Ceri Foster

Levy Payers - Co-Investment


Is there a report which shows if a levy payer has run out of funds and needs to make a co-investment payment? I thought at one point it was either on the FRM or the PDSATS but can't find it


Many Thanks



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Hi Ceri

It's the Contributions report that comes in the Period End reports.

Ruth Canham-James

The co-investment contributions report takes a lot of work to extract what is needed. It doesn't indicate the funding type (levy or non-levy), so picking out which employers just owe us the 5% (which we track elsewhere already), and which have insufficient funds, is challenging. There are rows for apprenticeships that aren't even in 21/22 (it happens if that student is now on another apprenticeship), which is absurd. Sometimes it displays that there were no payments in a previous year, when there definitely were. I've reported all this to ESFA for the last couple of years.

I only do it once a quarter because it takes me the best part of a day to unpick. If you're confident all your insufficient funds were dealt with in previous years, you can actually use the Apps Monthly Payment Report to see it more simply for current year payments. Just filter on the Funding Line Type for the levy ones, and if there is any positive value in the second column for any month (co-investment payments), then that is a levy payer who had insufficient funds (or where you charged above band maximum). It doesn't then show if it was paid though, but you could use that data to populate your own list.

Margaret Foster

Hi - I was having the same problem with previous years collections not showing in the report - we use EBS and Steve H asked me to check that the PMR payment records had been rolled forward - they hadn't - therefore this is now correct - this is only for the payments in previous years

Dee Vickers

I'm so glad someone asked this question, although I'm none the wiser! I have no idea how training providers are supposed to know when an employer runs out of levy pot and then moves into co-investment. I currently have an achievement payment that is not being paid, as we haven't invoiced / received the subsequent co-investment amount.

I don't understand how I am supposed to 1) know when this situation has occurred and, 2) know how much I'm supposed to invoice for (although I'm guessing that I can calculate it from the co-investment contributions report by looking up known levy employers and seeing if there is an expectation of monthly contributions, and then total them up?).

As an aside, there is https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935526/2020_to_2021_ILR_Funding_Reports_v2.pdf which gives information on the reports, but I can't find anything specifically about this situation.

Ruth Canham-James

Hi Dee Vickers. I've described above how you can do it from the Apps monthly payment report to find new payments required, but you do still need to check your co-investment report at least once to make sure all historic amounts due have been accounted for. I think we all just worked it out from the co-investment report, as there's no guidance. Whilst it's not a great report as there are too many rows, if you look at one apprentice is isolation, it's clear exactly what each employer owes (if anything). You do have to add the amounts up if you have several apprentices at one employer, the trick is working out which rows on the report are levy payers. I ended up doing a vlookup using our own data to get that info. After I'd done that once properly (took me about a day), I now just use the Apps Monthly Payment report to spot new payments required, and I keep my own records of that.

I do find this the most difficult part of apprenticeship funding, so it would be helpful if ESFA could do a video on how to filter their reports to find this information.

Dee Vickers

Ruth Canham-James Hi Ruth - I think I've worked it out, based on your comments above and may well create a video for our team to follow. Here's where I have got so far (reports mentioned are available via submit-learner-data website)...

For those achievement payments which are being withheld as co-investment does not appear to have been received

  • Check this is the case using the Learner Level View report (available once the returns window has closed). If you have a Completion Holdback, then you fall into this category. You'll find the apprentice name and employer from this report.
  • Check the Apps Co-investment Contributions Report to find out how much should have been invoiced. Find the relevant employer and check column Q, Total co-investment (below band upper limit) due from employer in previous funding years and note the amount. Check column S, Total co-investment (below band upper limit) due from employer in this funding year and note this amount. Add the two together and invoice the levy employer.

Checking if co-investment needed when levy employers run out of funds

Using Ruth's guidance, this is how I interpret this situation:

  • Go to Apps Monthly Payment Report, filter column AN, Funding line type, to show only 16-18 levy and 19+ levy rows. If you are an employer-provider, you may also want to filter out where column X=356 (Learning delivery funding and monitoring type - learning delivery monitoring (A)).
  • Look to the second column for each month. for example April (R09) co-investment payments to see if payments are expected.

I'd be happy to receive guidance from others on this and I'm very grateful to Ruth too!

Dee Vickers

As it happens, I've just received an email from the ESFA servicedesk about this. Their response was:

An apprentice will show in the Apps co-investment report when the employer dips into co-investment. The co-investment payments will also show in the Apps monthly payment report, along with a change contract type and funding line type (columns AM and AN) of the report. 

Ruth Canham-James

Dee Vickers Don't rely on just that unless you go right back to the earliest R14 Apps Monthly Payment report that your students might have appeared in (and any in between), as you could have missing payment from previous years. That's why I started with the co-investment report, to make sure I'd swept up everything owing from previous years first. Now they're out of the way, I do just use the Apps Monthly Payment Report, confident that I've got my own spreadsheet to track what is outstanding.

Ruth Canham-James

Also, I'd suggest try not to wait until your completion payment is missing to look to see if this is the issue, as you may find employers refuse to pay once the apprenticeship is completed. Also, if you have oustanding co-investment, you just automatically don't get the completion, but your on programme ESFA payments are also potentially as risk of claw back. If an apprentice withdraws, and their levy paying employer owed you £38 in shortfall at that point, as long as you can show an auditor that you actively chased that payment, they should let you keep the EFSA 95% (even if the employer refused to pay). If you didn't even try and get that money, ESFA can claw back the 95% (19 times whatever the employer owed). I'm not aware that they ever have, but they definitely can.

Dee Vickers

Ruth Canham-James - I did cross-reference the Total co-investment (below band upper limit) due from employer in previous funding years in the Apps Co-investment Contributions Report, with the monthly figures shown in the prior R14 Apps Monthly Payment Report to make sure they matched (they did).

As it happened, looking at the R14 monthly payments report threw up a slew of other questions...

Thank you for your helpful comments, it's much appreciated and I've been able to better understand and action these reports, from what you have said.