Lucy Kidson

Reporting where planned hours are more than 20% OTJ minimum


We have planned off the job hours for learners on some programmes that exceed the 20% minimum requirement.

When initially recording the learners on the ILR are we better to state the hours that we have planned or the calculated minimum?  At the moment we have noted both number of hours on the commitment statement and apprenticeship agreements.

I am just thinking of the scenario where a learner may exceed the 20% requirement but fall short on the planned hours by the end of the programme.  If we then report their final hours as less then planned (but still more than enough to meet the 20%) would this give rise to a cause for concern from an ESFA perspective?




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You should report the plan not the minimum, that's what the ILR spec says:

ILR Specification: Field: Planned hours (

If you end up delivering less (but still over the minimum, of course), then you need to record that as well. I don't think it's a "red flag" to ESFA, and would be easy to show to an auditor that you'd met minimum, were you picked for audit (and recording what you've calculated the minimum as would help with this).


Martin West

You record the hours as on the commitment statement and Apprenticeship agreement.

Lucy Kidson

Thank you, makes perfect sense

Ruth Canham-James

Don't forget the hoops you have to jump through if you deliver below the plan, but above the minimum;

P56 At the end of the programme, if the volume of off-the-job training hours delivered is less than the original volume of planned hours (agreed with the employer at the beginning of the programme), you must produce a statement to summarise the following information:

See the full rules, but you have to explain why, and get the employer and apprentices to sign it off. We have a form for it and we log it on our main student system so we can report on anyone who was below planned hours and hasn't yet followed this process. For us, it most commonly happens when students complete early, so the minimum has reduced.

It discourages you from ever planning much more the the minimum.


Lucy Kidson

Thanks Ruth, I completely agree.  Your point was one of the drivers for my query in actual fact.  Like you say, the additional sign off etc does seem like a disincentive to plan more hours than the minimum.


Martin West

However, you should beware if you set it at the minimum that if the apprentice has spent less than 20% of their actual time on the programme on off-the-job training, then the programme is not a valid apprenticeship, and all funding is at risk of recovery.