted.

SCL operates as a Main Provider and will use its supply chains to optimise the impact and effectiveness of service delivery to the end user. SCL will therefore ensure that:

  • Supply chain management activities comply with the principles of best practice in the skills sector.
  • At all times undertake fair and transparent procurement activities, ensuring that all potential subcontractors undergo a comprehensive due diligence to ensure that the highest quality of learning delivery is made available, demonstrating value for money, responsiveness, local skills priorities and positive impact on learner lives.
  • These services, and the levels of funding being retained for them, will be clearly documented and agreed by all parties. The rates of such retained funding will be commercially viable for both sides and will be negotiated and agreed in a fair and transparent manner reflecting the SCL risk table. They will be proportionate to the actual services being provided.

SCL must carry out its own thorough due diligence checks when appointing delivery subcontractors and ensure that we continue to undertake and review these checks on an annual/ongoing basis with each of our delivery subcontractors. As a minimum, we must undertake the checks identified in the following paragraphs.

  • We will review the circumstances and criteria in the funding higher risk organisations and subcontractors policy (hereafter referred to as “funding higher risk organisations policy”) in which the ESFA would consider a provider (including subcontractors) to be a high-risk provider and as a result will not consider funding or agree applications and/or bids for funding from them.
  • We will perform due diligence checks on subcontractors and apply the criteria in the funding higher risk organisations policy setting out when a provider is high risk and therefore not eligible to be appointed as a subcontractor.
  • SCL’s contract with any subcontractors will enable us (SCL) to take appropriate action in-line with the funding higher risk organisations policy, not only if SCL deems it is necessary, but also where ESFA requires SCL to take appropriate action.
  • SCL must also ensure any subcontractor has the financial ability to deliver the requirements of the subcontract. The following link provides information to help undertake a financial assessment of the subcontractor:
  • Financial health guidance for organisations contracting with or applying to ESFA on GOV.UK.
  • SCL must not and will not contract with brand new companies who are yet to submit their first statutory accounts, unless they are able to thoroughly verify the new company’s financial capability.
  • SCL must not award or renew a subcontract to any organisation if:
  • it has an above-average risk warning from a credit agency,
  • has passed a resolution (or the court has made an order) to wind up or liquidate the company, or administrators have been appointed,
  • its statutory accounts are overdue.
  • If a subcontractor does not meet, or continue to meet, the minimum due diligence and financial health checks required, SCL must suspend the right of the subcontractor to recruit new learners. Depending on the circumstances we may be required by ESFA to terminate the subcontract if we have not already done so.
  • SCL should refer to the list of declared subcontractors to determine if a subcontractor that we intend to use or are using already holds subcontracts with other organisations.
  • For subcontractors in receipt of an aggregate subcontract value of ESFA funding for delivering education and training that totals £100,000 or more for each funding year, or where the subcontract from us would take the total value of such subcontracts to £100,000 or more, SCL must share the results of the checks with ESFA via a signed return on the template ESFA will provide by the dates provided to SCL. The ESFA will then undertake internal high-risk checks to determine if the subcontractor falls in scope of the Funding higher risk organisations policy. If they do, SCL may be required to end the subcontract with that organisation, and the ESFA may restrict SCL’s future use of subcontractors.
  • Where a subcontractor has a subcontract valued at £500,000 or greater in any funding year, the ESFA will carry out additional financial health checks directly with the subcontractor, in-line with financial health guidance for organisations contracting with or applying to the ESFA. SCL will be required to supply the ESFA with the relevant documents. If the subcontractor fails the ESFA financial health checks, SCL will be unable to take on any new subcontracted starts with the subcontractor.

The key principles of selecting a new sub-contracting partner are whether they:

  1. Fit with our strategic objectives,
  2. Bring positive local community benefits and wider participation,
  3. Complement and add value to the work that SCL does,
  4. Are aligned to the key sectors that SCL and the Government prioritise,
  5. Are willing to engage in a mutually supportive relationship built on trust and respect,
  6. Have reputation and standing within the sector / market,
  7. Comply with ESFA subcontracting regulations.

The first stage in the process of setting up a new arrangement between a subcontractor and SCL is Due Diligence. After an initial meeting, the sub-contractor will be asked to provide the documents stated in the due diligence letter.

A report is produced on the results of the due diligence process and sent to the subcontractor, either with actions to address or an invitation to attend a further meeting to discuss the contract proposal.

The due diligence process identifies the support required and associated costs and management fees for delivery subcontractor. The report will clarify how the management costs are reasonable and proportionate to the delivery of high-quality teaching and learning and how each cost contributes to the delivery of high-quality learning. The report also highlights the reason for subcontracting.

 

2.2    MANAGING RISK

SCL retains ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the provision that it is contracted to deliver, including any elements that it chooses to subcontract. The risks for us include the subcontractor:

  • Achieving poor achievement rates, which reduces SCL’s overall performance,
  • Generally putting SCL’s reputation and achievement of the contract in jeopardy,
  • Not achieving funding targets, leading to lower than budgeted management fees and reductions in future allocation,
  • Underestimating the costs of administering the provision and contract,
  • Competing for learners with other contracted provision,
  • Failing to complete within the contract period, leaving learners on-programme,
  • Failing to adhere to General Data Protection Regulations,
  • Staff turnover of the subcontractor, affecting their capacity to deliver to the contract,
  • Risks associated with health and safety, safeguarding, Prevent or equality and diversity issues,
  • Negative publicity associated with the subcontractor.

In order to mitigate these risks a full risk-register will be maintained at all times, updated along the full journey and an escalation log for concerns will be implemented for use to drive continuous improvement.

 

2.4    AUDIT AND DATA

A key element of the audit trail is the process undertaken to subcontract with a subcontractor. The following evidence is required:

  • Details of subcontract
    • What is the nature of the provision and the contractual relationship involved?
  • Data sharing protocols
    • Ensuring SCL and the Education and Skills Funding Agency have access to all information,
    • Ensuring that the subcontractor compliances with all Data Protection Legislation.

SCL and the Education and Skills Funding Agency have the right to audit all documentation in relation to the subcontracted provision. A satisfactory audit is essential to avoid loss of funding through claw back or termination of contracts. SCL’s audit principles include:

  • 100% audit of all starts and leavers, whether negative or completions,
  • A sample of mid-point funding audits,
  • Data auditing tools to used to test integrity of data submitted by the subcontractor.

Controls to ensure no double funding include:

  • Gaining information on other prime contractors at due diligence stage,
  • Regular (monthly) testing (PDSAT evaluation monthly),
  • Communicating with any other Prime contractors the subcontractor is working with.

 

SECTION THREE

3.1    CONTRACTS

SCL must not make artificial distinctions or distortions when describing delivery arrangements in order to avoid the application of the subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022.

  • In accordance with SCL’s ESFA agreement SCL must not enter into any agreement for brokerage.
  • SCL must only award subcontracts for delivery of ESFA funded provision to legal entities. If the legal entity is a registered company, it must be recorded as ‘active’ on the Companies House database. Subcontractors must register on the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP) and hold a valid UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) to be eligible to receive funding from the ESFA, either directly or through a subcontracting arrangement.
  • SCL must not agree the use of any subcontractor where this would require SCL to effectively subcontract ESFA funding to a second level of subcontractor. In other words, all subcontractors must have a direct subcontract with SCL.
  • SCL may have more than one subcontractor, but each subcontractor must have a direct subcontract with you. The restriction on the level of subcontracting is in place to ensure that:
    • Lead providers retain clear and transparent accountability for the quality of training provision,
    • Proper and appropriate controls are in place to manage the learner experience,
    • Value for money is achieved by mitigating funding being utilised for multiple tiers of subcontractor management.

