Subcontract Policy 2021-12-13T11:15:54+00:00

Subcontracting Fees and Charges 2021/22


  1. Aim/Scope

This policy applies to all sub-contracting activity that is supported with funds from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) or any successor organisations.

This policy is a mandatory requirement which must be in place prior to the organisation participating in any sub-contracting activity which is funded by the ESFA.

The policy is effective from 1 August 2021.  The content of this policy has been developed in line with the AoC/AELP Common Accord and the ESFA funding rules.

This Policy is published on the Elevated Knowledge website and is reviewed on an annual basis.

  • General Policy statement and objectives

Elevated Knowledge are committed to delivering exceptional standards of learning and to provide a broad offer of learning opportunities and choice to all learners. To support this, we may enter into subcontracted delivery arrangements with high quality organisations to provide specialised and/or niche education routes which complement our existing provision.

Elevated Knowledge will ensure that: –

  • Sub-contracting activities comply with the principles of best practice in the skills sector
  • all learners receive exceptional standards of learning
  • robust due diligence and pre-contract activity assesses the capability, capacity and readiness of the subcontractor to deliver the proposed learning
  • there is a legally binding agreement in place with all sub-contractors
  • Sub-contractors demonstrate value for money and a positive impact on learners and employers
  • the funding retained by Elevated Knowledge will correlate to the costs of the services provided. The rates of such retained funding will be commercially viable for both Elevated Knowledge and the sub-contractors and will be negotiated and agreed in a fair and transparent manner, proportionate to the actual services being provided and will be documented as being justifiable and reasonable
  • Due Diligence

Elevated Knowledge will undertake a robust Due Diligence process including;

  • a financial health assessment
  • safeguarding & prevent
  • quality, ability/expertise to deliver qualifications posed
  • ensuring that the organisation doesn’t fund extremist organisations.

This process will mitigate the risk to Elevated Knowledge and the contracts they may potentially let.

Any subcontractor with proposed values in excess of £100,000 is required to register and pass the ESFA’s Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) before a contract can be issued (for contracts that are in relation to the delivery of apprenticeships).

Further investigations of any subcontractor would be undertaken if any of the following is identified via monitoring or any other means:

  • Ofsted has awarded the provider a Grade 3 or 4
  • Any irregular financial or delivery activity arises such as credit ratings that move to ‘above average risk’.
  • Sanctions are placed on any subcontractor by the awarding organisation
  • Non-delivery of training
  • Failure to meet the performance criteria detailed within the contract
  • Guidelines

4.1 Rationale for Subcontracting

Elevated Knowledge engages with sub-contractors in order to better meet the needs of learners and employers;

Elevated Knowledge currently has only one sub-contractor.

  • University of Northampton – providing a niche and unique approach to provision through Online delivery with tutor support

Reasons for sub-contracting are varied but could include, and are not limited to:-

  • temporary expansion of the provision to meet a short-term need
  • provide immediate provision in response to employer demand whilst expanding direct capacity
  • provide access to, or engage with a new range of customers
  • ensure delivery intent is met
  • provide niche or expert delivery outside of existing direct capacity
  • ensure that access to training facilities are widely available to learners
  • support employers and learners with a wide geographic requirement
  • work with employers in a range of sectors to provide pathways to employment.
  • help employers to recruit and train new staff or provide progressions pathways for existing staff to learn new skills and develop their career and progression.
  • offering flexibility in delivery of provision at times and venues convenient to learners and employers that may be beneficial to disadvantaged groups or learners who may share protected characteristics 
  •  Quality assurance

The Director is responsible for ensuring that high quality provision is delivered by all sub-contractors and has ultimate responsibility for monitoring the quality of this provision.

Elevated Knowledge quality assurance procedures and processes apply to all sub-contracting activities.

Elevated Knowledge will support, develop, and share good practice with all sub-contractors in order to secure continuous improvement through quality reviews, compliance visits, monitoring meetings, observations of teaching and learning and learner and employer feedback.

  •  Management Fees

Elevated Knowledge retain a fee for subcontracting which typically varies between 10% and 20% of all funding received for the provision to be delivered.

The agreed management fee will be dependent upon the activities being undertaken and the level of support required in order to maintain provision of the highest quality.

The fees are applied equally to both on programme and outcome payments, including completing the end point assessment.

Target learner numbers, previous experience, achievement rates and the level of risk determined by the due diligence process will also be taken into consideration when determining the management fee.

  •  Support

The precise support and services that Elevated Knowledge will provide when sub-contracting any element of provision on behalf of an employer will be clearly identified in the procurement and contract phase and may include but not limited to: –

  • Provision of all relevant contract documentation to enable delivery and meet the employer requirements and standards
  • Act as first point of contact between the employer and sub-contractor to address and resolve any potential issues and/or disputes
  • Support, mentor and shadow sub-contractors’ staff to ensure delivery and quality of programme
  • Monitoring of contract performance, to include monthly visits, monthly checking of data and claims, interim support visits, observations of sub-contractor staff.
  • Review of contract quality via quarterly reviews, termly Performance reviews and on-site quality and compliance audits.
  • Support sub-contractors with staff development opportunities, and facilitation of shared good practice opportunities.
  • Agreed Action plans with dates for improvements where necessary
  • A range of management information and performance reports to support the effective and timely delivery of ESFA funded provision;
  • Performance assessment of activities such as teaching, learning & assessment with detailed feedback on improvements identified and timescales for improvements to be implemented;
  • Perform validation checks to ensure compliance with the funding rules outlined by the ESFA).
  • Observation and/or participation in Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) enrolment and examination sessions
  • Inclusion in annual self-assessment process

4.5    Additional Support for Subcontractors.

The precise additional support given to each subcontractor will be negotiated with that subcontractor, but will be based on a ‘risk band’ approach, and may include:

  • Additional site visits
  • Additional lesson observations
  • Additional tutor support
  • Additional internal verification

4.6    Additional Services for Subcontractors.

Elevated Knowledge may also retain funding to cover the cost of any funded activity that it might undertake on behalf of the subcontractor, such as:

  • Awarding Body fees and charges
  • Internal verification
  • Hiring of facilities/equipment
  • Payments

5.1    Payment Terms

The payment terms and evidence requirements are detailed within the appropriate subcontractor’s contract.

Payment processes are compliant with ESFA contractual requirements, and are made monthly in arrears and on an actual basis related to the ILR. This is subject to the subcontractor submitting all required evidence and meeting the compliance checks of Elevated Knowledge.

Elevated Knowledge will provide a monthly claim summary to the subcontractor which sets out the payments for the previous month and details any amounts withheld typically where further evidence is required.

5.2    Funding Data

Data regarding the actual level of funding paid and retained for each sub-contractor will be made available according to the ESFA requirements.

  • Policy Review

This Policy will be reviewed in an annual basis and updated as required

  • Communication

This policy is available on Elevated Knowledge website at htttps://

Potential sub-contractors will be directed to it as a starting point. It will also be referred to with current sub-contractors during review meetings.