Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is set to introduce a new process for independently checking that candidates are registered on MA Frameworks. The details of the new process have still to be confirmed, but at this stage the intention is that – from 1 April 2016 – all apprentices registered on FIPS (the replacement for CTS) will receive a text message at the start of their apprenticeship asking them to confirm they have started their apprenticeship.
Further texts will be sent following each milestone claim by the training provider – each requiring the candidate to provide confirmation. Employers will be contacted in cases where candidates do not reply. In instances where independent confirmation cannot be confirmed, funding will be withheld. This will be a concern to training providers and STF is currently discussing the issue with SDS to seek assurances that members will not be unfairly affected by the changes.
SDS has agreed to test the new system with a small number of training providers in the next few months to refine the process and see what works best. Any members who would like to take part in this pilot should contact Stuart McKenna