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Subcontracting Policy and Procedure

2016/17

Policy Aim

Mobile Care Qualifications (MCQ) are committed to delivering a wide range of high quality learning and training opportunities to young people and adults. We also aim to satisfy the needs of our employers. This means that we wish to ensure our employers can easily have access to highly skilled and appropriate provision covering all of their needs. In order to meet this aim, we will deliver provision directly and also develop subcontract arrangements with key quality providers.

The subcontracting arrangements will be entered into to ensure that –

  1. we can offer as a broad a range of choice as possible, satisfying the demand from our employer base, whilst also maintaining our core direct delivery

  2. as many learners as possible have the opportunity to receive the highest possible standards of provision

  3. we utilise our experience and expertise to develop and improve our subcontractors so to raise the standards of quality provision and experience for learners and employers across the sector

Continuous Quality Improvement

MCQ are committed to a continual programme of quality improvement with our own direct provision to our learners. We aim to give the best possible experience to our learners and employers and monitor this through a number of quality improvement techniques. We will replicate this with our subcontractors through close partnership working. Our programme of developing and improving the quality of our subcontractors will be evidence by the following –

  1. Rigorous due diligence procedures carried out to assess a subcontractor’s ability to deliver training to the highest standards prior to the agreement of a contract. This process will be refreshed annually in order for an organisation to remain as a subcontractor

  2. Contractor reviews to be carried out on a regular basis, but not less than quarterly covering as a minimum the following –

  • quality of delivery

  • learner progression, satisfaction and achievement

  • employer satisfaction

  • contract performance

  • data management

Additional visits will be undertaken where necessary to resolve any issues encountered.

  1. Observations of teaching, learning and assessment (OTLA) carried out by MCQ staff on subcontractors on a regular basis and then the frequency increased or reduced depending on the results. The observations will be part of the MCQ overall OTLA strategy and performance review, with results shared and discussed with the relevant subcontractors including the tracking of any actions agreed.

MCQ’s responsibilities to the Skills Funding Agency (SFA)

MCQ are committed to working closely with the SFA to support the agency in delivery high quality provision to priority learners with the overall aim of hitting governmental targets, including the over-arching Apprenticeship volume target.

We will liaise continuously with the SFA to ensure they are fully aware of all our subcontracting responsibilities.

MCQ will ensure that all subcontractors adhere to all relevant guidelines and rules stipulated by the SFA, including eligibility criteria and all funding rules. We will also ensure that all subcontractors are fully aware of the expectations of them as an ESF co-funded organisation.

At the end of the academic year, we will publish the following information for the SFA –

  1. Full details of all subcontracts that were agreed over the course of 2016/17 including any contract adjustments

  2. Details of the subcontractor fees charges showing the range of fees and basis for calculation

  3. The levels of support provided for the subcontractors over the course of the year

  4. Details of the payment terms for subcontractors

  5. Information on how and when this subcontractor policy along with the Supply Chain and Fees Policy was discussed with all subcontractors

Supply Chain and Fees Policy

MCQ charges a range of management fees of between 5% and 15% of all SFA funding received for an individual learner, including on programme payments and achievement funding.

The fees reflect the level of support required from ourselves to manage the subcontracting arrangement. The level of the fees will be agreed at the beginning of the contract between ourselves and the sub-contractor and will vary dependent on the individual subcontractor and learner cohort. In return for the management fee, the subcontractors will receive the benefit of MCQ’s expertise, including data management alongside the quality aspects in supporting the subcontractor to improve and grow.

All learners will be informed by the relevant subcontractor that their programme is being delivered on behalf of MCQ.

All subcontractors with MCQ will need to be registered on the SFA’s Register of Training Providers.

For more detailed information regarding Fees, please see the MCQ Supply Chain and Fees Policy.

Due Diligence

The minimum evidence that MCQ will require as part of the due diligence process will be for the potential subcontractor to provide MCQ the following, and MCQ to be satisfied with the content –

  • Copies of annual financial accounts

  • Details of the delivery staff

  • Details of awarding body accreditation

  • Details of relevant policies and procedures

  • Details of insurance policies

    • Employer Liability Insurance

    • Public Liability Insurance

    • Professional Indemnity Insurance

  • Details of Directors and ownership of the organisation

  • Details of the organisations UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN)

  • References from previous prime contractors

  • DBS/ Vetting and Barring Service approval for Delivery

  • Details of Ofsted Inspections either direct or indirectly

  • Details of other Quality Standards held such Matrix/ IIP

  • Details of Registration with the Information Commissioners Office

  • Details of Safeguarding policies and procedures

  • Details of Continuous Professional Development policies, procedures and processes

MCQ are unable to enter into subcontracts with an organisation if –

  • It has an above average risk warning from a credit agency

  • It has passed a resolution (or the court has made an order) to wind up or liquidate the company, or administrators have been appointed

  • Its statutory accounts are overdue

  • The registered address at Companies House does not match that on the UK Register of Training Organisations

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of both MCQ and the subcontractor will be set out in the Service Level Agreement and the overall contract.

