Subcontracting and Supply Chain Policy

Purpose and Scope

Vocation Training is committed to delivering high quality training for unemployed learners. Where Vocation Training enters into contracts with the WMCA for the training of those learners, Vocation Training may sub-contract some of its obligations to sub-contractors or Supply Chain Delivery Members.

This policy outlines Vocation Training’s relationship with its sub-contractors and Supply Chain Delivery Members, which areas of training Vocation Training sub-contracts, the process for choosing a sub-contractor or Supply Chain Delivery Member, and how Vocation Training determines the associated costs of sub-contracting.

This policy covers (a) agreements entered into by Vocation Training with third parties by which Vocation Training sub-contracts, in return for a sub-contracting fee charged by the third party, certain of its obligations under WMCA Agreements; and (b) agreements entered into by Vocation Training with third parties by which Vocation Training and those third parties collaborate under a revenue share model in order to deliver Vocation Training’s obligations under WMCA Agreements. In this policy, the phrase ‘sub-contracting’ (and equivalent) is used in connection with both sorts of arrangements.

Overarching Principle

Vocation Training commits to the overarching principle of optimising the impact and effectiveness of service delivery to learners by:

  • Undertaking fair and transparent procurement activities in connection with the appointment of sub-contractors, and conducting robust due diligence procedures.
  • Ensuring that any revenue share or sub-contracting fee is calculated by reference to the costs of services provided by sub-contractors.

Current Sub-contractors and Supply Chain Delivery Members

A contract between Up to Speed Training and Assessment (company registration number 06737787) and Vocation Training is signed on a yearly basis, the most recent being May 2023 for the delivery of traffic management technical skills (TTMBC, Manual Handling and T1/T2). The agreement is due to expire on 30th April 2024. From 1st May 2021 the Vocation Training entered into a contract with West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to deliver construction skills training in traffic management. That Agreement requires Vocation Training to be the principal and, under Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) rules, to sub-contract certain of its obligations to Up to Speed Training and Assessment as a Supply Chain Delivery Member.

Subcontracting Process

Upon commencement of the sub-contracting process, Vocation Training will require due diligence checks to to ensure that:

  • The proposed delivery is of high-quality provision and in the best interests of learners
  • The proposed delivery has a clear strategic fit with our mission, objectives and values
  • The proposed delivery is meeting the skills needs of local employers
  • There is sufficient expertise within Vocation Training to quality assure the provision and delivery
  • All Up to Speed Training and Assessment delivery staff are DBS checked yearly
  • There is sufficient staff resource in support areas to administer the processes
  • The sub-contractor is approved by our due diligence process
  • The agreement is able to demonstrate good value for money
  • The sub-contractor agrees to work within the terms of the relevant Funding Agreement
  • The safety and safeguarding of learners is embedded across all provision
  • The proposed delivery is making the provision available to a wider cross-section of the community.
  • Sub-contracting arrangements are in-line with the relevant Education & Skills Funding Agency Funding Rules and Guidance.

Rationale for Sub-Contracting

Vocation Training sub-contracts in order to enhance the opportunities available to learners through local and accessible provision and to fill gaps in niche or expert provision. Vocation Training is committed to only enter sub-contracting agreements where the sub-contractor possess the requisite facilities, management and technical expertise to ensure proper delivery. Annual checks are undertaken to ensure the best quality provision is being procured. Vocation Training does not contract to meet short term funding objectives.

All sub-contracting arrangements for WMCA provision must fulfil at least one of the following aims:

  • To meet the skills and training needs of the region
  • To support the strategic objectives of Vocation Training
  • To serve a specific demographic need that would not otherwise be met
  • To bring positive community benefits
  • To build capacity in high demand subjects areas
  • To deliver learning that otherwise could not be offered
  • To support Vocation Training in meeting the needs of priority sectors, where specialist teaching and provision is required.

Sub-Contracting Agreements

  • Sub-Contracting Agreements comply with current ESFA and WMCA Funding Rules.
  • Vocation Training and the Sub-Contractor will have a legally binding contract which will detail contractual (including reason for delivery, the services Vocation Training will provide, associated costs) and quality assurance arrangements for the contract year.
  • Each supply chain delivery organisation must have a valid UK Provider Registration Number (UKPRN) where they are delivering any element of teaching, learning or assessment.
  • It is the responsibility of Vocation Training to obtain an annual report from an external auditor if the total contracts within the sub-contracting delivery will exceed £100,000 in any one financial year. The report will provide assurance that Vocation Training are managing and controlling the delivery of the sub-contractor.

