Changes to the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS)

  • Posted by: Kat Oakley
Digital Apprenticeship Service, empentis, training, levy, apprenticeship, apprentice, apprenticeship levy

Changes to the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS)

What is the Digital Apprenticeship Service?

The Digital Apprenticeship Service was introduced in February 2017 as part of the apprenticeship reforms. It is a website built for employers to manage levy payments, access funds, and search for training providers all in one place. It is for levy-paying employers – businesses with a wage bill over £3 million.

Employers can spend their allowance on training from an approved training provider, this allowance can be used to train new and existing employees. It also allows employers to choose the type of apprenticeships they want to run, the number of apprentices they want to train, view all apprenticeship standards ready for delivery, browse training providers, and access any available funding.

What are the changes to the Digital Apprenticeship Service?

From January 2020 the government is changing the way they organise apprenticeships. The government will be moving away from Government-procured contracts for apprenticeship training to employers selecting an apprenticeship standard, choose their training provider and securing access to funding for all new apprenticeships through the DAS.

Until autumn 2020, employers will be able to access apprenticeship training through either a training provider with an existing Government contract or via the DAS.

By autumn 2020, the government is aiming for all new apprenticeship starts to be through the DAS.

Do These Changes Effect Non-Levy Paying Employers?

From January 2020, non-levy paying employers will finally be able to create accounts on the DAS and begin arranging their own apprenticeships. These employers will be able to:

  • Choose from a range of apprenticeship standards.
  • Choose a provider from the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) to deliver apprenticeship training.
  • Find an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO).
  • Reserve access to funding for apprenticeship training and assessment.
  • Agree contracts with providers.
  • Benefit from collaborative relationships by delegating permissions to providers to service their accounts.

What is “Reserve my Funding”?

Non-levy paying employers can now reserve funding for an apprenticeship in advance of recruitment or an offer of an apprenticeship through a new mechanism called “reserve my funding”.

Reserving funding ensures that employers can plan ahead and funds will be available to pay for the training when the apprenticeship starts. Employers must then turn this ‘reservation’ into a ‘commitment’ once training provider and apprentice are confirmed. When a commitment has been made, funding can be released to the training provider.

To ensure that the DAS is meeting the needs of users and that the programme overall remains affordable, there will initially be the following constraints:

  • Employers can only reserve funding for apprenticeship standards.
  • Employers can only make reservations for up to three apprenticeship starts.

Who Can Apply For Reserve Funding?

The following can apply for reservations:

  • Employers who don’t pay the apprenticeship levy.
  • Apprenticeship starts on or after 1 January 2020.
  • Funding for apprenticeship standards only.
  • Apprenticeships with main providers listed on the RoATP.

The following cannot apply for reservations:

  • Funding for apprenticeship frameworks.
  • Apprenticeship starts starting before 1 January 2020.
  • Apprenticeships arranged, and funded, through contracted training provision. An apprentice cannot be funded through both reservations, and via contracted provision, for the same apprenticeship.
Author: Kat Oakley