SCL must make sure that learners supported through subcontracting arrangements know about you and your subcontractors roles and responsibilities in providing the learning.

 

Terms that must be included in contracts with subcontractors.

Before any subcontractor starts delivery of the subcontracted provision, the subcontractor must have a legally binding written subcontract with SCL.

The subcontract must entitle SCL to exercise management controls over the subcontractor’s activity including access by auditors appointed by either SCL or the ESFA. The following paragraphs set out some provisions which must be included in each subcontract.

  • A list of all services SCL will provide to subcontractor and the associated costs for doing so. This must include:
    • a list of individually itemised, specific costs that SCL will charge for managing the subcontractor and how these are reasonable and proportionate to the delivery of subcontracted provision,
    • Specific costs for quality monitoring activities and specific costs for any other support activities offered by SCL to the subcontractor and how these contribute to the delivery of high-quality learning,
    • Reference to SCL’s delivery subcontracting policy, including SCL’s rationale for subcontracting and where it can be found on SCL’s website,
    • A requirement to give the ESFA and any other person nominated in writing by ESFA, access to its premises and to all documents related to the subcontracted delivery,
    • The subcontractor must be under an obligation to provide SCL with ILR data so that SCL’s data returns to ESFA accurately reflect the subcontractor’s delivery information,
  • The subcontractor must provide SCL with sufficient evidence to allow SCL to:
    • Assess its performance against Ofsted’s Education inspection framework,
    • Incorporate the evidence it provides SCL with into SCL’s self–assessment report; and guide the judgements and grades within SCL’s self-assessment report
  • The subcontractor must always have suitably qualified staff available to provide the education and training funded by ESFA,
  • The subcontractor must co-operate with SCL if the subcontract ends for any reason to make sure that there is continuity of learning,
  • The subcontractor must tell SCL if evidence of irregular financial or delivery issues arise. This could include, but is not limited to:
    • non-delivery of training when funds have been paid,
    • sanctions imposed by an awarding organisation,
    • allegations of fraud,
    • an inadequate Ofsted grade,
    • allegations or complaints by learners, staff members, or other relevant parties.
  • The subcontractor must not use ESFA funding to make bids for, or claims from, any European funding on its own behalf or on behalf of ESFA,
  • The subcontractor must be bound by ESF clauses from SCL’s contract being included in the subcontract, even if the provision being subcontracted is not funded by the ESF,
  • The subcontractor must not use ESFA funding as match funding for ESF projects,
  • SCL must make sure it’s subcontractors comply with the requirements set out in the Subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022
  • SCL must ensure it includes in the subcontract provisions that enable SCL to terminate the subcontract should the subcontractor fail to meet the required due diligence or financial health requirements/standards,
  • SCL must ensure that it includes in the subcontract provisions which require the subcontractor to inform SCL of any changes which impact its ability to meet the due diligence or financial health/require standards required and that SCL may as a result be required to terminate the subcontract with them,
  • SCL should take its own legal advice about how best to incorporate these provisions and wider terms and conditions in your subcontracts.

 

3.2    MANAGEMENT FEES

As part of SCL funding agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, SCL are required to publish details of subcontracting arrangements by completing the ‘Declaration of Subcontractors’ return, including details of the management fees charged to subcontracting partners.

Management fees will be set according to the level of risk associated with the subcontractor. This is shown in the table below, and the fees need to be broken down further as per the Main Contract (the table and then a percentage fee against each line).

All partners will have a standard ‘Invoice Profile’ prepared, detailing the payment amounts, payment dates, invoicing requirements and how to deal with disputed invoices.

 

PERFORMANCE INDICATOR RISK RATING SCORE
Low Medium High Not Measurable
1 2 3 3
Delivery Experience of the Subcontractor – Delivering the same or similar qualifications to Contract More than 5 Full Years 2 to 5 Full Years Less than 2 Full Years Not Measurable
Most Recent Ofsted or SAR Grading (SAR Grading Subject to Validation) Grade 1 or 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 No Ofsted Grading or SAR Process
Previous Years Success Rates – All Qualifications (Against National Benchmark) 3% or More Above National Benchmark Within + or = 2% of National Benchmark More than 2% Below National Benchmark No Previous Success Rates
Type of Provision and Experience of Contract  Qualifications Delivers or has Experience of the Same/Similar Qualifications or Learner Type/Funding Stream Previous/Current Experience of Managing Same/Similar Qualifications or Learner Type/Funding Stream No Previous/Current Experience with Qualifications or Learner Type, Funding Stream at Risk, Delivery is Out of LEP Areas and/or Difficult Client Group Not Measurable
Audit and QA Measures (Learner Eligibility, Observations etc) Compliant and No Actions or Recommendations Mainly Compliant, Recommendations for Improvement and Changes Implemented Non-Compliant, Recommendations for Improvement and/or Changes not Quickly Implemented New Provision – No Previous Audit
Paperwork and Communications (Based on, but not Limited to, the Grouped Examples Listed) Fully Completed and Accurate Paperwork, Timely Changes and Achievements, Minimal Monitoring Required, Few Queries and Responsive Communication Generally Accurate Paperwork, Changes and Achievements Received, Monitoring Required, Some Queries and Average Communication Inaccurate Paperwork, Changes and Achievements Not Received, Constant Monitoring Required, Many Queries and Poor Communication New Provision – No Paperwork Received

 

Risk against scoring

Overall score Risk rating Fee – %
6-9 Low 10
10-14 Medium 15
15-18 High 20

 

 

3.3    HEALTH AND SAFETY, SAFEGUARDING AND EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

SCL requires that:

  • Subcontracted provision sets appropriate standards for health and safety, safeguarding of learners and equality and diversity. This provision will be assessed.

To ensure the subcontractor complies with this, SCL will implement the following:

  • Subcontractors will be asked to supply a copy of their Health & Safety Policy,
  • Subcontractors will be asked to supply a copy of their Equality & Diversity Policy,
  • Subcontractors will be sent SCL’s Safeguarding and Prevent Policy and will ask for written confirmation that they accept the terms contained in this,
  • The contract will contain explicit reference to ED&I policies, Safeguarding, Prevent and DBS Checks,
  • All on-site assessments (Quality Assurance, Audit and Contractual) will record compliance to these key policies as part of the assessment process
  • All staff employed by the Subcontractor are expected to undertake DBS Checks, annual safeguarding training, training on Prevent and Fundamental British Values – The subcontractor will notify SCL of its internal DSL and DDSL to enhance safeguarding for all learners

 

3.4    COMMUNICATION STRATEGY

The main principles of communicating with sub-contractors are:

  • Schedule of regular meetings set up,
  • Subcontractor provides a named contact to SCL of a senior person,
  • Notes / minutes of meetings kept on file and shared with the subcontractor,
  • Records of e-mails, correspondence etc kept on file,
  • Notes from audit / monitoring visits kept on file and shared with subcontractor.