The subcontractor must give contact details of all staff responsible for management and delivery of the subcontract. The subcontractor must nominate a lead contract manager who is responsible for all first-line contact with MCQ regarding day-by-day management of the subcontracting arrangement.

Setting up the Subcontract

The deliverables will be agreed between MCQ and the subcontractor prior to the issue of the Service Level Agreement and contract. The initial subcontract will be for 6 months, with an extension to the end of the relevant academic year upon satisfactory management of the subcontract for the first 3 months. The subcontract will be aligned to an academic year thereafter.

The following will be agreed prior to the creation and issuing of the contract –

  • 6 month profile of starts against each funding line

  • MCQ management fee linked to each funding line

  • Roles and responsibilities

  • 3 month action plan including targets and objectives

MCQ and the subcontractor can withdraw from the subcontracting arrangements at any time with 3 months notice. A withdrawal notice must be put in writing, explaining the key reasons for the wish to withdraw – refer to the contingency section for further information.

Subcontractor commitment

The subcontractor must not subcontract any of the provision that is agreed between them and MCQ. All funding supplied by MCQ must be directly delivered by the subcontractor. Second line subcontracting will result in immediate termination of the contract.

The subcontractor must also ensure that in all its working practice, it adheres to the values of MCQ, namely –

  • Openness, Trust and Honesty

  • Effective Team-Working

  • Commitment

  • Innovation and Initiative

  • Willingness to Improve

 Management and Monitoring of the subcontract

To ensure the subcontracted provision meets the standards set out in the Common Inspection Framework, meets the high expectations of learner and employers and contributes to the priorities of MCQ and the SFA, MCQ will undertake –

  • Monitoring of provision by making announced and unannounced visits to the premises where delivery is taking place to satisfy Quality audit requirements

  • Observation teaching, learning and assessment (OTLA) where delivery is taking place

  • Monitoring of attendance/contact evidence, IAG, reviews, achievement and progression

  • To verify learner authenticity and eligibility

  • Review meetings with all subcontractors

  • Analyse data and share for discussion at review meetings

  • Health and Safety, Audit and Quality trail including enrolment, progression and destination

  • Learner, employer and staff feedback processes and review

MCQ will provide to the subcontractor –

  • A Service Level Agreement and contract setting out our expectations along with roles and responsibilities of MCQ and the subcontractor

  • All relevant policies and procedures for use by the subcontractor

  • All required documentation to complete and satisfy the quality assurance, audit and inspection

  • Learner access to relevant and appropriate support services including financial support where available

  • Relevant forms including enrolment, review and any other where required to ensure accurate and timely data and tracking

  • Data relating to the subcontractors learners

  • Remuneration for services provided based on information supplied by the subcontractor and calculated using the monthly PFR

  • Remuneration will be based on the agreed Management Fee. Where the subcontractor provides inaccurate or incomplete documentation, MCQ have the right to increase the Management Fee

 Payment Terms

The contract entered into by MCQ and the subcontractor details the terms and conditions of payment of the funding.

Payments are calculated and reconciled monthly once MCQ have received the Provider Funding Report (PFR) from the Skills Funding Agency. MCQ will provide the relevant sections of the PFR Occupancy Report to subcontractors, with the monthly funding calculation including management fee. The subcontractor then has 48 hours to sign the report and return, and then MCQ will make payment within 10 working days.

If there are issues with the data, the subcontractor can discuss on an ongoing basis with MCQ. The aim for both MCQ and subcontractor will be to ensure that all data submissions are 100% accurate.

Subcontract Withdrawal and Termination Procedure

MCQ and the subcontractor can withdraw at any time by either party, giving 3 months notice. A withdrawal notice must be put in writing, explaining the key reasons for the wish to withdraw.

In the case of a subcontract withdrawal, the contingency process for all learners that will be affected by the withdrawal will be agreed between MCQ and the subcontractor. This could include continued funding for learners already commenced on their learning, or agreed processes for transfer arrangements.

MCQ can terminate the subcontracting arrangement at anytime for reasons that could include the following (not exhaustive) -

  • Unsatisfactory progress in regards to agreed under-performing action plans

  • Discovery of second line subcontracting arrangements

  • Negative changes to any aspect of the due diligence process

If MCQ decide to terminate a subcontract, the decision will be discussed in an emergency meeting with the subcontractor. Then a letter will be issued and contingency arrangements for the affected learners will be made between MCQ and the subcontractor. All learner contingency decisions will be made with the learner’s best interest at the heart of the decision.

If MCQ decide to terminate a contract, it will be affected immediately as of the date of the contract termination letter.

The subcontractor can appeal the decision to terminate their contract, and MCQ will then seek advice from the SFA to ensure a suitable and fair conclusion for all parties.

Review and Transparency

This subcontracting policy will be published on the MCQ website and reviewed annually to ensure compliance with the SFA funding arrangements.

Document

Issue

Authorised By

Owned By

Date

Page

MCQ Subcontracting Policy

1

Andrew Lister

Guy Saxton

September 2016

1