Delivering Apprenticeships

Babcock Policies in Funded Apprenticeship Provision

Babcock has a long history of delivering government funded apprenticeship programmes on behalf of our clients across the UK.

As an organisation we work closely with clients to ensure programmes meet their needs while also ensure compliance with funding regulations and quality bodies (such as Ofsted).

Babcock Subcontracting policy in relation to DfE funded apprenticeship provision:

Strategic Aims

Our programmes are built to respond to the needs and complex requirements of the employers we work with, and our delivery models consider the current and emerging needs of learners, their working environments and wider skills development.

Curriculums which include delivery from partner providers are key to our response to national and local needs. We recognise the requirement to reduce the volume of subcontracted ESFA post-16 income and have such, developed a clear strategic framework for the use of sub-contractors in ESFA procured and non-procured activity.

In line with the requirement, we will only consider sub-contracting elements of our ESFA funded provision in the following circumstances:

  • To utilise subject matter expertise where it doesn’t exist within Babcock
  • To support better geographical access for learners and the requirements of employers
  • To provide experiential learning opportunities which add value to the learners experience
  • To provide Higher Education expertise and Degree Awarding Powers

Governance for subcontracting

Any curriculum which is enhanced by the use of sub-contractors for specific elements will have an educational rational for the subcontracted provision in place. These will be agreed before delivery with the Training Managing Director (or delegate).


The Procurement & Supply Chain (P&SC) strategy is adopted across the business. We recognise suppliers as a vital extension to our business and a fundamental component in achieving businesses objectives.

Any aspect of ESFA funded delivery that is subcontracted to a third party is managed by P&SC with a robust key supply management activity. This activity is supported by subject matter experts (SMEs) from the operational contract and quality assurance activity from the quality teams.

Due diligence

All potential partner providers undergo through due diligence which includes:

  • Financial stability – a fit-for-business assessment
  • Suitability against requirement – a fit-for-purpose assessment
  • Organisational overview – management structure, directly employed staff, any outsourced activity
  • Evidence of appropriate capacity and expertise of staff
  • Evidence of previous delivery and results
  • Consideration of added value
  • Robust quality assurance systems
  • Current status with ESFA / other funding bodies and totality of provision with other providers
  • Evidence of required registers and accreditations such as the RoATP

Contract management

Once a contract is in place, regular meetings between P&SC and the supplier will be scheduled to check operational performance against the SLA and KPIs.

Stakeholders, including a nominated quality lead and an operational lead, will contribute at such reviews. The reviews provide a forum where all issues (positive and negative) are addressed and where required remedial actions agreed and monitored. Progression monitoring, safeguarding / welfare concerns and learner / employer complaints are mandatory returns from all sub-contractors.

Continued underperformance will be managed accordingly and could include suspension of the subcontractor from the contract and starting a process to identify a suitable replacement. Where this action is taken, it shall be done in a timely manner and will focus on minimising the impact to learners. If a new subcontractor is proposed, or changes to current contracts agreed, P&SC will lead the activity in conjunction with the contract and quality lead. This process includes a review of the educational rationale for sub-contracting for the curriculum which requires re-approval from the Training Managing Director (or delegate).

Management fee policy

Babcock do not subcontract whole programmes.

Babcock are committed to ensuring ESFA funds are used to enhance the learner experience. To ensure the optimal volume of funding directly impacts the learner, Babcock does not charge a management fee to our subcontractors.

When there is a clear educational rational for the use of sub-contractor, a dedicated procurement process is undertaken, and partner providers are invited to quote for and receive 100% payment for the work they do

Payment terms

We want to spend time talking to our suppliers about new ideas, operational performance and total cost opportunities – not about payment. We understand the importance of predictable customer payments when running a business. Babcock is a signatory in the UK to the Prompt Payment Code.

Our suppliers have a critical responsibility for getting paid on time – by delivering on time and in full, following the required billing processes, and adhering to our standards for invoicing.

Subcontractors in active partnerships with Babcock


Legacy Funding Apprenticeships Provision – Wales:

Babcock has previously delivered apprenticeships in Wales.

The Apprenticeship Programmes, led by the Welsh Government, are supported by the European Social Fund.

Mae’r Rhaglenni Prentisiaethau, a arweinir gan Lywodraeth Cymru, yn cael cymorth ariannol gan Gronfa Gymdeithasol Ewrop

Legacy Funding Apprenticeships Provision – Scotland:

Babcock has previously delivered apprenticeships in Scotland.

Legacy Funding Apprenticeships Provision – Northern Ireland:

Babcock has previously delivered apprenticeships in Northern Ireland.