 

The table below illustrates the main contact points for sub-contractors:

 

Purpose Contact
Main contact for day-to-day enquiries MIS Administration – mis.admin@wearescl.co.uk

Head of MIS (Andrea Deckers) – andrea.deckers@wearescl.co.uk

Queries regarding audit MIS Administration – mis.admin@wearescl.co.uk

Head of MIS (Andrea Deckers) – andrea.deckers@wearescl.co.uk

Requests for PLR / Initial Assessment MIS Administration – mis.admin@wearescl.co.uk
Contract issues Group Director of Quality, Kate Lou, for Study Programme or Head of Employability, Josh Hill, for SCL Professional & Traineeships
Due-diligence, initial set up and contract queries Group Director of Quality for Study Programme (Kate Lou) kate.lou@wearescl.co.uk or Head of Employability for SCL Professional & Traineeships (Josh Hill) josh.hill@wearescl.co.uk
Queries with regards to finance / invoicing Head of Finance (James Field)

james.field@wearescl.co.uk

0345 644 5747

Curriculum advice, guidance, quality assurance Study Programme –

Ibrahim Jogee

ibrahim.jogee@wearescl.co.uk

07776691951

SCL Professional & Traineeships –

holly.street@wearescl.co.uk

07425649550

Monitoring of Safeguarding log and interventions/actions Safeguarding and Prevent Manager (Joanne Collier) joanne.collier@wearescl.co.uk

07425347364

Complaints Group Director of Quality (Kate Lou)

kate.lou@wearescl.co.uk

07765254109

 

SECTION FOUR

4.1    QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCESSES

Audit

SCL carries out a full funding audit on all learner documentation received. Audit errors will be highlighted to the Subcontractor and SCL may not process paperwork that has audit errors associated with it until these are resolved.

The final decision on processing of data sits with the Head of MIS and will be based on risk. Paperwork that includes audit errors placing funds at risk will be automatically held for resolution.

The depth and frequency of audit visits will be based upon the risk level of the subcontractor but at least annually and will include:

  • A discussion with tutors/trainers,
  • A discussion with learners,
  • Checks on registers / attendance,
  • Checks on adequacy of resources,
  • Tracking of learner progress.

The main areas that form part of the audit will be shared with the Subcontractor at the beginning of the contract and all audits will be followed up with a report within 2 weeks.

 

Internal Quality Assurance of Qualifications

SCL expects that the Subcontractor to be approved with any relevant Awarding Organisation and make arrangements for the Registration, Internal Quality Assurance, External Quality Assurance and Certification of the learners being subcontracted, this will be validated and audited to ensure a fit for purpose provision against all relevant rules.

SCL are able to provide these services at an additional agreed cost to the published management fees.

Where SCL carries out the Internal Quality Assurance of Qualifications for the Subcontractor SCL will apply a rationale consistent with SCL’s Quality Assurance Processes. A copy of this will be provided to Subcontractors when contracts are agreed.

 

Observation of Delivery

SCL will carry out observation of programme delivery with Subcontractors using the rationale set out in SCL’s policy for Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment.

Observations may be pre-arranged or unannounced. The Subcontractor is required to provide SCL with a schedule of contact / teaching on a monthly basis to allow SCL to make provision for Observations. SCL’s OTLA Policy will be provided to Sub-Contractors when contracts are agreed.

SCL’s Quality Leads, Quality Specialists or Curriculum Specialist will carry out Observations.

 

Staff

Staff CVs will be provided to SCL at the commencement of the contract.

Teaching staff should be qualified teachers or working towards a teaching qualification in accordance with sector requirements. Similarly, staff involved in assessing learners should have the recognised Assessor Award or equivalent (as per the assessment strategy of the qualification being assessed) or be working towards that Award and achieve it within 18 months of the start of the contract.

Staff having internal Quality Assurance or lead assessing duties should have a CAVA Level 4 or equivalent or be working towards that award and achieve it within 18 months of the start of the contract.

Copies of teaching staff CPD will be provided to SCL quarterly as per SCL’s self-assessment schedule.

Copies of DBS checks for all staff should be made available to SCL for inclusion on the Single Record.

 

Quality Standards

  • SCL will agree performance targets for retention and achievement rates with the Subcontractor on an annual basis and these will be monitored monthly,
  • If the Subcontractor falls below the agreed performance targets, then SCL may provide early intervention with a notice to improve,
  • The Subcontractor will operate an effective monitoring policy approved by us or alternatively adopt SCL’s monitoring requirements,
  • Copies of EQA reports must be provided to SCL’s Director of Quality together with any action plans immediately on receipt,
  • The Subcontractor must have effective appeal and complaints procedures approved by SCL and is current on their website,
  • The Subcontractor must operate a system of observation of teaching, learning and assessment that includes actions plans for improvement. This system will be approved by SCL and copies will be submitted to SCL upon completion,
  • Team/staff meetings must take place regularly and formal minutes kept,
  • The subcontractor will produce an annual Self-Assessment Report (SAR) and Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) plan in accordance with SCL’s requirements,
  • The Subcontractor must ensure their provision meets all Ofsted requirements and work with SCL to achieve at least a Good grade.

 

Learner and Employer Voice

The learner and employer (if applicable) voice will be captured using the mechanisms outlined in SCL’s Feedback Policy that will be provided to the Subcontractor upon agreement of the contract.

These mechanisms include on-line surveys, on-programme and end of programme evaluations, focus groups and learner forums.

The Subcontractor will provide copies of any learner and employer feedback they gather to the Director of Quality for Study Programme or Head of Employability for SCL Professional & Traineeships.

 

4.2          KEY STAFF

Staff Member Responsibility Contact
Kate Lou Contract performance management Kate.lou@wearescl.co.uk

07765254109

Josh Hill Contract performance management josh.hill@wearescl.co.uk

07500370875

Ibrahim Jogee SCL Education (Study Programme) Quality Manager – IQA and Curriculum ibrahim.jogee@wearescl.co.uk

07776691951

Holly Street SCL Professional Quality Manager – IQA and Curriculum holly.street@wearescl.co.uk

07425649550

Becky Vallely Quality Improvement, observations, quality monitoring becky.vallely@wearescl.co.uk

07384812925

Adam Peters Curriculum design and innovation, observations, quality monitoring adam.peters@wearescl.co.uk

07741909035

Lucy Hagger MIS Administration lucy.hagger@wearescl.co.uk

 

4.3    MONITORING AND REVIEW PROCESS

The monitoring and review cycle will ensure a process of continuous improvement, allowing SCL and the Subcontractor to have an open and honest approach to managing the quality of provision throughout the life of the contract.

 

 

SCL are responsible for the actions of the subcontractors connected to, or arising out of, the delivery of the services, which SCL subcontract. If the subcontractor fails to deliver, SCL will be responsible for making alternative arrangements for the delivery of education and training, protecting the audit trail, and/or repaying ESFA or ESF funding.

SCL must manage and monitor all each subcontractor to ensure that high-quality delivery is taking place that meets the requirements of the contract SCL have entered into with ESFA for the provision of ESFA funded delivery (which includes compliance with ESFA funding rules). SCL must ensure safeguarding is rigorously policed, and is inclusive of Prevent

It is not acceptable for any staff with a direct or indirect financial interest in the subcontractor to undertake any management control activities This includes signing time sheets or invoices, as well as organising and/or carrying out monitoring activity or visits to check the subcontractor delivery.

SCL must carry out a regular and substantial programme of quality assurance checks on the education and training provided by subcontractors including spot checks and face to face interviews with staff and learners. The programme must:

  • Include verifying that learners exist and meet the eligibility criteria for ESFA Funding,
  • Involve direct observation of initial guidance, assessment and delivery of learning programmes, training and/or direct observation of assessment.

The findings of SCL’s assurance checks must be consistent with SCL’s expectations and the subcontractor’s records.

The prevent duty applies to subcontracted provision. It requires providers to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. All further education providers must comply with relevant legislation and any statutory responsibilities associated with the delivery of education and safeguarding of students, and this includes students receiving provision under a subcontracting arrangement.

 

SECTION 5

Termination of Sub-Contracted Provision & MANAGEMENT OF DISPUTES

Disputes

Provision for resolving disputes is contained within the overall Main Contract. This sets out how disputes will be resolved and the escalation procedures.

