Over the last few months, I have been updating the payroll profession with regards the progress of the level 3 Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship...

(see my articles of 24 June 2017 , 05 March 2018 and 23 April 2018.


In short, the new apprenticeship regime requires 4 things:

  1. A proposal for development to the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA).  This was done way back in 2016 by the previous chair of the previous Trailblazer group
  2. A Standard giving an overview of the apprenticeship itself.  Whilst there was an approved Standard when I took over as chair in 2017, the reformed Trailblazer group and I did not work with this and started again.  The amended Standard was approved and published on 02 March 2018
  3. The assignment of a Funding Band.  This has received Ministerial approval and I received confirmation of this from the Department for Education on 08 May 2018
  4. The Assessment Plan.  This document was also approved by the IFA and I received confirmation on 18 April 2018.  I was required to make some amendments and these have also been approved


With all four stages completed, I am pleased to say that the Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship is now ‘live’ on the IFA Website and fully ‘approved for delivery’.  The ‘Apprenticeship Service’ still has to be updated by the IFA but this should be done soon – this is the service that allows employers to advertise vacancies, do all the admin etc and draw down Levy funds.

The payroll profession has the Trailblazer group to thank for putting together this new payroll qualification – one that has been written by the profession because it is appropriate to the profession.

Over to you

The Trailblazer and I are pleased to have been part of bringing this new payroll qualification to our profession.  It has the potential to change the payroll qualifications landscape and that of payroll training in general.  So now it’s over to 3 groups:


Have a look at my article from 23 April 2018 which I hope indicates that employers really are in control of the training provision now.

Something that is really worth looking at is the apprenticeship funding rules for information on what Levy monies can and cannot be used from the Levy apprenticeship account.  The £9,000 Funding Band is not an indication or guide to the amount a provider can charge for their apprenticeship delivery option.

Also, ensure that you negotiate with the apprenticeship training provider so that their offering, price and duration of the apprenticeship takes into account prior learning.  Levy funds cannot be used to pay for knowledge, skills or behaviours that the apprentice already has and apprenticeship training providers will be in breach of the funding rules if they do not take this into account.

Together with the Global Payroll Association, I am putting together a ‘how to’ guide for employers and I appreciate their support.

Apprenticeship Training Providers

Please ensure that your offering fully meets the learning outcomes in the Assessment Plan.  Some apprenticeship training providers have contacted me to ensure that they are aware of these ahead of planning their offering.  Others have not.

Your delivery option needs to map carefully to the learning outcomes and it is responsible to either fill any learning gaps or make the employer aware of these.  The brutal truth is that if the apprentice is not trained on all of the learning outcomes in the Assessment Plan they will fail the apprenticeship qualification.

End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs)

Some EPAOs have contacted me and are aware of the learning outcomes and the End-Point Assessment methods.  Indeed, the Trailblazer and I worked with some in putting together End-Point Assessment in the first place.

As these are selected by the employer and contracted by the apprenticeship training provider as part of the apprenticeship agreement, it is important that EPAOs are included on the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations for the Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship.

There is a lot to think about with this new payroll qualification at level 3.  However, employers really are in the driving seat now when it comes to training UK payroll professionals and equipping them with the knowledge, skills and behaviours that the payroll profession needs.

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