Subcontracting (fees & charges) Policy 2018/19


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


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

Overarching Principle

Progress to Excellence Ltd (PtoE) will use its supply chains to optimise the impact and effectiveness of service delivery to the end user. Progress to Excellence Ltd 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 Ltd will at, all times, undertake fair and transparent procurement activities, conducting robust due diligence procedures on potential subcontractors 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 Ltd 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 Ltd 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 subcontractors with proposed contract values in excess of £100,000 are required to register and pass the ESFA Due Diligence gateway arrangements before a subcontract can be let. Further investigations of the subcontractor 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 subcontractor by the awarding organisation
  • Non-delivery of training
  • Negative feedback received from learners

Rationale for Subcontracting

Progress to Excellence Ltd engages with subcontractors 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 subcontractors 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

Subcontracted activity is a fundamental part of PtoE’s provision. The quality of the provision will be monitored and managed through the existing Progress to Excellence Ltd QA processes and procedures, as amended in order to fully encompass all subcontracted 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 subcontractor 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 Ltd and the subcontractor.

This policy positions subcontracted provision as a core part of Progress to Excellence Ltd activity, to enable continuous improvements in the quality of teaching and learning for both Progress to Excellence Ltd and its subcontractors. 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 ESFA and other agency funding rules that apply, Progress to Excellence Ltd will publish its subcontracting fees and charges policy and actual end-of-year subcontracting 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 ESFA). This will only relate to ‘provision subcontracting’ ie subcontracted 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 subcontracting lists will be agreed with local ESFA Officials prior to publication.

Progress to Excellence Ltd will ensure all actual and potential subcontractors have sight of this policy and any other relevant documents.

  • The typical percentage retained for subcontractors is 20% and 80% reimbursed to the subcontract partner
  • The Progress to Excellence Ltd retainment 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 subcontractor at the end of the qualification if the learner achieves in a timely manner.

For existing subcontractors, the retainment fee is 15% based on an overall QAR of 80%, timely QAR of 80% along with adherence to ESFA funding rules and OFSTED requirements. These figures represent the total cost that Progress to Excellence Ltd incurs in effectively identifying, selecting and managing all subcontracted provision. This covers the cost to Progress to Excellence Ltd of any additional support that Progress to Excellence Ltd deems necessary to ensure the quality of teaching and learning and the success rates of any subcontracted provision. Progress to Excellence Ltd 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 subcontract 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 ESFA 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 ESFA requirements).

Upon satisfactory evidence Progress to Excellence Ltd will pay associated invoices within 30 days of the ESFA payment being received. The payment will be made by BACS transfer. However, if any supporting evidence is queried by Progress to Excellence Ltd 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.

Subcontractor Fees

Supply chain fees and charges          
 Subcontractor UKPRN Start date End date Provision type Management fee
Coaching Connexions Ltd 10031269 01-Aug-17 31-Jul-18 16-18 Apprenticeships

16-18 Traineeships

19+ Apprenticeships

Glass & Fenestration Training Solutions 10040392  01-Aug-17 31-Jul-18 19+ Apprenticeships 20%


External Subcontracting Controls Certificate