One of the recent rule changes from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is the new stipulation that any organisation sub-contracting for the first time as a ‘Prime Contractor’ must have an independent audit to confirm they have sufficient controls and mechanisms in place to manage sub-contractors.
In August and September 2018, ITSS Ltd were asked to complete a Sub-Contractor Controls Assurance Audit on a local University looking to sub-contract with an existing apprenticeship provider for the joint delivery of their apprenticeship programmes.
Two ITSS staff with, with 30+ years combined experience in the training and apprenticeships sector, were allocated to the project. We audited over 45 key requirements covering the following areas:
1) Business Case
2) Procurement & Selection
3)Entering into Sub-Contract
4) Monitoring & Assessing Capability and Capacity and
5) Fees & Charges
We worked closely with our client over 5 days, asking searching questions around processes, reviewing evidence and documents, assessing the involvement of leaders, transparency in decision making and provision of quality, value for money programmes, etc. We completed of the project by providing our client with a comprehensive report including advice and guidance (based on industry best practice) for areas of improvement, an action plan for implementation and additional advice on sub-contractor procurement / management.
Based on our recommendations, our client was able to successfully meet the requirements of the ESFA for registration as Prime Contractor. Another happy ITSS client!