Ben James

Change of Employer late notification


How would people approach this scenario?

Learner changes from employer 1 to employer 2, and the actual gap between the two is 10 days. However, the change was not disclosed to the provider for several months, meaning that any new paperwork (Apprentices Agreement, Commitment Statement, Contract etc.) would not be signed until much later. 

Given that auditors frown very much on backdating starts and say paperwork should be signed on/before the start date, would the same principle apply in this case? As the new paperwork would not have been signed until recently (more than 30 days after the learner left employer 1), would this change fall under the >30 or <30 day rule? Full withdrawal, or not?


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Simon Liversedge

Hi Ben, 

We had exactly this debate not so long ago. I spoke to an auditor who said they would be fine with paperwork and agreements being late but he wouldn't expect them to be much older than a few weeks. As much as we tell everyone to inform us asap you always get the ones that don't especially when a lot of work is still remote. 

We have made the decision to process with the dates we have but use last day in learning with old employer and first day in learning with new one. If there is less than 30 days and we have the learning evidence we will process even if its late. 

If you withdraw them all it hammers your QAR and also then you wouldn't be able to use any OTJ accumulated during this time which is disadvantaging the learner. You can't really win with this one with the rules being as they are. 

Ben James

Appreciate it Simon Liversedge!

So if you receive notification very late (let's say many months), providing you have evidence of last date/first date of learning, you're processing it despite the signature dates on accompanying paperwork is a long time after the start date? 

Agree with your concerns re. QAR; I'd obviously rather not have to withdraw them, but if the commonly understood practice was that we did withdraw them simply because the signature date shouldn't be after the start date (or change of employer date in this case) then I guess I was prepared to do so. 

Are you employing any sort of "this date is too far in the past" benchmark? 

Simon Liversedge

Yes that's what we are doing. Not saying it is the right way but I can't see we have any other options as we can't tell a learner that they can't use x amount of weeks work and OTJ due to admin. We are doing as much as possible to educate trainers and talk a lot about this during onboarding to try and reduce the amount of these we get but you are always going to get the odd one. 

So far I think 3 months is the longest I have had. Not applied any benchmark purely down to the loosing all that work, on programme time and OTJ if we did withdraw and restart. It would become silly then having them re-do everything and then you wouldnt be able to class it as OTJ as its not new! 

Ruth Canham-James

I agree with Simon, we've had a couple like this. As long as the original paperwork was signed before the apprenticeship as whole starts, I think there's usually leniency on the new employer paperwork. I can't be certain every auditor would agree though.

I will say, It's comforting we're not the only ones. I work so hard on impressing the vital importance of assessors (and anyone else) informing us when there's even a hint that an apprentice is leaving/changing employers, yet we still get notified late sometimes. Some of our apprentices just change employer and neither they, nor their old employer, nor the new one, think to tell the college. If they're still showing up to college based classes, and are logging OTJ, and perhaps an assessor visit has been unavoidably delayed, it can go under the radar for a while. I've seen it where the new small employer has agreed to the apprentice continuing it with them, and are releasing them for classes and OTJ, but since they'd never had an apprentice before, they didn't know they actually needed to speak to us.

Simon Liversedge

Thanks Ruth always reassuring to hear someone else has come to the same conclusion. As long as learning is documented then I can't see there would be a clawback if it were picked up only a management point and if the rules were simpler around dealing with this then it would be a lot easier to manage but we are where we are. 


Ben James

Definitely nice to know we're not alone in dealing with these kinds of issues Ruth Canham-James! We also make a big point of explaining the significance of informing us (re. changes of employer, BILs etc.) when we conduct the initial sign-up, and at induction.. but I guess sometimes these things just slip through the net. I do agree though Simon Liversedge, even if the ruling was definitively that it cannot be allowed, at least we wouldn't be living in the grey area. Alas.. will muddle on! 



(this is a lovely thread, well done everyone, this is exactly what Communities is for :))