Melissa Haase

Apprenticeship BIL



Is it possible to put an apprentice on a BIL after their planned end date?

Thanks in advance


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Ray Davies

I believe not as learning should be completed by this point. They should now engaged on gateway and EPA.

Kelly Knights

As Ray said you can't do this after their planned end date as the purpose of a bil is to pause funding. However theres nothing stopping you actioninng it retrospectively if their their last day in learning was before their planned end date- if its after then unfortunately its a no

Melissa Haase

Thank you both!

Melanie Aspinall


Sorry, why can't you apply the BIL because even though there's no funding left apart from the completion payment, shouldn't we be recording accurate data? If there's no funding to pause, that's fine as the ESFA will never overpay us and you always return the same price as prior to the ILR (in accordance with the funding rules). I don't see why you couldn't accurately record data for reporting purposes by recording a BIL. 



Kelly Knights

Seems I have to eat crow. My colleague who is more knowledgeable then me (clearly) has advised:

has no funding affect, but will stop an auditor trying to look for evidence of them being in learning
Melissa Haaseseems the answer is yes - although I've never done it before

Becky O'Brien

Agree with Melanie, here. 

From an audit POV you'd want to put them on a break so an auditor isn't looking for evidence of them still being in learning. 

From an internal data POV you'd want to know who is currently active.

Where it becomes difficult is if gateway has been triggered. I'm awaiting an answer from ESFA about what to do with some learners who transferred to us after gateway (previous provider went bust). The issue is what to use as the planned end, as that should only be for learning, and they've completed their learning.

Sarah Lane

Hi thought I should share this....

We had put a learner on a BIL after their planned end date and it caused an error when we returned them as the new start/return date was after the new planned end date (this is hard to explain in an email but if you test your dates you will see what I mean; as the new planned end date would have to be the original date with the BIL duration added on so physically can't be after the new start date if that makes sense)

I was recently advised by the ESFA that the BIL is only to pause the funding, but the funding stops at the planned end date so a BIL is not required after this point.  They also noted that they are not currently monitoring QAR's.

I was advised to delete the second period of learning and amend the first to continuing learning (this is only if in the current funding year of course).

You may ask why would an auditor look for evidence of learning after the date if no funding is being drawn down?  perhaps just put an internal file note in the evidence pack?


Melissa Haase

Thank you everyone for your advice!

I've followed it up with the Apprenticeship Service too and they recommended to go through and record the BIL.

Sarah Lane I'll double check and make sure that our learner will finish before the end of the funding year with the break, just in case we end up in the same situation!  Thank you!

Becky O'Brien

Good points, Sarah.

Just going from the documented guidance they give us it's ambiguous (and it seems, looking at Melissa's comment it's also ambiguous from the advice ESFA give). 

I have experienced an audit where learners continuing past their end date were something that was looked at as it can be used to artificially manipulate QARs (In the short term - in the long term your chickens tend to come home to roost). There are PDSATs on the subject, so it's something that they could focus on.

I'm guessing in your example that they had actually completed all the learning, and were awaiting EPA, therefore the planned end (which only pertains to learning) was before the restart date? I'm awaiting ESFA guidance on a related issue (transfer from a defunct provider when all learning is complete), as it's an awkward situation.


If they still have learning left to do, then I see no issue with them going on a break. When they return you can legitimately have a planned end date that is after the restart date/

Agree 100% about at the least having a note & evidence in the file if you don't put them on break.