Authorisation of Sub-Contracting Agreements

Sub-Contracting Agreements and any subsequent variations are authorised by the Directors on behalf of Vocation Training.

Sub-Contracting Fees

Vocation Training will agree a set fee per qualification with a sub-contracted organisation. Vocation Training will receive all the funding for subcontracted delivery through the payment mechanisms of the ESFA. The sub-contractor will invoice in accordance with the ‘payment terms’ of the sub-contract. To determine the value of the funding retained by Vocation Training, Vocation Training will work with the sub-contractor at the business case, due diligence and contract stage to compile a list of services and products that will be provided by Up to Speed Training and Assessment to support quality delivery. These will be broken down into cost per qualification delivered for:

  • TTMBC and Manual Handling
  • T1/T2

We do not retain funding or charge fees for any of the below

  • Quality assurance and oversight.
  • Administrative functions such as data returns.
  • Cost for quality monitoring activities
  • Mandatory training delivered to the supply chain delivery partner.
  • Specific costs for any other support activities offered by us to the supply chain delivery partner.
  • Clawback for under-delivery or other reasons.

Sub-contractor Management Activities

Vocation Training’s Directors are responsible for all sub-contracted provision. The terms of reference are:

  1. To have oversight of the provision at Vocation Training as a training provider.
  2. To own, develop, and update as required, Vocation Training's strategy on delivery
  3. To make strategic, executive decisions regarding the training
  4. To receive, consider and approve proposals for the development of new skills
  5. To undertake due diligence and risk assessment for existing and potential sub-contactors
  6. To manage potential reputational and/or financial risks and any threats to Vocation Trainings current provision that might arise from the development of sub-contracting provision.
  7. To nominate a named monitoring officer for all data and ILR processing/queries
  8. To monitor training data relating to learner and employer numbers, retention, success and satisfaction rates.
  9. To monitor the quality of delivery and compliance, including planned ESFA and DfE audits and visits.

Quality Assurance

Sub-contracted delivery will be expected to meet Vocation Training’s quality assurance standards. Where content or delivery is sub-contracted the quality of provision will be monitored and managed through Vocation Training’s quality improvement processes and policy. This may include review by auditors and advisers of Vocation Training. Outcomes are  monitored on an ongoing basis. Vocation Training provides access to range of teaching, learning and safeguarding training for sub-contractors. 

Timescales for Payment of Invoices

All sub-contractor arrangements will be paid on the on the basis of an agreed proportion of funding, relating to valid funding claims, within 30 days of the invoices being authorised by Vocation Training.

Communication of the Sub-Contractor and Supply Chain Policy

This policy is reviewed on an annual basis and amended to reflect changes to funding guidance and Vocation Training policy for the forthcoming year. The policy is reported to the Directors for approval, discussed with sub-contracted organisations during review meetings and is published on this page.

Contingency Planning

In compliance with ESFA and WMCA Skills funding rules that apply, if a sub-contractor withdraws from the arrangement, or if a sub-contractor goes into liquidation or administration, Vocation Training undertakes to use another traffic management training organisation that will satisfy due diligence checks prior to any delivery commencing.

If Vocation Training needs to withdraw from a sub-contracting arrangement, sufficient notice will be provided to allow sub-contractors to complete delivery of immediate provision. Contracts will clearly state conditions for termination and recovery of ESFA and/or WMCA funding grants in case of non-delivery.

Commitment to Government Policy

ESFA policy seeks to reduce overall levels of sub-contracting delivery. This includes, specifically, reducing the volume of sub-contracted delivery. ESFA policy also requires that Vocation Training publishes its rationale and plan for sub-contracted delivery and this policy forms part of the response. 

Publishing of Data

In compliance with the Education & Skills Funding Agency and West Midlands Combined Authority below is the annual summary of Vocation Training’s sub-contractor’s revenue for the funding year 2 1st May 2022 to 30th April 2023.

22/23 funding year- £56,761

Policy date 30.10.23

Policy review date 30.10.24

Vocation Training
We're a West Midlands based training provider that delivers Traffic Management training with an employer lead focus.
Company number: 10727328
UKPRN: 10068153
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