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Clarifications

There are 97 clarifications for this DPS

Good Afternoon, Please could Crown Commercial Services (CCS) respond to the following questions relating to the Customer Needs document and the DMP Framework Agreement: 1. Section 3.4.3 of the Customer Needs document refers to some aspects that are only relevant to the Apprenticeship Training Providers and not to EPAOs, in particular i) an induction programme and ii) a detailed summary of the Apprenticeship learner journey process. Please could CCS confirm whether this will be further clarified within the call-off contract with the contracting authority? 2. As per section 3.4.3 of the Customer Needs document, please could CCS clarify what "an induction programme" would entail? We consider this to be the Apprenticeship training provider's role rather than the role of an EPAO. 3. Section 3.4.4 of the Customer Needs Document lists some requirements that would vary between the standards and the Apprenticeship learner journeys agreed between the training provider and the Customer, e.g. panel members, level of feedback, assessment results KPIs. (EPAOs must remain independent of the learning process and so there is a limit to the detail of feedback they can provide and still ensure the validity and reliability of the EPA) Please can CCS confirm that details for the EPA delivery service will be agreed in the call-off contract between the Customer and the successful EPAO? 4. As an EPAO, we have a defined set of procedures, processes and assessment KPIs for each standard we provide EPA for, which are monitored by EQAOs. This is detailed in our EPA Manual that we require Providers and Employers to follow that will ensure smooth, efficient and consistent delivery of EPAs across all standards. Please could CCS advise whether the Customer (Employer and Provider) will accept the conditions of the EPA Manual as part of the individual call-off contracts? 5. Please could CCS confirm that section 3.4.5 of the Customer Needs document relates to Apprenticeship Training Providers only, as this service does not form part of the role of an EPAO. 6. Please could CCS explain how section 3.5.4 of the Customer Needs document relates to the role of the EPAO? 7. Paragraph 1.2.2.3 of Schedule 2 of the DMP Framework Agreement states "The Supplier shall ensure that the registered EPAO and the assessor is independent of, and separate from, the training provided by the Supplier and Customer in accordance with the ESFA Funding Rules." In some instances, either upon a written agreement with the ESFA or in line with the Assessment Plan for the Standard, EPAOs have been allowed to use employer personnel as trained independent assessors provided full independence from the apprentice and training provider is maintained. Please can CCS confirm that this will still be acceptable in these circumstances? Kind regards,
1. Section 3.4.3 of the Customer Needs document refers to some aspects that are only relevant to the Apprenticeship Training Providers and not to EPAOs, in particular i) an induction programme and ii) a detailed summary of the Apprenticeship learner journey process. Please could CCS confirm whether this will be further clarified within the call-off contract with the contracting authority? This will be clarified when the contracting authority contracts for either a Training Provider who will also manage the EPA via an independent EPAO or directly with an EPAO as an employer training provider. 2. As per section 3.4.3 of the Customer Needs document, please could CCS clarify what "an induction programme" would entail? We consider this to be the Apprenticeship training provider's role rather than the role of an EPAO. Yes agreed this is Apprenticeship Training Providers role and will be agreed with the Training Provider and Contracting Authority. 3. Section 3.4.4 of the Customer Needs Document lists some requirements that would vary between the standards and the Apprenticeship learner journeys agreed between the training provider and the Customer, e.g. panel members, level of feedback, assessment results KPIs. (EPAOs must remain independent of the learning process and so there is a limit to the detail of feedback they can provide and still ensure the validity and reliability of the EPA) Please can CCS confirm that details for the EPA delivery service will be agreed in the call-off contract between the Customer and the successful EPAO? Yes that is correct. 4. As an EPAO, we have a defined set of procedures, processes and assessment KPIs for each standard we provide EPA for, which are monitored by EQAOs. This is detailed in our EPA Manual that we require Providers and Employers to follow that will ensure smooth, efficient and consistent delivery of EPAs across all standards. Please could CCS advise whether the Customer (Employer and Provider) will accept the conditions of the EPA Manual as part of the individual call-off contracts? CCS suggest that you put a link to the manual within your prospectus/offer as a standard condition of contract. This is for the EPAO and Contracting Authority (Employer and Provider) to agree and not CCS.5. Please could CCS confirm that section 3.4.5 of the Customer Needs document relates to Apprenticeship Training Providers only, as this service does not form part of the role of an EPAO. Yes agreed. 6. Please could CCS explain how section 3.5.4 of the Customer Needs document relates to the role of the EPAO? This relates to the Apprenticeship Training Provider and not the EPAO 7. Paragraph 1.2.2.3 of Schedule 2 of the DMP Framework Agreement states "The Supplier shall ensure that the registered EPAO and the assessor is independent of, and separate from, the training provided by the Supplier and Customer in accordance with the ESFA Funding Rules." In some instances, either upon a written agreement with the ESFA or in line with the Assessment Plan for the Standard, EPAOs have been allowed to use employer personnel as trained independent assessors provided full independence from the apprentice and training provider is maintained. Please can CCS confirm that this will still be acceptable in these circumstances? This will only be acceptable providing there is a written agreement with the ESFA or in line with the Assessment Plan for the Standard.
