Sam Bern

AAF calculating cohort for Supplementary indicators


Excuse me if someone has previously answered this, we're just struggling to get the number of the cohort to match our internal figures. I understand that for the withdrawal, BIL and past planned end date the cohort is learner who were live that year. 

  • new starts
  • existing apprentices
  • excluding Apprenticeship learners who did not pass the 42 days.

However is a learner who goes on a break in learning and the comes back counted as two learners? Or is a learner who goes on a break in learning discounted from the past planned end date and withdrawal calculations?


To make this simple I'm going to use a made up situation.

My 23/24 cohort consists of 1 learner.

They are in learning for three months then go on a break in learning for three months they come back in January 2024. 

Is my cohort of learners for the 23/24 for withdrawals, past planned end date and breaks in learning  2 learners or 1 learner?


I ask this as on our AAAF dashboard(now that we can login) the numbers on the FE provider dashboard (prototype) is higher, then we drill into the Apprenticeship Accountability Framework is gives us a new Total Number of Apprenticeships figure, however when we drill into the Learners Past Planned end date figure, the percentage it gives us, doesn't add up to the number of learners past their planned end date by 180 days or over 365. The percentage is too low. So something is different. None of these match our internal workings. The differences aren't huge but I'm unable to confirm we're in agreement.



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Ben James

It's probably because you're (understandably) using the number of apprentices as the denominator in your calculation. In fact you should be using the number of programme aims. 

If you go into your FE provider dashboard and click on Apprenticeship learners, on the far right you should see 'Total programme aims'. If you divide the number of withdrawals/breaks/PPEDs by this figure, it should give you the percentage you're looking for. 

It's done this way because someone could (for example) go on a 365+ day break multiple times over the course of their programme, resulting in a new programme aim every time they return. If the calculation exclusively looked at ULN or Learner ref, they'd only count once, and would potentially ignore the fact that they'd 'transgressed' against this measure multiple times. 


Sam Bern

Thanks for that. Unfortunately that denominator still doesn't result in the past planned end date rate on the AAF dashboard. The Programme aims are too high and the total number of apprentices is too low. I feel like goldilocks! 

But what you've said does agree with our current process. In the example I've given above would you agree that the cohort denominator should be 2?

Ben James

How odd. Is your numerator the figure the AAF is stating for the withdrawals/breaks/PPEDs? Or are you using your own internal numbers?

In response to your questions:

However is a learner who goes on a break in learning and the comes back counted as two learners?

They're definitely treated as 2 programme aims, but whether either qualify for any of the measure thresholds will depend on their individual circumstance. 

Or is a learner who goes on a break in learning discounted from the past planned end date and withdrawal calculations?

The technical guidance for the PPED measure says it "Refers to apprentices where the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) field 'Completion status' is recorded as '1 The apprentice is continuing or intending to continue the learning activities leading to the learning aim' or '2 The apprentice has completed the learning activities leading to the learning aim'." While they're on a break they shouldn't be counted as PPED because their completion status is 6 (not 1 or 2) and their PED should be accordingly extended once they return. 


Sam Bern

The numerator is what's stated on the AAF dashboard. I'm waiting for it to be updated to this months data to compare against the current count, however I don't agree with it currently.


Yes I agree the break in learning aim wouldn't count as a numerator, however I think it would count as a denominator or cohort count for the programme aims that were live in the 23/24 academic year.


Is this what you're using for the technical funding guidance?

Sam Bern

Thanks Ben James stepping away from it yesterday and coming back it all makes sense now. I think I was going to two decimal places but the dashboard goes to one, so now everything is balancing and in agreement. 

It was the difference between the total programme aims and the total apprentices that had confused me further!

Ben James

Apologies I didn't reply yesterday, I'm not getting email notifications for some reason. Glad you got it sorted though!