Sub-contracting (fees & charges) Policy 2016/17


This policy applies to all sub-contracted activity supported with funds supplied by the Skills Funding Agency or any successor organisations.


The policy is a mandatory requirement that must be in place prior to participating in any sub-contracting activity from 1 August 2013. The content of this policy has been developed in line with AoC/ AELP Common Accord, the SFA Funding rules and the LSIS Supply Chain Management document.

Overarching Principle

Progress to Excellence Ltd will use its supply chains to optimise the impact and effectiveness of service delivery to the end user. Progress to Excellence will therefore ensure that:

  1. Supply chain management activities comply with the principles of best practice in the skills sector. In particular, they will be guided by the principles given in the LSIS publication, “Supply Chain Management – a good practice guide for the post-16 skills sector” (Nov 2012 and subsequent iterations).
  2. Progress to Excellence will at, all times, undertake fair and transparent procurement activities, conducting robust due diligence procedures on potential sub-contractors to ensure compliance with the Common Accord at all levels and to ensure the highest quality of learning delivery is made available; demonstrating value for money and a positive impact on learner lives.
  3. The funding that is retained by Progress to Excellence will be related to the costs of the services provided. These services, and the levels of funding being retained for them, will be clearly documented and agreed by all parties. The rates of such retained funding will be commercially viable for both sides and will be negotiated and agreed in a fair and transparent manner. They will be proportionate to the actual services being provided.
  4. Where disputes between supply chain partners cannot be resolved through mutually agreed internal resolution procedures, Progress to Excellence will submit to independent outside arbitration or mediation and abide by its findings. Contract documents will require both parties to agree that the achievements of supply chains are attained through adherence to both the letter and spirit of contracts or partnerships. Signatories therefore commit that all discussions, communications, negotiations and actions undertaken to build, maintain and develop supply chains will be conducted in good faith in accordance with the Overarching Principle.
  5. Provision sub-contractors with proposed contract values in excess of £100,000 are required to register and pass the SFA Due Diligence gateway arrangements before a sub-contract can be let. Further investigations of the sub-contractor would be undertaken if the provider has been encompassed in any of the following criteria:
  • Ofsted has awarded the provider inadequate for Leadership and Management
  • Any irregular financial or delivery activity arises
  • Sanctions are placed on the sub-contractor by the awarding organisation
  • Non-delivery of training
  • Negative feedback received from learners

Rationale for Sub-Contracting

Progress to Excellence engages with sub-contractors to better meet customer needs. Reasons are varied but could be:

  • To temporarily expand provision to meet a short term need
  • To provide immediate provision whilst expanding direct capacity. This might include working with sub-contractors to explore and learn about new frameworks or sectors prior to investment in resources
  • Providing access to, or engagement with, a new range of customers
  • To support another provider to develop capacity/quality
  • To provide niche delivery where the cost of developing direct delivery would be inappropriate
  • To support employers with a wide geographic requirement

Quality Assurance

Sub-contracted activity is a fundamental part of Progress to Excellence’s provision. The quality of the provision will be monitored and managed through the existing Progress to Excellence QA processes and procedures, as amended in order to fully encompass all sub-contracted activity. We will continue on an ongoing basis to improve the quality by:

  • pre-contract activity which assesses the capability, capacity and readiness of the sub-contractor to deliver the proposed learning;
  • contract reviews which are undertaken on a monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly basis which encompass the quality of provision delivered, learner progress, teaching and learning and contract performance;
  • advising on the quality of provision and ways to improve working between Progress to Excellence and the sub-contractor.

This Policy positions sub-contracted provision as a core part of Progress to Excellence activity, to enable continuous improvements in the quality of teaching and learning for both Progress to Excellence and its sub-contractors. This will be achieved through the sharing of effective practice across the supply chain, for example through the Self-Assessment Report process.

Publication of information relating to sub-contracting

In compliance with the Skills Funding Agency and other agency funding rules that apply, Progress to Excellence will publish its sub-contracting fees and charges policy and actual end-of-year sub-contracting fees and charges on its website before the start of each academic year, (and in the case of actual end of year data, as required by SFA). This will only relate to ‘provision sub-contracting’ i.e. sub-contracted delivery of full programmes or frameworks. It will not include the delivery of a service as part of the delivery of a programme (for example, buying the delivery of part of an Apprenticeship framework or outreach support). Provision sub-contracting lists will be agreed with local SFA Officials prior to publication.

Progress to Excellence will ensure all actual and potential sub-contractors have sight of this policy and any other relevant documents.

  • The typical percentage retained to manage sub-contractors is 20% and 80% reimbursed to the sub-contract partner
  • The Progress to Excellence management fee is 20% of all funding drawn down against the provision to be delivered. An additional 2% against each learner will be paid to the sub-contractor at the end of the qualification if the learner achieves in a timely manner. For existing sub-contractors, the management fee is 15% based on an overall QAR of 80%, timely QAR of 80% along with adherence to SFA funding rules and OFSTED requirements. These figures represent the total cost that Progress to Excellence incurs in effectively identifying, selecting and managing all sub-contracted provision. This covers the cost to Progress to Excellence of any additional support that Progress to Excellence deems necessary to ensure the quality of teaching and learning and the success rates of any sub-contracted provision. Progress to Excellence will also promote sharing of good practice across the partnership and help improve delivery to our customers. Monthly action points will be corresponded to the sub-contract partner to cover performance, payments, and quality assurance matters.  Regular review meetings will be conducted to cover the action points.

Payment terms

Payment will be split between an initial payment (made after the submission of eligible start paperwork completed to SFA requirements), on-programme payments (made monthly with payment dependent upon receipt of satisfactorily-completed learner reviews submitted to Progress to Excellence in a timely manner) and an achievement payment (made upon receipt of proof of learner achievement that satisfies SFA requirements).

Upon satisfactory evidence Progress to Excellence will pay associated invoices within 30 days of the SFA payment being received. The payment will be made by BACS transfer. However, if any supporting evidence is queried by Progress to Excellence then payment will be withheld until these queries are resolved and payment will be then made at the earliest possible opportunity.

Policy Review

Progress to Excellence Ltd will review this policy annually.

Supply chain fees and charges
 Sub-contractor UKPRN Start date End date Provision type Management fee
New Generation Training & Consultancy 10025712 01/08/2015 31/07/2016 16-18, 19+ Apps 20%
Partnership Training 10036548 01/08/2015 31/07/2016 16-18, 19+ Apps 15%
Glass & Fenestration Training Solutions 10040392 26/11/2015 31/07/2016 16-18, 19+ Apps 20%
FTW Training Workbased Academy 10043690 26/11/2015 31/07/2016 16-18, 19+ Apps 20%
Investing In Development 10037481 26/11/2015 31/07/2016 16-18, 19+ Apps 20%
Nail Tech 10054691 26/11/2015 31/07/2016 24+ Loans 20%

Subcontractor Fees

External Subcontracting Controls Certificate