Coronavirus update/alternative arrangements for 2020/21

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Coronavirus update for customers

NOCN Group offers a wide range of services including regulated qualifications, EPA for apprenticeships, Job Cards in construction, Access to HE Diplomas, bespoke accreditation, and educational and skills support training.

As you will be aware the government imposed a third national lockdown from Tuesday 5th January 2021. You will find out more operational detail on the implications for each of these services through the following links:

Please note that NOCN Group will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA Regulation, QAA, and Qualifications Wales, and will update our customers as things change.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss the impact on your centre, apprentices or learners please contact us on or 0300 999 1177.

Update 29th March 2021

On 24th March, Ofqual published the VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF) which allows NOCN to provide centres with awarding arrangements for learners who have had their training and assessment disrupted in 2021. To view more information on the arrangements in place by NOCN, please click here.

Using Xbox to Access Online Learning

It is possible for learners to access their online work from home using a gaming console. For guidance on how to do this please download the document here.

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Apprenticeship Funding

Funding for apprenticeships is available for employers, the amount of funding available is dependent if the employer pays levy or not.

The information on this page is for England only, if you have questions about apprenticeship funding in Scotland Wales or Northern Ireland please contact our Business Development Team.  For End Point Assessment fees please see our EPA Tariff.

Levy-paying employers

Employers with a pay bill of £3 million or more will pay an apprenticeship levy.  Using the Apprenticeship Service the can access these funds for apprenticeship training and development in their own organisation.  If they do not use the levy funds within two years then it goes back to the Government.  However, if they use all their levy and want to train more apprentices, they'll pay for them using the same model as an SME.

The levy is collected by HMRC via the PAYE process.  There is a £15,000 allowance and the Government will top-up monthly funds for apprenticeship training by 10%.  No employer is exempt.

Employers control where they spend their apprenticeship funding.  The providers will get that money through their monthly Individualised Learner Record (ILR) return.

Non-levy paying employers

SMEs with a pay bill under £3 million contribute 10% of the total apprenticeship cost and the Government pays the remaining 90%.  The same model is used for levy-paying employers who have exhausted their levy funds.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees, training 16-18 year-old apprentices will receive 100% of the funding from the Government.

More information regarding the levy and employer contributions can be found on the website.

What is the Apprenticeship Service?

The Apprenticeship Service is a government portal for employers to:

  • Access apprenticeship levy funds and account balance
  • Find and manage training providers
  • Manage their apprenticeships
  • Manage apprentice recruitment

Login or sign up to the Apprenticeship Service.

Apprenticeship Funding Bands

There are 30 funding bands available from £1,500 - £27,000.  Each band is the maximum funding amount the Government believes is required for training and assessment of apprentices.  However, the funding band maximum is not the funding rate.  Employers should negotiate with training providers and EPAOs and agree on a suitable price. If the costs of training and assessment go over the funding band maximum, employers will need to pay the difference with other funds.

Math & English Funding

Depending on prior achievements and the requirement of the standard apprentices must be given Maths & English support. 

This is not funding via the levy, but funding by the Government directly to training providers.  Find out more about 16-19 Learning & Skills Funding, and the Adult Education Budget which can be utilised for Maths & English.