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.
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 email@example.com 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 responsbilities 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.
Work with your employers to advertise their Modern Apprenticeship vacancies on Apprenticeships.scot, free of charge. Start by creating your Apprenticeships.scot account.
Support diversity and inclusion
We have resources to help providers and employers support diversity and attract a diverse range of applicants.
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
We have a short welcome guide – Supporting your employee or apprentice – which helps ease first-day nerves for apprentices. It tells you what to do before they start and on their first day.
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:
widen access to opportunities for under-represented groups
There may be extra funding if apprentices are disabled or care-experienced. To claim, the apprentice has to voluntarily declare if they're disabled or care-experienced.
Discuss with the apprentice and employer whether the apprentice can apply for Access to Work funds.
Find all funding information on the Funding forms and guidance page.
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.
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:
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.
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:
the evidence needed for each claim
Check out the Payment Plan Milestone Evidence and other useful documents in the MA Programme rules 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
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
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.
The Apprentice Transition Plan (ATP) service can help Modern Apprentices find new work or move to further learning. The service can help if:
the apprentice had been registered in FIPS
their employment status changed on or after 1 April 2022 because of redundancy
Apprentices who agree to take part in the ATP service will get support from you. You'll help them create an individual plan that will quantify and credit their learning and experience. The aim is to optimise their chances of moving into a positive destination.
Find more on the ATP Service
You should keep supporting apprentices to look for employment. Work with the relevant Sector Skills organisations and employers to find opportunities.
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.
Need more information about Modern Apprenticeships? Get an overview here and find useful resources and publications.