Julie Maycock

ILR and failed learner


I have a learner that 'left' their job right at the point they were starting their EPA. The employer refused to pay for the EPA and withdrew them in the apprenticeship account. I funded the EPA but unfortunately they failed it. 

How should this be reported on ILR? If I log as complete but failed, I assume it will throw up an error because the employer has withdrawn them? 

Any help would be very welcome




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Ruth Canham-James

If they weren't employed, they shouldn't have been allowed to sit the EPA. Whilst it's horrible, that's clear in the rules. There's a new rule for 23/24 starters that's going to allow for apprentices who became unemployed between gateway and EPA to continue, but it's not valid for anyone starting before 23/24.

For that reason, I think you need to code it as a withdrawal from when either left their employer or got to gateway (whichever is earlier).

Julie Maycock

Thank you. 

They took another job and therefore they were employed at the time of the EPA (just not with the original employer)  The funding rules say they must be employed but doesnt say with the same employer. 


Ruth Canham-James

But the new employer would need to have signed up to pay for the EPA for that to count. The rules aren't crystal clear, it just says they must be "employed" until EPA is complete, but I wouldn't count it if the new employer weren't involved with the apprenticeship as it's not relevant. This is the new rule, not applicable to any starts before 01/08/2023.

109. Where an apprentice has changed employer after they have completed all the
training and reached gateway, including where the new job role is not related to
the apprenticeship, they may complete the end-point assessment in agreement
with the end-point assessment organisation and the provider that it can be
satisfactorily taken and paid for. We will issue further technical details as to how
this change should be reported to us including how the provider can claim the
completion payment. 

The fact that exists as a new rule strongly suggests it wasn't possible before. I also asked ESFA about this, and they pointed me at this rule:

57. Unless the apprentice is on an alternative English apprenticeship, the provider
must verify that the individual is employed and is working under a contract of
employment that is long enough for the apprentice to complete the apprenticeship,
including the end-point assessment. The apprentice must be included in the PAYE
scheme declared in the apprenticeship service account. 

How can you verify the new contract of employment is long enough to complete the EPA, when you have no agreement with that employer?

Kelly Knights


I have a learner that I feel is in this situation.

They are enrolled on a construction apprenticeship. Whist with their original employer they attempted the practical assessments required for EPA (twice actually) but failed. At the time of arranging for the apprentice to resit he then moved to a new employer who originally was happy for the apprentice to resit and even agreed to pay for the EPA resit costs.

Are you saying in a situation like this we would have to withdrawal the learner as they were not involved from the start?


Ruth Canham-James

Kelly Knights If the new employer is willing to complete an agreement, set them up in the DAS etc, then no need for a withdrawal 😊 In your case, it's a little odd, as the completion payment really ought to come from employer 1, as the EPA was completed whilst the apprentice employed with them. If they never resat, you'd have had the completion element via employer 1. If the new employer doesn't want to sign them up fully, then I'd say record it as a fail, but you're not supposed to let them resit 😕 I've never had an apprentice change employer after they've attempted the full EPA, but before a resit! I'd ask the ESFA service desk about that one.


Whilst we're allowed to run unfunded apprenticeships, I don't know what