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Subcontracting Strategy and Policy – Study Programme

Aspire-igen recognises that working with different organisations and partners can bring additional benefits to each organisation and particularly the communities we seek to serve. At the same time it is imperative that services supplied are effective, high quality and good value for money. As such, our strategy and policy seeks to create a low risk and effective use of public funds to ensure that subcontracted delivery is of high quality and meets one or more of the following rationale:

  1. Enhance the opportunities available to young people
  2. Fill gaps in niche or expect provision, or provide better access to training facilities
  3. Support better geographical access for learners
  4. Offer an entry point for disadvantaged groups
  5. Consideration of the impact on individuals who share protected characteristics

In addition, our due diligence will ensure organisations we work with meet all of the necessary requirements and standards to deliver high quality education, are in good financial standing and work with organisational integrity. We aim to act fairly and with respect in all our dealings.

Strategic aims and educational rationale

We currently operate across Yorkshire and Humber in the following areas:

  • Bradford (includes 1 subcontractor)
  • Leeds
  • Dewsbury
  • Wakefield
  • Hull

Our overall aim is to continue to deliver high quality study programmes to the communities in which we work in to meet LEP and labour market needs. Where we cannot meet some of these needs and demand we have put in place high quality subcontractors to do so. Each year we will conduct a curriculum review to review the offer in each area.

The areas in which we subcontract:

Bradford

Aspire-igen deliver in the City Centre and at Barkerend Road in a wide range of courses.

For over 10 years Aspire-igen have subcontracted with Motive8 Bradford to offer courses in the community of Wyke. Motive8 are a very well established, well known and high quality provider within this community with a proven track record. Aspire-igen do not have the entry point, premises, community links and local reputation that Motive8 can offer to meet the demand within this community.

Fulfilling the rationale:

Subcontractor Enhance the opportunities available to young people Fill gaps in niche or expect provision, or provide better access to training facilities Support better geographical access for learners Offer an entry point for disadvantaged groups Consideration of the impact on individuals who share protected characteristics
Motive8 Bradford Motive8 provide a local offer in Wyke that wouldn’t otherwise be available without a subcontracting arrangement. In the Wyke community Motive8 offer a range of courses that young people would often be reluctant to travel outside of the area to access. Motive8 offer an open door policy wherever possible to those who have low prior attainment or face other barriers.

We do not intend to increase our subcontractor network any further.

Our intention is to review subcontracted provision on an annual basis with a review to keeping levels of subcontractintg within the 25% tolerance stated in the ESFA subcontracting guidance.

Due Diligence

Each year we will run a due diligence exercise with exisiting subcontractors. All our processes are aligned with current ESFA guidelines.

Due Diligence is a quality assurance exercise which examines subcontractors, including (but not limited to) track record, inspection judgements, company policies and financial health. This is a two stage process including a pre-qualification questionnaire refresh and proposal for those organisations meeting the requirements in the PQQ.

This process requires the submission of a number of documents which support the assertions the subcontractor makes. Only those organisations which meet the requirements in the questionnaire, including requested documents and subsequent proposal will be kept as a subcontractor.

                                

Ongoing quality assurance

Once an organisation has become a subcontractor they will be expected to maintain the high standards set out in the contract and will be subject to:

  • Regular monitoring
  • Compliance audits
  • OTLA observation and moderation
  • The annual Quality Cycle, including self-assessment and quality improvement planning.

Where a subcontractor is new or deemed to be in need of improvement, appropriate support will be put in place to help that organisation meet the standards required. This will be sympathetically and constructively applied. However, contracts also set out a fair process where the subcontractor fails to meet the standards within the prescribed time limit. We do not take this step lightly but do so in the best interest of our learners.

 

Contracting

We will contract in a timely manner with subcontractors.The contract will set out terms on which the partnership will operate. Contract timescales, the methods of reviewing, extending or shortening these, are set out in the terms.

 

Management fee structure

 

As a directly funded institution Aspire-igen will retain 20% of the study programme funding to cover the costs of managing and administering the contracts. This may cover aspects such as costs related to, but not limited to:

 

  • Safeguarding lead
  • Data management and returns
  • MI management and provision
  • Compliance and improvement support
  • Quality assurance
  • Software and online services provision and support
  • Performance management
  • Health and Safety visits
  • Management co-ordination and administration of learner support funding e.g bursary and free meals

 

In line with our quality driven philosophy we will offer available services such as, but not limited to:

  • Curriculum development opportunities
  • CPD – such as Prevent, safeguarding, positive behaviour
  • Marketing and promotion
  • OFSTED guidance
  • Quality workshops

 

To assist the subcontractor to achieve success.  Aspire-Igen also provides a range of services to support the student. The Company is committed to providing an all-round holistic package which we strongly believe will provide higher quality learner outcomes and consequently better engagement with all study programme courses. These services such as but not limited to:

 

  • Student financial support
  • Continuous careers advice and guidance
  • Employer engagement opportunities
  • Student support including safeguarding contacts
  • Student celebration and awards.

 

 

Payments to subcontractors

In order to drive quality and ensure high level delivery we will usually implement a performance related pay model. This will be reviewed on an annual basis.

 

Our standard terms are to make payments to subcontractors a maximum of 30 days after receipt of a valid claim. Failure to provide required documentation and evidence within required timescales may result in witheld payments.

 

 

 

 

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