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Thank you Ben James.
What would our options be if they refused to pay for this?
This particular learner does not have a PLR, so this is our only option to exempt them.
They have scored low on initial assessment so would they be eligible for funding to recomplete? If so the employer does not want to release them to attend learning for this when they have already gained it in the past.
Is our best bet to cover the certificate cost ourselves or can we tell the employer they must release them to recomplete (if I am correct that they are indeed eligible for funding)?
You could refuse to accept them onto the programme if you really wanted to (e.g., if it was an entry condition) or tell them they've got to complete functional skills. It's worth noting that there are other alternatives to getting a replacement certificate, such as getting an email from the awarding organisation or a SIMS/CMIS report from the school/provider that delivered the qualification.
The employer needs to understand that, in the absence of acceptable exemption evidence, the apprentice must complete functional skills if it's required by the standard, and they're compelled to release them to do so. If they want to pay for the replacement certificate to avoid having to release the apprentice for complete english/maths, then happy days.
You'd be eligible to receive funding (broadly) based on what the IA has told you. It's slightly nuanced, but effectively if the IA says they're working towards a particular level, you'll get funding if there's stuff left to teach them to get them up to that level. If they're already at a particular level, you can't have the money but will still need to get them to do the exam and pass it.
Functional Skills replacement certificate cost
The guidance on functional skills acceptable evidence states " the provider can ask the apprentice to get a replacement certificate from the relevant awarding organisation (there will be a cost for this)"
However it is not clear who is responsible for this cost. Can we ask the apprentice to pay for this themselves?