Termination:

Provision for termination of a contract is contained in the Main Contract.

The process for resolving disputes / terminating contracts is shown below:

 

 

 

SECTION 6

Subcontracting reporting and external audit requirements

SCL must record subcontracted provision in-line with the published guidance for the school census and the individualised learner record (ILR) data returns.

If SCL returns ILR data, in accordance with SCL’s ESFA contract (s) SCL must submit a fully completed subcontractor declaration by the dates given by the ESFA. This will be at least twice during the funding year. If there is no subcontracting SCL must still provide a nil return to confirm this.

SCL must also update SCL’s subcontractor declaration if the subcontracting arrangements change during the year. This is done via MyESF account.

In accordance with SCL’s ESFA contract(s), SCL must obtain an annual report from an external auditor if the aggregate total of all subcontractors delivering ESFA funded provision on SCL’s behalf exceeds or is anticipated to exceed £100,000 in any single funding year. Whilst otherwise excluded from this, for the purposes of calculation of aggregate total of subcontractor delivery SCL must include delivery of apprenticeships.

SCL must supply the ESFA with both a report and certificate signed by an external auditor that provides assurance on the arrangements to manage and control your delivery subcontractors. SCL must send a copy of the external auditor’s final report including the action plan of agreed recommendations and certificate via ESFA Document Exchange or by email to subcontracting.requirements@education.gov.uk. The ESFA will review this as part of their overall assurance arrangements.

 

SECTION 7

ESFA Annex ’s for Subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/subcontracting-funding-rules-for-esfa-funded-post-16-funding-excluding-apprenticeships/subcontracting-funding-rules-for-esfa-funded-post-16-funding-excluding-apprenticeships#selection-and-procurement-of-your-subcontractors

SCL must refer to the applicable annex for the subcontracted provision.

 

SECTION 8

Monitoring of subcontractors and subcontracted provision.

In addition to the measures detailed above and to the ESFA’s Subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022 and SCL’s contract, SCL must monitor their subcontractors to ensure that learners have full access to free funded education and training, including (but not limited to) information about and access to,16 to 19 bursary and other student support funding, information, advice, and guidance (IAG) and access to learning support if required.

Controls over students, tutors, and provision.

SCL must be able to demonstrate that SCL exercises all the following key controls:

  • SCL can enrol or reject learners as SCL would do if the learners were to be taught on SCL’s own site,
  • Learners sign a learning agreement at the time of enrolment; the agreement must reflect the outcome of initial guidance and assessment for an individual student and set out their study programme and any learning support to be provided,
  • Learners’ eligibility for ESFA funding is confirmed through an enrolment form and/or learning agreement, which must include SCL’s name and logo, and which is signed by the Learner at the start of their programme,
  • A learning programme and its means of delivery has been clearly specified by SCL,
  • There are arrangements for assessing the progress of individual learners,
  • There are procedures for SCL to regularly monitor the delivery of programmes provided in SCL’s name throughout the period of the programme.

 

Subcontractors with contracts with multiple institutions:

  • SCL must establish whether any of SCL’s subcontractors work with other directly funded ESFA lead providers,
  • 1 – SCL must make sure that they are the only provider that is claiming ESFA funding for the learners that SCL are claiming funding for. Learners must not be enrolled at more than one directly funded ESFA provider,
  • 2 – SCL, as the lead provider must claim all the funding for an ESFA-funded learner. When a learner is attending different directly funded providers for different components of their programme of study, the lead provider must record all these components and indicate on the individualised learner record or school census which elements are delivered via a subcontracting arrangement,
  • All individual students must have the correct unique learner number recorded,
  • An exception to rules 1 and 2 directly above is where a learner is enrolled on a Diploma in Sporting Excellence in addition to their main study programme.

 

Distance subcontracted delivery:

  • Only in exceptional circumstances should institutions make subcontracting arrangements for delivery outside their normal recruitment area. (‘normal recruitment area’ is defined in the funding regulations guidance).
  • SCL must seek approval to continue with or embark on new arrangements for distance subcontracting. Further details including what to include in the request and where to send it is available in the link below:
  • Where SCL enters into distance subcontracting relationships, SCL must exercise the same level of management, control, safeguarding of learners and assure SCL still meets all necessary rules.
MONITORING OF SUBCONTRACTORS

SECTION 1

1.1 CONTEXT

Although this document represents a comprehensive set of subcontracting funding rules across the AEB, ESF and 16 to 19 funding streams it should be viewed in context of the wider funding rules for each individual funding stream.

The purpose of this manual is to set out the way in which SCL Education, SCL hereafter, will identify, select and manage subcontractors. SCL has taken the decision to utilise subcontracting to enhance the quality of our learner offer, we will not subcontract delivery to meet short-term funding objectives.

We have identified the need to ensure that the appropriate breadth and depth of our provision meets the diverse needs of our learner offer, including opening up our offer to meet learners needs and requirements for the future. Our strategy for subcontracting is that our principal offering to learners is focused around being a Provider supporting local, regional and national needs.

While direct delivery will always be our preferred delivery model, we recognise that in order to satisfy the expanding needs of learners and employers, and where there is demand for qualifications, or offer which traditionally falls outside of our area of expertise, we will look to subcontract these to compatible third-party organisations. Our specific rationale to subcontract will meet one or more of the following aims:

  • Enhance the opportunities available to learners,
  • Fill gaps in niche or expert provision or provide better access to training facilities,
  • Support better geographical access for learners,
  • Support an entry point for disadvantaged groups,
  • Support individuals who share protected characteristics, where there might otherwise be gaps.

We only use subcontractors for delivery of the provision if we have staff with, the knowledge, skills, and experience (for example, with appropriate qualifications or experience, as evidenced by their CVs) within our organisation to:

  • Successfully select subcontractors in-line with the requirements of these funding rules and our contract with ESFA, and
  • Contract with and actively manage those subcontractors,
  • Those charged with governance/board of directors and our accounting officer (senior responsible person) determine the subcontractors as being of high quality and low risk to public funds,
  • We have robust procedures in place to ensure subcontracting does not lead to the inadvertent funding of extremist organisations.

 

SCL’s Intent

SCL is committed to extending and diversifying the range and accessibility of courses it delivers to widen participation, deliver to niche markets, engage in new and emerging markets and meet the regional and local economic development agenda. It also enables engagement with learners who may not ordinarily consider attending formal learning environments. In order to achieve this, SCL has taken the strategic decision to subcontract part of its provision to partner organisations who can demonstrate high quality delivery and excellent success rates.

SCL will ensure that:

  • The proposed delivery is in the best interests of learners and employers (where applicable),
  • The proposed provision fits with SCL’s mission, objectives and values,
  • There is sufficient expertise within SCL to quality assure the provision,
  • There is sufficient staff resource in support areas to administer the process,
  • The Subcontractor is approved via our due diligence process,
  • The Subcontractor agrees to work within the terms of our contract, and that a signed contract is in place.

SCL will provide eligibility checks and support with enrolment of learners and take full responsibility for registration of learners with awarding bodies and the delivery of English and maths as required.

SCL will provide an English and maths specialist in all subcontracted provisions on a weekly basis allowing us to monitor the programme and the quality of the delivery on a weekly basis in addition to termly monitoring visits.

SCL provides support and training opportunities to improve the quality of teaching and learning for learner programmes delivered by our delivery partners.

Regular quality monitoring of the sub-contractor provision and subsequent action plans ensure that a high quality of teaching and learning is maintained by all subcontractor’s.

Funding is apportioned according to the proportion of provision and other services provided by the partner and SCL respectively.

