NHS takes action against Learndirect Apprenticeships

NHS takes action against Learndirect Apprenticeships

Learndirect Apprenticeships Ltd has been removed from part of the purchasing system used by London hospitals, following a joint FE Week and Financial Times investigation.

Last month, FE Week analysis revealed multiple irregularities in a tender application to deliver apprenticeships at a London hospital that was submitted by LDA, a company owned and operated by the owners of Learndirect Ltd since March 2016.

There were at least six potentially misleading claims in the tender, in which LDA appeared to take credit for activities that happened several years before it was even set up, which are understood to have been undertaken by Learndirect Ltd.

After reviewing our findings, the London Procurement Partnership (LPP), which the NHS uses to manage the capital’s dynamic purchasing system (DPS), launched a review of LDA’s position as a provider.

A spokesperson for the partnership told FE Week today that after investigation, LPP had taken the decision to remove LDA from the “leadership and management apprenticeship” category of the DPS.

“Following an enquiry into Learndirect Apprenticeships Ltd’s original application to join the NHS London Procurement Partnership’s apprenticeship training providers DPS, the company has been removed from the Leadership and Management Apprenticeship category, effective 5pm Friday, September 29,” she said.

“The award criteria for the Leadership and Management Apprenticeship category requires bidders to provide published and verified success rates which, upon audit, Learndirect Apprenticeships Ltd has not been able to provide to LPP’s satisfaction.

“At such time as Learn Direct Apprenticeships Ltd can produce published and verified success rates, the company will be entitled to reapply for a place on the DPS.”

The company still remains as a potential bidder for categories on the DPS including Dental Nurses, Digital Services (IT, data analysis), Healthcare Support Services, Healthcare Science, Healthcare Assistant Practitioner, HR and Recruitment.

According to the LPP spokesperson, these categories currently “do not require applicants to provide published success rates as apprenticeships in these sectors have not been available long enough for there to be any statistics at this time”.

She added that LDA’s application for each of these categories “met the criteria, as confirmed during our audit. Consequently there are no grounds under the OJEU rules to remove the company from these categories.”

Learndirect Apprenticeships has been approached for comment.