FEES & INVOICING

Section 1   Introduction

1.1               Scope of the policy

This policy covers the delivery of DNA Skills End-Point Assessments (EPA) that are subject to internal and external quality assurance. It is provided for our partners/providers, employers and other business partners and sets out where to view the fees that we will charge for our End-Point Assessment Services. The policy is designed to:

  • Be clear and transparent, with no hidden costs or details
  • Fair and appropriate, providing value for money for all partners
  • Appropriate to the level of standard and assessment activity they are purchasing
  • Detailed cancellation arrangements and/or refund terms
  • Minimise the risk of an Adverse Effect occurring

Non-adherence to our DNA Skills policies may constitute in Malpractice and/or breach of Contract, please ensure all policies are read and implemented carefully. 

1.2           Purpose of the policy

Once an apprentice has successful completed all of the elements that make up their apprenticeship and has been confirmed as such by their employer/training provider, they can enter Gateway. At this point the partner/provider will incur the majority of the fees that are detailed in the price list for each standard.

An up-to-date price list and fees list is maintained on the DNA Skills website.

This policy is aimed at our partners and apprentices who are using DNA Skills products and services where there is a fee to be paid for assessing and utilisation of these. In addition, the policy details the impact of cancellations on agreed assessments and the effects on timely completion, further fees and certification. The purpose of the policy is therefore to outline:

  • The fee structure for EPA standards; and
  • The cancellation policy and timescales

This document should be read in conjunction with any contractual Service Level Agreements in place with individual partners when relating to End-Point Assessment Provision.

1.3           A shared responsibility

It is important that all approved staff within a centre who are involved in the delivery of DNA Skills End-point Assessments are made aware of this policy. DNA Skills’ Qualifications Manager is responsible for the maintenance of and compliance with this policy. If they are absent, another member of staff would be appointed to ensure all DNA Skills actions and activities are in line with the content of the policy.

1.4           Reviewing the policy

We will review this policy regularly and where otherwise necessary and may revise it as required in response to the findings of any review.

1.5           Regulated Qualification Fees

DNA Skills is committed to ensuring all our fee details are updated every time a new qualification is offered. DNA Skills will produce a price list for all of our qualifications which is available on request or via our website. Approved centres will be notified at least 3 months in advance before any of our fees are amended or changed.

Details of the standards that DNA Skills offer can be obtained from the website www.dnaskills.co.uk along with full details of current pricing. Details of additional service fees can also be obtained from the fees page on the DNA Skills website.

 

Section 2    End-Point Assessment Fees

DNA Skills is committed to having a competitive fees structure that is in place for all End-Point Assessment (EPA) Services that it provides. Our aim is to make sure that all of our fee details are updated each time an additional Standard is added to our approved list for delivery of EPA.

DNA Skills produce a price list for all our End-Point Assessment Services that is available via our website or as requested. Our fee-setting methodology and fees may change in line with any Government or legislative policy changes (for example, where any changes to published funding bands necessitate a review of fees for any particular standard) or in conjunction with an Assessment Plan change. DNA Skills will make sure that partners are notified at least 3 months in advance before any of our fees are amended or changed to help with any planning arrangements.

All fees for the service of End-Point Assessment are payable by the Employer or Provider (subject to contract terms), individual apprentices will not be charged by DNA Skills to undertake this assessment or subsequent resits or retakes.

2.1           Eligible/ineligible costs

Our pricing structure is in line and compliant with the ESFA expectation that it will not exceed 20% of the maximum funding band allocated to any standard. Our advertised fees are developed with the consideration of the following:

Eligible Costs:

  • Individual assessment components detailed within the published Assessment Plan
  • All associated costs linked to registrations, administration and assessment of all components – including review and maintenance
  • Support, guidance and mock assessment materials and wider support offer
  • Costs associated to support any special arrangements we may need to put in place to ensure a fair assessment practice
  • Costs associated with ensuring a consistent and robust Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) process, inclusive of standardisation activities
  • Associated costs for External Quality Assurance (EQA) body

Ineligible Costs:

  • Recruitment, onboarding and general training of EPA Assessors
  • Marketing materials or promotional items
  • Other products and services that are not related to the delivery of EPA

 

Section 3    Withdrawals and Cancellations

DNA Skills charges 25% of the total cost of our End-Point Assessment service for each standard at the point of registering an apprentice with us. This engagement fee is an initial payment which will trigger the release of all associated support materials and advice.

As set out in the table below, should an apprentice need to be withdrawn, full engagement fees will be refunded if this occurs within 30 working days of the apprentice registration date. Any withdrawal made after 30 working days from registration date, will not be eligible for a refund of the engagement fee.

Once Gateway has been successfully passed, the remaining fees (75%) will be due, with any amendments and cancellations to subsequent EPA bookings subject to the following conditions/fees:

A request to withdraw an apprentice will need to be completed by partners by emailing enquiries@dnaskills.co.uk where this can be acknowledged and further action taken. 

All such fees are discussed, agreed and outlined in our individual Approved Partner Agreements.

Regardless of the cause of cancellation or which party cancels the assessment (either the employer, training provider or apprentice) the responsibility of fees due will remain with the contractee.

DNA Skills recognises that there will be situations that present themselves where an assessment cannot take place at an agreed time and date, and reasonable consideration will be given to each case on its own merits.

The term “cancellation” is extended to include where assessments are scheduled to take place but do not proceed due to non-attendance by the apprentice.

Section 4    Retake and Resit Fees

All individual assessment plans will provide detail related to any conditions that are associated with resit or re-assessment opportunities.

DNA Skills pricing structure supports individual’s assessment components to be undertaken at a fee set proportionate to the completion of that particular assessment. All such fees are discussed, agreed and outlined our individual Approved Partner Agreements and Partnership Handbook. There are no hidden charges in our resit/retake fees.

Fees for resit/retake are charged and invoiced separately and we will agree/negotiate the relevant fee with the Employer before starting delivery of any re-sit/retake.

 

Section 5    Mandatory disclosure and confidentiality

5.1           Mandatory Disclosure

It is imperative that the integrity of our assessments are maintained. We are aware that partner organisations often work with more than one End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), and that therefore more than one EPAO may be at risk when things go wrong.

Our regulators have outlined some specific conditions that we must meet to protect the integrity across the sector. This includes the requirements that where certain things are identified (such as malpractice), or certain actions taken (such as when sanctions are applied) the regulators and other relevant EPAOs who may be affected must be informed.

Depending on the seriousness of the matter, we may be required to declare to our regulators (e.g. Ofqual) that we are no longer compliant due to an act or omission by partners which has put us in breach. In this event, we may have regulatory action directed against us, such as monetary penalties. In accordance with the Contract, we reserve the right to direct such financial penalties against partners, should they be as a result of the act or omission.

5.2           Confidentiality

We may need to access confidential information. We will ensure that such information is kept secure and only used for the purposes of the investigation and in line with relevant data protection legislation. We will not normally disclose the information to third parties unless required to do so, e.g., to our regulators and/or the police or other relevant statutory bodies.

Section 6   Contacts

Your contact for this policy

If you have any queries about the contents of the policy, please contact our DNA Skills EPA Team:

Email: enquiries@dnaskills.co.uk

Telephone: 01344 944675

Post:
DNA Skills EPA Team
7 Lakeside Business Park
Sandhurst
GU47 9DN