 

Contract

A draft contract will be written following a successful due diligence process. The draft contract will be seen and agreed by both parties and agreed by SLT. If the contract value with any one party exceeds £100,000, the contract will need to be agreed by SLT and SCL Corporation will be notified at their next scheduled meeting.  No learners will be enrolled until the contract has been signed by both parties.

The contract details the management costs, quality monitoring activities and costs and other supporting activities agreed between the parties. Payment terms, timing of payments and the process for invoicing is clearly included in the contract.

 

Subcontract flowchart with integrated SCM (Supply Chain Management)

Business partnering is the development of successful, long term, strategic relationships between customers and suppliers, based on achieving best practice and sustainable competitive advantage. The following process flowchart depicts how SCL should approach subcontracting.

 

 

Determine Capability

This will fall part of the initial discussion to securing a quality supply chain, a focused meeting will concentrate on capability and capacity to deliver contract requirements, as a prime and as the subcontractor.

As part of a thorough due diligence approach, both parties will need to exercise a capability assessment of each other to ensure clear clarity of contract, deliverables and ensure capacity and capability to deliver the apprenticeship. The assessment (capability) will be used to inform the depth and breadth of examination.

  • Consider the capability and capacity,
  • Thoroughly examine the information provided,
  • Conduct a financial audit,
  • Interview the management team,
  • Conduct a health, safety and safeguarding assessment, which is inclusive of Prevent,
  • Identify strengths, potential risks and development needs.

Agreements entered into by you and the main provider (SCL) are legal agreements and dispute resolution should be in accordance with the terms of the written agreement and ultimately would be enforceable through the courts.

 

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

CONTACT ROLE RESPONSIBILITIES
Kate Lou

Kate.lou@wearescl.co.uk

Group Director of Quality Contract management, Due Diligence,

Quality audit

Josh Hill

josh.hill@wearescl.co.uk

Head of Employability Contract management, Due Diligence,

 

James Field

james.field@wearescl.co.uk

Head of Finance Financial Audit
Joanne Collier

joanne.collier@wearescl.co.uk

Safeguarding and Prevent Manager Safeguarding & Prevent
Kerry Johnson

Kerry.johnson@wearescl.co.uk

Health and safety Manager Health and safety
Andrea Deckers

Andrea.Deckers@wearescl.co.uk

Head of MIS Audit and compliance

 

SECTION TWO

In accordance with our contract(s)/agreement(s) with the ESFA we must notify subcontracting.requirements@education.gov.uk about any circumstances which might lead to an actual or perceived conflict of interest. For example, where SCL and the proposed subcontractor have directors or beneficial owners in common.

We will:

  • Not award the contract without the ESFA’s written permission,
  • Keep as evidence both SCL’s request and the ESFA’s reply.

SCL will not subcontract, without written ESFA permission, to any institution or organisation which is not permitted to recruit 16 to 18 year old students and/or 19 to 25 year old high needs students (HNS), for example an 11 to 16 school.

SCL will at all times follow the ESF rules for subcontracting of funded provision by the ESFA, specifically the “Subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022”, which can be found:

 

2.1    SELECTING A SUBCONTRACTOR

SCL must at all times ensure that we comply with current and relevant procurement regulations. SCL must ensure that we select subcontractor(s) fairly transparently and without discrimination and ensure that potential subcontractors have sufficient capacity, quality and business standing to deliver the provision that is being subcontracted.

SCL operates as a Main Provider and will use its supply chains to optimise the impact and effectiveness of service delivery to the end user. SCL will therefore ensure that:

  • Supply chain management activities comply with the principles of best practice in the skills sector.
  • At all times undertake fair and transparent procurement activities, ensuring that all potential subcontractors undergo a comprehensive due diligence to ensure that the highest quality of learning delivery is made available, demonstrating value for money, responsiveness, local skills priorities and positive impact on learner lives.
  • These services, and the levels of funding being retained for them, will be clearly documented and agreed by all parties. The rates of such retained funding will be commercially viable for both sides and will be negotiated and agreed in a fair and transparent manner reflecting the SCL risk table. They will be proportionate to the actual services being provided.

SCL must carry out its own thorough due diligence checks when appointing delivery subcontractors and ensure that we continue to undertake and review these checks on an annual/ongoing basis with each of our delivery subcontractors. As a minimum, we must undertake the checks identified in the following paragraphs.

  • We will review the circumstances and criteria in the funding higher risk organisations and subcontractors policy (hereafter referred to as “funding higher risk organisations policy”) in which the ESFA would consider a provider (including subcontractors) to be a high-risk provider and as a result will not consider funding or agree applications and/or bids for funding from them.
  • We will perform due diligence checks on subcontractors and apply the criteria in the funding higher risk organisations policy setting out when a provider is high risk and therefore not eligible to be appointed as a subcontractor.
  • SCL’s contract with any subcontractors will enable us (SCL) to take appropriate action in-line with the funding higher risk organisations policy, not only if SCL deems it is necessary, but also where ESFA requires SCL to take appropriate action.
  • SCL must also ensure any subcontractor has the financial ability to deliver the requirements of the subcontract. The following link provides information to help undertake a financial assessment of the subcontractor:
  • Financial health guidance for organisations contracting with or applying to ESFA on GOV.UK.
  • SCL must not and will not contract with brand new companies who are yet to submit their first statutory accounts, unless they are able to thoroughly verify the new company’s financial capability.
  • SCL must not award or renew a subcontract to any organisation if:
  • it has an above-average risk warning from a credit agency,
  • has passed a resolution (or the court has made an order) to wind up or liquidate the company, or administrators have been appointed,
  • its statutory accounts are overdue.
  • If a subcontractor does not meet, or continue to meet, the minimum due diligence and financial health checks required, SCL must suspend the right of the subcontractor to recruit new learners. Depending on the circumstances we may be required by ESFA to terminate the subcontract if we have not already done so.
  • SCL should refer to the list of declared subcontractors to determine if a subcontractor that we intend to use or are using already holds subcontracts with other organisations.
  • For subcontractors in receipt of an aggregate subcontract value of ESFA funding for delivering education and training that totals £100,000 or more for each funding year, or where the subcontract from us would take the total value of such subcontracts to £100,000 or more, SCL must share the results of the checks with ESFA via a signed return on the template ESFA will provide by the dates provided to SCL. The ESFA will then undertake internal high-risk checks to determine if the subcontractor falls in scope of the Funding higher risk organisations policy. If they do, SCL may be required to end the subcontract with that organisation, and the ESFA may restrict SCL’s future use of subcontractors.
  • Where a subcontractor has a subcontract valued at £500,000 or greater in any funding year, the ESFA will carry out additional financial health checks directly with the subcontractor, in-line with financial health guidance for organisations contracting with or applying to the ESFA. SCL will be required to supply the ESFA with the relevant documents. If the subcontractor fails the ESFA financial health checks, SCL will be unable to take on any new subcontracted starts with the subcontractor.

The key principles of selecting a new sub-contracting partner are whether they:

  1. Fit with our strategic objectives,
  2. Bring positive local community benefits and wider participation,
  3. Complement and add value to the work that SCL does,
  4. Are aligned to the key sectors that SCL and the Government prioritise,
  5. Are willing to engage in a mutually supportive relationship built on trust and respect,
  6. Have reputation and standing within the sector / market,
  7. Comply with ESFA subcontracting regulations.

The first stage in the process of setting up a new arrangement between a subcontractor and SCL is Due Diligence. After an initial meeting, the sub-contractor will be asked to provide the documents stated in the due diligence letter.

A report is produced on the results of the due diligence process and sent to the subcontractor, either with actions to address or an invitation to attend a further meeting to discuss the contract proposal.

