Your Modern Apprenticeship contract

You've got a contract as a learning provider for Modern Apprenticeships - what's next? We've got all the information and guidance to help you deliver it.


Getting started

Access FIPS

If you're a new provider you’ll need a licence agreement for Funding and Information Processing System (FIPS). You'll be given this when you receive your contract.

Give Skills Development Scotland (SDS) details of users who need to access and use FIPS. Do this by completing the 'FIPS User Access Permission Application Form – New Training Providers'. You'll find this in the FIPS User Access section. Send the form to and they'll give a username and password to each user.

New Supplier form

If you're a new supplier to SDS you'll need an SDS creditor code before you deliver training. You'll get one by completing the New Supplier form which we'll email to you with your contract.

Once we receive it, your organisation will get a creditor code on our finance systems. This code will be attached to your contract in FIPS, which allows payments to be processed.

Activating your contract

We activate contracts for learning providers only when the contracts are signed and returned to SDS. This will happen at the beginning of the new contract year.

Skills Development Scotland will allocate you a Skills Investment Adviser (SIA). They'll contact you to help get started with your contract. Your SIA will help you:

  • get the documents and information you need for your contract

  • understand your roles and responsibilities for delivering the MA Programme

  • understand your employers' roles and responsibilities

  • understand and apply the MA Conditions, Specification and appendices to deliver the programme



These steps will help start your recruitment process for the MA programme and prepare for training delivery.

Advertise vacancies

Work with your employers to advertise their Modern Apprenticeship vacancies on, free of charge. Start by creating your account.

Support diversity and inclusion

We have resources to help providers and employers support diversity and attract a diverse range of applicants. Check out the inclusive recruitment guides on the Employer Hub.

Check what's happening locally

Read the local authority equality summaries to find your local statistics. They show equality information by local authority for Modern Apprenticeship starts in a specific year.

Free marketing resources

Colourful and engaging marketing resources you can use in your social media channels, engagements, documents and information packs. They include images, video clips and presentations to help you promote apprenticeships to candidates.

Before they sign up, do mandatory checks

You must check the participant is eligible to join the approved Modern Apprenticeship framework. Make sure they meet all the eligibility criteria set out in the MA Specification.

Check the candidate number

Make sure they have a Scottish Candidate Number if they’re on a course accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Welcoming your apprentice 

Check out Step 4 of the Inclusive Recruitment guides, for advice on helping ease first-day nerves for apprentices. It tells you what to do before they start and on their first day. 

Monitoring equality

Each apprentice must complete an Equality Monitoring Form. SDS has a legal duty to make sure our services are inclusive and can be accessed by a diverse range of individuals.

We also have a duty to make sure we support care-experienced young people. As part of these duties, we monitor how our services are being used. That means we can identify and address any under-representation of particular groups.

Providers can use the information to:

  • improve delivery

  • widen access to opportunities for under-represented groups


Extra funding

There may be extra funding if apprentices are disabled or have a physical or mental health condition.

Discuss with the apprentice and employer whether the apprentice can apply for Access to Work funding. This can help support individuals that have physical or mental health conditions to get to and stay in work.

Find all funding information on the Funding forms and guidance page.

Training agreement

Has the participant has met all the eligibility criteria set out in the MA Specification? Have you carried out an initial assessment and learning plan? Now each apprentice needs to complete a Training Agreement (TA). The employer, the apprentice and you need to discuss this in full and sign it. 

Keep the TA and enter the apprentice's details on FIPS. This should be within 4 weeks of the start date.  Once it's approved on FIPS the apprentice is registered with SDS.

Training delivery

When apprentices start their training, keep up to date with them through reviews and assessments.

Your Skills Investment Adviser (SIA) will contact you regularly to review how you’re delivering your training. They'll also get feedback from apprentices and employers who work with you.

Throughout the contract term, you need to tell us immediately about anything that might affect the contract. This could be changes to:

  • sub-contractors

  • signatories

  • users

  • awarding body approvals


Keep funding information up to date

Keep all your information up to date on the Funding Information and Processing System (FIPS). Your SIA will show you how to confirm the Modern Apprenticeships starts, milestones and outcome.

Each participant gets a notification through FIPS asking them to confirm their registration. If they do not do this, SDS will suspend their registration as a Modern Apprentice. Find out more about this in our FIPS guidance.

Claim payments

Check out our FIPS guides and training videos so you know how to manage and claim payments. These resources show you how to:

  • use the system

  • enter a new Modern Apprenticeship start

  • claim progress and achievement payments

How to claim a milestone and completion payment 

You can claim milestone payments when you meet all the obligations of the MA Provider Contract.

Apprentices will get a text message or email asking them to validate each milestone claim you make. This validation process is mandatory.

You need to register each apprentice with:

  • an awarding body

  • a Sector Skills organisation

The apprentice must be registered with the right group award and units. Each part of the qualification, broken down in the payment plan, needs to meet the requirements of the awarding body. Your Compliance Executive can provide guidance and information on:

  • making claims

  • the evidence needed for each claim

Check out the Payment Plan Milestone Evidence and other useful documents in the MA Programme Rules and Information page.

Report on progress

You have to carry out Apprentice Progress Reviews (APRs) with the apprentice and employer at least every 13 weeks. This happens for the whole apprenticeship and until the apprentice's leaving date is recorded and evidenced on FIPS.

As soon as the apprentice finishes each milestone, submit their unit achievement to the awarding body database or system. Submit your evidence and claims to SDS as soon as possible. Read more about this in the Modern Apprenticeship Programme Conditions.

The APR is mandatory for all apprentices and all Modern Apprenticeship frameworks. What you record should:

  • relate to the activity at the initial assessment and learning plan

  • act as a review against the findings, with a focus on the goals and objectives in their learning plan​

See the Work Based Learning Quality Assurance & Improvement Hub development resources for more detailed information on:

  • apprentice progress reviews

  • initial assessment

  • the learning plan

Apprenticeship completion or stopping

When an apprentice completes the apprenticeship, you should show evidence:

  • from the Sector Skills organisation that the participant has completed the MA

  • of the full qualification from the awarding body, before the last payment happens

If an apprentice leaves

If a participant leaves the apprenticeship for any reason, enter the details in FIPS at once. Read more information in our FIPS guidance. 

Also enter their unit achievement to the correct awarding body database or system. This must be done as soon as possible and no later than 4 weeks after the apprentice’s leaving date. 

Supporting apprentices in redundancy

Redundancy is a challenging time and it's important to provide support. 

If an apprentice is made redundant, enter their leaving details in FIPS at once. This triggers extra SDS support.

You should keep supporting apprentices to look for employment. Work with the relevant Sector Skills organisations and employers to find opportunities. There's redundancy support for employees on My World of Work, too.

Unexpected interruptions 

Sometimes circumstances mean a participant needs to put their apprenticeship on hold. If their training gets interrupted for any reason, tell your Skills Investment Adviser.

Documents you'll need

Our Modern Apprenticeship Programme Rules page has all the documents you need for delivery.

Got any questions?

For more information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions for learning providers. Or you can call our SDS helpline on 0800 783 6000.


Guidance for learning providers

Not at the contract stage yet? Read our guidance to get started as a learning provider of Modern Apprenticeships.



Modern Apprenticeships

Need more information about Modern Apprenticeships? Get an overview here and find useful resources and publications.