Nadine Baister

New Funding Rules 22_23 ESFA - Initial Assessment - HELP



The new funding rules require a far more robust initial assessment - my question is, are the occupational diagnostic assessments a mandatory requirement? If so, what do providers use for this tool? We use a skill scan to establish levels of competence on each KSB of the standard, but I am unsure what is expected to drill this down further. We have 35 programmes - so trying to get this ready and off the ground for 1st Aug is going to be difficult. 

The funding rules say; 

P23 If you are accessing government funding to deliver an apprenticeship, you must ensure the individual and the programme are eligible for funding by conducting an initial assessment of the individual’s abilities, in line with the proposed apprenticeship. Your initial assessment must include:

P23.1 an assessment of the learner’s eligibility for the apprenticeship programme (see paragraphs P54 to P67);

P23.2 a skills-scan, so that the individual can be assessed against the knowledge, skills, and behaviour requirements of the relevant apprenticeship standard

P23.3 diagnostic testing of occupational competence and diagnostic testing of English and maths prior attainment (where relevant); {** Question - does the 'where relevant' apply to the occupational and Maths/English, or just the latter? ((I read it like it's just the functional skills))**}

P23.3.1 the results of the skills scan, and the diagnostic testing (where relevant), must evidence that the individual requires significant new knowledge, skills, and behaviours in order to be occupationally competent in their job role; this training must meet the funding rules relating 

to the minimum duration (paragraphs P32 to P36) and to off-the- job training (paragraphs P37 to P48);

I emailed all of our professional bodies and EPAOs to ask if they have any sort of 'occupational diagnostic' but they all seem to just use the same 'skills scan / KSB assessment' as we currently use. 

Any thoughts are welcomed. 


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Nadine Baister

Thanks Martin West. So you are saying the 'where relevant' applies to the occupational diagnostic and maths/English? It certainly needs to be clearer - it looks as thought it's just saying math / English diagnostics are needed, where no exemptions apply. 

Martin West

No P23.3 says ‘3 diagnostic testing of occupational competence and diagnostic testing of English and maths’ so it applies to both.


My reading of it is, where a learner is *definitely* not competent (ie a new start) then a skills-scan will be sufficient but where a learner does have some Knowledge or Skills you'd want some further evidence as to why you're claiming the money, whether that's a more in-depth discussion with the learner and employer or maybe a specific test about the thing in question?

I don't think we'll see "off the shelf" diagnostics like BKSB for this because there's nearly 700 standards, so it will be your best efforts to determine whether a learner is competent (and, therefore, whether you can claim funding) or not?