The due diligence process identifies the support required and associated costs and management fees for delivery subcontractor. The report will clarify how the management costs are reasonable and proportionate to the delivery of high-quality teaching and learning and how each cost contributes to the delivery of high-quality learning. The report also highlights the reason for subcontracting.

 

2.2    MANAGING RISK

SCL retains ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the provision that it is contracted to deliver, including any elements that it chooses to subcontract. The risks for us include the subcontractor:

  • Achieving poor achievement rates, which reduces SCL’s overall performance,
  • Generally putting SCL’s reputation and achievement of the contract in jeopardy,
  • Not achieving funding targets, leading to lower than budgeted management fees and reductions in future allocation,
  • Underestimating the costs of administering the provision and contract,
  • Competing for learners with other contracted provision,
  • Failing to complete within the contract period, leaving learners on-programme,
  • Failing to adhere to General Data Protection Regulations,
  • Staff turnover of the subcontractor, affecting their capacity to deliver to the contract,
  • Risks associated with health and safety, safeguarding, Prevent or equality and diversity issues,
  • Negative publicity associated with the subcontractor.

In order to mitigate these risks a full risk-register will be maintained at all times, updated along the full journey and an escalation log for concerns will be implemented for use to drive continuous improvement.

 

2.4    AUDIT AND DATA

A key element of the audit trail is the process undertaken to subcontract with a subcontractor. The following evidence is required:

  • Details of subcontract
    • What is the nature of the provision and the contractual relationship involved?
  • Data sharing protocols
    • Ensuring SCL and the Education and Skills Funding Agency have access to all information,
    • Ensuring that the subcontractor compliances with all Data Protection Legislation.

SCL and the Education and Skills Funding Agency have the right to audit all documentation in relation to the subcontracted provision. A satisfactory audit is essential to avoid loss of funding through claw back or termination of contracts. SCL’s audit principles include:

  • 100% audit of all starts and leavers, whether negative or completions,
  • A sample of mid-point funding audits,
  • Data auditing tools to used to test integrity of data submitted by the subcontractor.

Controls to ensure no double funding include:

  • Gaining information on other prime contractors at due diligence stage,
  • Regular (monthly) testing (PDSAT evaluation monthly),
  • Communicating with any other Prime contractors the subcontractor is working with.

 

SECTION THREE

3.1    CONTRACTS

SCL must not make artificial distinctions or distortions when describing delivery arrangements in order to avoid the application of the subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022.

  • In accordance with SCL’s ESFA agreement SCL must not enter into any agreement for brokerage.
  • SCL must only award subcontracts for delivery of ESFA funded provision to legal entities. If the legal entity is a registered company, it must be recorded as ‘active’ on the Companies House database. Subcontractors must register on the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP) and hold a valid UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) to be eligible to receive funding from the ESFA, either directly or through a subcontracting arrangement.
  • SCL must not agree the use of any subcontractor where this would require SCL to effectively subcontract ESFA funding to a second level of subcontractor. In other words, all subcontractors must have a direct subcontract with SCL.
  • SCL may have more than one subcontractor, but each subcontractor must have a direct subcontract with you. The restriction on the level of subcontracting is in place to ensure that:
    • Lead providers retain clear and transparent accountability for the quality of training provision,
    • Proper and appropriate controls are in place to manage the learner experience,
    • Value for money is achieved by mitigating funding being utilised for multiple tiers of subcontractor management.

SCL must make sure that learners supported through subcontracting arrangements know about you and your subcontractors roles and responsibilities in providing the learning.

 

Terms that must be included in contracts with subcontractors.

Before any subcontractor starts delivery of the subcontracted provision, the subcontractor must have a legally binding written subcontract with SCL.

The subcontract must entitle SCL to exercise management controls over the subcontractor’s activity including access by auditors appointed by either SCL or the ESFA. The following paragraphs set out some provisions which must be included in each subcontract.

  • A list of all services SCL will provide to subcontractor and the associated costs for doing so. This must include:
    • a list of individually itemised, specific costs that SCL will charge for managing the subcontractor and how these are reasonable and proportionate to the delivery of subcontracted provision,
    • Specific costs for quality monitoring activities and specific costs for any other support activities offered by SCL to the subcontractor and how these contribute to the delivery of high-quality learning,
    • Reference to SCL’s delivery subcontracting policy, including SCL’s rationale for subcontracting and where it can be found on SCL’s website,
    • A requirement to give the ESFA and any other person nominated in writing by ESFA, access to its premises and to all documents related to the subcontracted delivery,
    • The subcontractor must be under an obligation to provide SCL with ILR data so that SCL’s data returns to ESFA accurately reflect the subcontractor’s delivery information,
  • The subcontractor must provide SCL with sufficient evidence to allow SCL to:
    • Assess its performance against Ofsted’s Education inspection framework,
    • Incorporate the evidence it provides SCL with into SCL’s self–assessment report; and guide the judgements and grades within SCL’s self-assessment report
  • The subcontractor must always have suitably qualified staff available to provide the education and training funded by ESFA,
  • The subcontractor must co-operate with SCL if the subcontract ends for any reason to make sure that there is continuity of learning,
  • The subcontractor must tell SCL if evidence of irregular financial or delivery issues arise. This could include, but is not limited to:
    • non-delivery of training when funds have been paid,
    • sanctions imposed by an awarding organisation,
    • allegations of fraud,
    • an inadequate Ofsted grade,
    • allegations or complaints by learners, staff members, or other relevant parties.
  • The subcontractor must not use ESFA funding to make bids for, or claims from, any European funding on its own behalf or on behalf of ESFA,
  • The subcontractor must be bound by ESF clauses from SCL’s contract being included in the subcontract, even if the provision being subcontracted is not funded by the ESF,
  • The subcontractor must not use ESFA funding as match funding for ESF projects,
  • SCL must make sure it’s subcontractors comply with the requirements set out in the Subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022
  • SCL must ensure it includes in the subcontract provisions that enable SCL to terminate the subcontract should the subcontractor fail to meet the required due diligence or financial health requirements/standards,
  • SCL must ensure that it includes in the subcontract provisions which require the subcontractor to inform SCL of any changes which impact its ability to meet the due diligence or financial health/require standards required and that SCL may as a result be required to terminate the subcontract with them,
  • SCL should take its own legal advice about how best to incorporate these provisions and wider terms and conditions in your subcontracts.

 

3.2    MANAGEMENT FEES

As part of SCL funding agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, SCL are required to publish details of subcontracting arrangements by completing the ‘Declaration of Subcontractors’ return, including details of the management fees charged to subcontracting partners.

Management fees will be set according to the level of risk associated with the subcontractor. This is shown in the table below, and the fees need to be broken down further as per the Main Contract (the table and then a percentage fee against each line).

All partners will have a standard ‘Invoice Profile’ prepared, detailing the payment amounts, payment dates, invoicing requirements and how to deal with disputed invoices.

