Ruth Canham-James

Apprenticeship Versions

Created

Can anyone help me understand about Standard versions? I've seen so little information come out about this, but now the Apprenticeship Service record can/must include the version. 

From piecing together various bits I can find, only one version exists at a time for brand new starts? There's a particular cut off. Students restarting after a break or change of provider can stay on their original version, even when their start date is after the old version was no longer available. Students can also start on one version, and "transfer" to the newer version mid study, but that we wouldn't record that as a transfer in the ILR, we just leave that as it is, which means a student can be on a version, though their start date is earlier than that version was available? Does the LARS Standard code remain the same? If not, well then surely it has to be a transfer? Also, why would we need to determine the version if that's already determined by the LARS code?

The version isn't a field in the ILR, but it's about to be on DAS. Is that going to be mandatory? What purpose does it serve in DAS, since it can't be matched with ILR data? It just feels like extra confusion and opportunity to make a mistake. I understand that EPAOs need to know which version, as assessments will be different, but they don't use the DAS. Funding guidance says "P320 Where the apprentice is funded through the apprenticeship service, you must use the Standards versioning functionality to assign the apprentice on to the new version. This functionality will be available from September 2021". I hope that's just an option to change a record, not close one and create another.

Is any of this written down anywhere? I've read the apprenticeship funding rules and various other pages, but it doesn't explain very well. The versions aren't on FALA, but appear to be available from https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards. Is 1.1 a whole new version, or a variant of the same version? Looking at the Plaster Standard (not one we do, but an example of a full new version), it has two versions, both with the same ST code, but a different LARS Code. The funding rules say "P319 Where an apprentice is moving versions, there will be no change to how their standard is recorded on the ILR; you must continue to record them on the ILR on the standard that they started on". But won't that then mismatch with the DAS we've had to change? Or do we leave the old LARS code on the DAS, but update the version, which is actually a different LARS code really? Internally, that's confusing for us since we're recording they're on one LARS code, when actually they're on something else, so we'll have to create our own field so we can correctly record their current LARS code so we can report this to the EPAO?

None of it seems to make any sense at all.

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Steveh

I think Plasterer is a *very* weird one cos it was L3 and became L2? So that's not a "normal" reversioning (also it was a while ago)? I certainly wasn't expecting the ILR code to change if the ST code doesn't (at which point it's definitely purely a DAS thing).

Ruth Canham-James

Ah, I missed the level change. There's also "Commercial procurement and supply (formerly Public sector commercial professional)", which didn't change level and did change LARS code. Have we been given any indication about whether LARS codes will be changing for each new version in future, or do we just have to wait and see? It has huge implications on our internal processes, about how we record the correct LARS code and version for the purposes of DAS and letting the EPAO know. If the LARS code changes, then internally I would set up a whole new "course" so the distinction was clear. If the LARS code doesn't change, then I might not because they're identical ILR wise.

If the LARS code will be changing for every new version, then surely the versioning is utterly redundant, as the LARS code does the same job. I'd say that makes me assume the LARS codes won't be changing, but that would be logical. 

Steveh

I mean, the broader question is why there are separate ST codes and ILR codes in the first place...

Paul Taylor

Hi Ruth, 

Not sure if this may help, on IFATE if you scroll to the end of the page within the standard you can see the version control and click for the updates, we sometimes also get updates from our EPAO when changes occur.

If you click on the version number it brings alerts up also: 

The LARS code shouldn't change within the same standard unless the standard is retired and replaced however the assessment plan version can. I assume the funding band document would need effective from / to details (unless they just overwrite with latest information as you can see below the approved delivery date is now the L2 from 18/12/19).

IFATE should provide alert and summary's of changes rather than have to hunt this out. 

Thank , Paul 

Paul Taylor

From reading the new guidance, I also found on IFATE standard revisions list: Revisions status report / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

There is also a section on versions and LARS: Revisions, adjustments and dispensations / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Ruth Canham-James

Thanks Paul, that's really useful! :)

So my next question is, do we need to record the different passive versions on DAS? If so, I know that restarts and change of provider will mean that the version may not match the start date, so can't be "passively inferred".

Also, the above contradicts that fact that there have only been two new active versions so far, and both have kept the same LARS code.

I still find it peculiar that, where a student decides to move to a new active version mid apprenticeship, we are being asked not to update the LARS code. That makes life tricky for us internally if anyone does this, as we need to find another way to keep track of them. It also means the version number won't match the LARS code in the DAS. If we were allowed to change this code mid-apprenticeship, and only the active version is being indicated in DAS, we wouldn't need the version, as the LARS code would do that. I need to ask our teams whether we ever expect this to happen.