Apprenticeships funded from May will be included in the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s 2016-17 audit programme, FE Week can reveal.
Annual ESFA financial assurance audits take place shortly after the end of the academic year, typically between mid-August and the end of October, and for the first time will include a separate section for apprentices recruited from May.
Click here to see the detail within the relevant ESFA audit working papers.
For the first time, ESFA-appointed auditors will be seeking evidence of payments from employers to providers. In section eight, the auditor must answer the following question: “Where the employer or training provider are required to make payments, does evidence exist that the payments have been made?”
An employer payment must be “evidenced by a transfer of funding visible in the provider’s (or subcontractor’s) financial systems; this will typically be in the form of a provider invoice and corresponding employer payment for a provider. For employer-providers, they must evidence how the costs are calculated.”
At the present time these audit working papers can only be accessed when producing a sample report from the Provider Data Self-Assessment Toolkit (PDSAT).
The PDSAT software is used by the ESFA-appointed auditors to check the credibility of provider data, but providers are also expected to use it regularly.
Five new reports have been added to PDSAT (see below), with a particular focus on the negotiated price, additional payments and co-investment.