 

PERFORMANCE INDICATOR RISK RATING SCORE
Low Medium High Not Measurable
1 2 3 3
Delivery Experience of the Subcontractor – Delivering the same or similar qualifications to Contract More than 5 Full Years 2 to 5 Full Years Less than 2 Full Years Not Measurable
Most Recent Ofsted or SAR Grading (SAR Grading Subject to Validation) Grade 1 or 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 No Ofsted Grading or SAR Process
Previous Years Success Rates – All Qualifications (Against National Benchmark) 3% or More Above National Benchmark Within + or = 2% of National Benchmark More than 2% Below National Benchmark No Previous Success Rates
Type of Provision and Experience of Contract  Qualifications Delivers or has Experience of the Same/Similar Qualifications or Learner Type/Funding Stream Previous/Current Experience of Managing Same/Similar Qualifications or Learner Type/Funding Stream No Previous/Current Experience with Qualifications or Learner Type, Funding Stream at Risk, Delivery is Out of LEP Areas and/or Difficult Client Group Not Measurable
Audit and QA Measures (Learner Eligibility, Observations etc) Compliant and No Actions or Recommendations Mainly Compliant, Recommendations for Improvement and Changes Implemented Non-Compliant, Recommendations for Improvement and/or Changes not Quickly Implemented New Provision – No Previous Audit
Paperwork and Communications (Based on, but not Limited to, the Grouped Examples Listed) Fully Completed and Accurate Paperwork, Timely Changes and Achievements, Minimal Monitoring Required, Few Queries and Responsive Communication Generally Accurate Paperwork, Changes and Achievements Received, Monitoring Required, Some Queries and Average Communication Inaccurate Paperwork, Changes and Achievements Not Received, Constant Monitoring Required, Many Queries and Poor Communication New Provision – No Paperwork Received

 

Risk against scoring

Overall score Risk rating Fee – %
6-9 Low 10
10-14 Medium 15
15-18 High 20

 

 

3.3    HEALTH AND SAFETY, SAFEGUARDING AND EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

SCL requires that:

  • Subcontracted provision sets appropriate standards for health and safety, safeguarding of learners and equality and diversity. This provision will be assessed.

To ensure the subcontractor complies with this, SCL will implement the following:

  • Subcontractors will be asked to supply a copy of their Health & Safety Policy,
  • Subcontractors will be asked to supply a copy of their Equality & Diversity Policy,
  • Subcontractors will be sent SCL’s Safeguarding and Prevent Policy and will ask for written confirmation that they accept the terms contained in this,
  • The contract will contain explicit reference to ED&I policies, Safeguarding, Prevent and DBS Checks,
  • All on-site assessments (Quality Assurance, Audit and Contractual) will record compliance to these key policies as part of the assessment process
  • All staff employed by the Subcontractor are expected to undertake DBS Checks, annual safeguarding training, training on Prevent and Fundamental British Values – The subcontractor will notify SCL of its internal DSL and DDSL to enhance safeguarding for all learners

 

3.4    COMMUNICATION STRATEGY

The main principles of communicating with sub-contractors are:

  • Schedule of regular meetings set up,
  • Subcontractor provides a named contact to SCL of a senior person,
  • Notes / minutes of meetings kept on file and shared with the subcontractor,
  • Records of e-mails, correspondence etc kept on file,
  • Notes from audit / monitoring visits kept on file and shared with subcontractor.

 

The table below illustrates the main contact points for sub-contractors:

 

Purpose Contact
Main contact for day-to-day enquiries MIS Administration – mis.admin@wearescl.co.uk

Head of MIS (Andrea Deckers) – andrea.deckers@wearescl.co.uk

Queries regarding audit MIS Administration – mis.admin@wearescl.co.uk

Head of MIS (Andrea Deckers) – andrea.deckers@wearescl.co.uk

Requests for PLR / Initial Assessment MIS Administration – mis.admin@wearescl.co.uk
Contract issues Group Director of Quality, Kate Lou, for Study Programme or Head of Employability, Josh Hill, for SCL Professional & Traineeships
Due-diligence, initial set up and contract queries Group Director of Quality for Study Programme (Kate Lou) kate.lou@wearescl.co.uk or Head of Employability for SCL Professional & Traineeships (Josh Hill) josh.hill@wearescl.co.uk
Queries with regards to finance / invoicing Head of Finance (James Field)

james.field@wearescl.co.uk

0345 644 5747

Curriculum advice, guidance, quality assurance Study Programme –

Ibrahim Jogee

ibrahim.jogee@wearescl.co.uk

07776691951

SCL Professional & Traineeships –

holly.street@wearescl.co.uk

07425649550

Monitoring of Safeguarding log and interventions/actions Safeguarding and Prevent Manager (Joanne Collier) joanne.collier@wearescl.co.uk

07425347364

Complaints Group Director of Quality (Kate Lou)

kate.lou@wearescl.co.uk

07765254109

 

SECTION FOUR

4.1    QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCESSES

Audit

SCL carries out a full funding audit on all learner documentation received. Audit errors will be highlighted to the Subcontractor and SCL may not process paperwork that has audit errors associated with it until these are resolved.

The final decision on processing of data sits with the Head of MIS and will be based on risk. Paperwork that includes audit errors placing funds at risk will be automatically held for resolution.

The depth and frequency of audit visits will be based upon the risk level of the subcontractor but at least annually and will include:

  • A discussion with tutors/trainers,
  • A discussion with learners,
  • Checks on registers / attendance,
  • Checks on adequacy of resources,
  • Tracking of learner progress.

The main areas that form part of the audit will be shared with the Subcontractor at the beginning of the contract and all audits will be followed up with a report within 2 weeks.

 

Internal Quality Assurance of Qualifications

SCL expects that the Subcontractor to be approved with any relevant Awarding Organisation and make arrangements for the Registration, Internal Quality Assurance, External Quality Assurance and Certification of the learners being subcontracted, this will be validated and audited to ensure a fit for purpose provision against all relevant rules.

SCL are able to provide these services at an additional agreed cost to the published management fees.

Where SCL carries out the Internal Quality Assurance of Qualifications for the Subcontractor SCL will apply a rationale consistent with SCL’s Quality Assurance Processes. A copy of this will be provided to Subcontractors when contracts are agreed.

 

Observation of Delivery

SCL will carry out observation of programme delivery with Subcontractors using the rationale set out in SCL’s policy for Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment.

Observations may be pre-arranged or unannounced. The Subcontractor is required to provide SCL with a schedule of contact / teaching on a monthly basis to allow SCL to make provision for Observations. SCL’s OTLA Policy will be provided to Sub-Contractors when contracts are agreed.

SCL’s Quality Leads, Quality Specialists or Curriculum Specialist will carry out Observations.

 

Staff

Staff CVs will be provided to SCL at the commencement of the contract.

Teaching staff should be qualified teachers or working towards a teaching qualification in accordance with sector requirements. Similarly, staff involved in assessing learners should have the recognised Assessor Award or equivalent (as per the assessment strategy of the qualification being assessed) or be working towards that Award and achieve it within 18 months of the start of the contract.

Staff having internal Quality Assurance or lead assessing duties should have a CAVA Level 4 or equivalent or be working towards that award and achieve it within 18 months of the start of the contract.

Copies of teaching staff CPD will be provided to SCL quarterly as per SCL’s self-assessment schedule.

Copies of DBS checks for all staff should be made available to SCL for inclusion on the Single Record.

 

Quality Standards

  • SCL will agree performance targets for retention and achievement rates with the Subcontractor on an annual basis and these will be monitored monthly,
  • If the Subcontractor falls below the agreed performance targets, then SCL may provide early intervention with a notice to improve,
  • The Subcontractor will operate an effective monitoring policy approved by us or alternatively adopt SCL’s monitoring requirements,
  • Copies of EQA reports must be provided to SCL’s Director of Quality together with any action plans immediately on receipt,
  • The Subcontractor must have effective appeal and complaints procedures approved by SCL and is current on their website,
  • The Subcontractor must operate a system of observation of teaching, learning and assessment that includes actions plans for improvement. This system will be approved by SCL and copies will be submitted to SCL upon completion,
  • Team/staff meetings must take place regularly and formal minutes kept,
  • The subcontractor will produce an annual Self-Assessment Report (SAR) and Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) plan in accordance with SCL’s requirements,
  • The Subcontractor must ensure their provision meets all Ofsted requirements and work with SCL to achieve at least a Good grade.

 

Learner and Employer Voice

The learner and employer (if applicable) voice will be captured using the mechanisms outlined in SCL’s Feedback Policy that will be provided to the Subcontractor upon agreement of the contract.

These mechanisms include on-line surveys, on-programme and end of programme evaluations, focus groups and learner forums.

The Subcontractor will provide copies of any learner and employer feedback they gather to the Director of Quality for Study Programme or Head of Employability for SCL Professional & Traineeships.

 

4.2          KEY STAFF

Staff Member Responsibility Contact
Kate Lou Contract performance management Kate.lou@wearescl.co.uk

07765254109

Josh Hill Contract performance management josh.hill@wearescl.co.uk

07500370875

Ibrahim Jogee SCL Education (Study Programme) Quality Manager – IQA and Curriculum ibrahim.jogee@wearescl.co.uk

07776691951

Holly Street SCL Professional Quality Manager – IQA and Curriculum holly.street@wearescl.co.uk

07425649550

Becky Vallely Quality Improvement, observations, quality monitoring becky.vallely@wearescl.co.uk

07384812925

Adam Peters Curriculum design and innovation, observations, quality monitoring adam.peters@wearescl.co.uk

07741909035

Lucy Hagger MIS Administration lucy.hagger@wearescl.co.uk

 

4.3    MONITORING AND REVIEW PROCESS

The monitoring and review cycle will ensure a process of continuous improvement, allowing SCL and the Subcontractor to have an open and honest approach to managing the quality of provision throughout the life of the contract.

 

 

SCL are responsible for the actions of the subcontractors connected to, or arising out of, the delivery of the services, which SCL subcontract. If the subcontractor fails to deliver, SCL will be responsible for making alternative arrangements for the delivery of education and training, protecting the audit trail, and/or repaying ESFA or ESF funding.

SCL must manage and monitor all each subcontractor to ensure that high-quality delivery is taking place that meets the requirements of the contract SCL have entered into with ESFA for the provision of ESFA funded delivery (which includes compliance with ESFA funding rules). SCL must ensure safeguarding is rigorously policed, and is inclusive of Prevent

It is not acceptable for any staff with a direct or indirect financial interest in the subcontractor to undertake any management control activities This includes signing time sheets or invoices, as well as organising and/or carrying out monitoring activity or visits to check the subcontractor delivery.

SCL must carry out a regular and substantial programme of quality assurance checks on the education and training provided by subcontractors including spot checks and face to face interviews with staff and learners. The programme must:

  • Include verifying that learners exist and meet the eligibility criteria for ESFA Funding,
  • Involve direct observation of initial guidance, assessment and delivery of learning programmes, training and/or direct observation of assessment.

The findings of SCL’s assurance checks must be consistent with SCL’s expectations and the subcontractor’s records.

The prevent duty applies to subcontracted provision. It requires providers to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. All further education providers must comply with relevant legislation and any statutory responsibilities associated with the delivery of education and safeguarding of students, and this includes students receiving provision under a subcontracting arrangement.

 

SECTION 5

Termination of Sub-Contracted Provision & MANAGEMENT OF DISPUTES

Disputes

Provision for resolving disputes is contained within the overall Main Contract. This sets out how disputes will be resolved and the escalation procedures.

Termination:

Provision for termination of a contract is contained in the Main Contract.

The process for resolving disputes / terminating contracts is shown below:

 

 

 

SECTION 6

Subcontracting reporting and external audit requirements

SCL must record subcontracted provision in-line with the published guidance for the school census and the individualised learner record (ILR) data returns.

If SCL returns ILR data, in accordance with SCL’s ESFA contract (s) SCL must submit a fully completed subcontractor declaration by the dates given by the ESFA. This will be at least twice during the funding year. If there is no subcontracting SCL must still provide a nil return to confirm this.

SCL must also update SCL’s subcontractor declaration if the subcontracting arrangements change during the year. This is done via MyESF account.

In accordance with SCL’s ESFA contract(s), SCL must obtain an annual report from an external auditor if the aggregate total of all subcontractors delivering ESFA funded provision on SCL’s behalf exceeds or is anticipated to exceed £100,000 in any single funding year. Whilst otherwise excluded from this, for the purposes of calculation of aggregate total of subcontractor delivery SCL must include delivery of apprenticeships.

SCL must supply the ESFA with both a report and certificate signed by an external auditor that provides assurance on the arrangements to manage and control your delivery subcontractors. SCL must send a copy of the external auditor’s final report including the action plan of agreed recommendations and certificate via ESFA Document Exchange or by email to subcontracting.requirements@education.gov.uk. The ESFA will review this as part of their overall assurance arrangements.

 

SECTION 7

ESFA Annex ’s for Subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/subcontracting-funding-rules-for-esfa-funded-post-16-funding-excluding-apprenticeships/subcontracting-funding-rules-for-esfa-funded-post-16-funding-excluding-apprenticeships#selection-and-procurement-of-your-subcontractors

SCL must refer to the applicable annex for the subcontracted provision.

 

SECTION 8

Monitoring of subcontractors and subcontracted provision.

In addition to the measures detailed above and to the ESFA’s Subcontracting funding rules for ESFA funded post-16 funding (excluding apprenticeships) 2021 to 2022 and SCL’s contract, SCL must monitor their subcontractors to ensure that learners have full access to free funded education and training, including (but not limited to) information about and access to,16 to 19 bursary and other student support funding, information, advice, and guidance (IAG) and access to learning support if required.

Controls over students, tutors, and provision.

SCL must be able to demonstrate that SCL exercises all the following key controls:

  • SCL can enrol or reject learners as SCL would do if the learners were to be taught on SCL’s own site,
  • Learners sign a learning agreement at the time of enrolment; the agreement must reflect the outcome of initial guidance and assessment for an individual student and set out their study programme and any learning support to be provided,
  • Learners’ eligibility for ESFA funding is confirmed through an enrolment form and/or learning agreement, which must include SCL’s name and logo, and which is signed by the Learner at the start of their programme,
  • A learning programme and its means of delivery has been clearly specified by SCL,
  • There are arrangements for assessing the progress of individual learners,
  • There are procedures for SCL to regularly monitor the delivery of programmes provided in SCL’s name throughout the period of the programme.

 

Subcontractors with contracts with multiple institutions:

  • SCL must establish whether any of SCL’s subcontractors work with other directly funded ESFA lead providers,
  • 1 – SCL must make sure that they are the only provider that is claiming ESFA funding for the learners that SCL are claiming funding for. Learners must not be enrolled at more than one directly funded ESFA provider,
  • 2 – SCL, as the lead provider must claim all the funding for an ESFA-funded learner. When a learner is attending different directly funded providers for different components of their programme of study, the lead provider must record all these components and indicate on the individualised learner record or school census which elements are delivered via a subcontracting arrangement,
  • All individual students must have the correct unique learner number recorded,
  • An exception to rules 1 and 2 directly above is where a learner is enrolled on a Diploma in Sporting Excellence in addition to their main study programme.

 

Distance subcontracted delivery:

  • Only in exceptional circumstances should institutions make subcontracting arrangements for delivery outside their normal recruitment area. (‘normal recruitment area’ is defined in the funding regulations guidance).
  • SCL must seek approval to continue with or embark on new arrangements for distance subcontracting. Further details including what to include in the request and where to send it is available in the link below:
  • Where SCL enters into distance subcontracting relationships, SCL must exercise the same level of management, control, safeguarding of learners and assure SCL still meets all necessary rules.