Answered
Aug-05-2019 14:03
Section 23: SECURITY AND PROTECTION OF INFORMATION Point 23.7 - Could you please clarify the format expected for a Security Policy/Security Management Plan, providing examples if possible?
The Supplier shall develop and maintain a Security Management Plan in accordance with this Contract Schedule 4, which also outlines the content at 4.2.
Answered
Aug-05-2019 13:59
DMP Agreement Schedule 23 - Section 7 appears to be asking for an annual network penetration test although only Cyber Essentials is mentioned in the main document. Could you confirm this is a requirement?
Yes this is a requirement.
Answered
Aug-05-2019 13:57
Section 9 of the DMP Agreement states that Cyber Essentials certification is a requirement for any supplier to be considered for the DMP. However, Schedule 23 Section 7 states that: 'The Supplier shall, at its own cost and expense, when its Processing Authority Data: ..... 7.1.2 - procure a Security Test of the Information System by a NCSC approved member of the CHECK Scheme once every 12 months during the DMP Period unless additional IT Health Checks are required by Paragraph 7.2;' However, an annual network penetration test is not required under Cyber Essentials. Could you confirm that the additional annual testing is a requirement of joining the DMP?
Yes this is correct.
Answered
Aug-05-2019 13:55
To follow up on the question answered Jul-18-2019 08:38 Where do providers include Apprenticeship Standards on the CCS portal? Not just Apprenticeship Frameworks? Attachment 1a of the bid pack details the Standards we want to include in the portal. However I cannot see where these Standards can be selected in the portal. For example HR Support Level 3 Reference: ST0239; HR Consultant Level 5 Reference: ST0238; Associate Project Manager Level 4 Reference ST0310; Learning and Development Practitioner Level 3 Reference: ST0562 Thanks
CCS can confirm that all standards specified in your question are in the 'Business and administration' category (question 34) of the DPSQ. The same standard titles have been used in the DPSQ as detailed in the Institute for Apprenticeships. e.g. HR Support - ST0239 - Level 3, HR Consultant/ Partner - ST0238 - Level 5, Associate Project Manager - ST0310 - Level 4, Learning and Development Practitioner - ST0562 - Level 3.
Answered
Jul-24-2019 21:27
Please could the Authority clarify how Apprenticeship Standards that we deliver and want to include in our DPS submission can be added to the portal? I note that question 21 refers to Apprenticeship Frameworks. The Standards that we would like to include are not shown so therefore we cannot tick the relevant box e.g. Associate Project Manager Level 4, Teaching Assistant Level 3, HR Consultant Level 5
CCS are unable to locate the Apprenticeship Frameworks you have referenced. Can you please confirm the three digit ESFA reference number for each of the the 3 Apprenticeship Frameworks you have detailed to enable CCS to investigate in more detail.
Answered
Jul-18-2019 08:38
1. We are bidding to provide apprenticeship training only and don't want to provide separate End Point Assessment services. Are we correct in assuming that we don't need to complete Attachment 1b and the other templates associated with EPA services?
Attachment 1b provides bidders with details of the End Point Assessment (EPA) related service filters that will be presented to bidders as part of the selection questionnaire should they select that they can provide EPA services. If a bidder does not provide EPA services, they must NOT select EPA Services from the following question in the DMP Selection Questionnaire: Please confirm which of the following services your organisation provides: Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE-Frameworks) Specification of Apprenticeship Standards End-Point Assessments (EPA) for specification of Apprenticeship Standards.
Answered
Jul-18-2019 08:37
2. Please can you advise if we should complete Attachment 2, the MI reporting template? We are unclear what is expected at the application stage.
Attachment 2 - MI. Suppliers will be required to complete this template only once they are appointed to the RM6102 DMP. All MI Reports must be completed by the Supplier using the MI Reporting Template and returned to the Authority on or prior to the Reporting Date each month in which there is spend to report, during the Dynamic Marketplace Period and thereafter, until all transactions relating to Contracts have permanently ceased. Please refer to DMP Schedule 9 (Management Information) of the DMP Agreement which forms part of the RM6102 bid pack.
Answered
Jul-18-2019 08:36
3. Our reading of Attachment 3, the financial assessment template, is that we only need to provide our organisation's Companies House number, DUNS number and audited accounts and that the rest of the template will be completed by the CCS analysts. Please can you confirm this assumption is correct?
Attachment 3 - Financial Assessment Template is for information only. The financial assessment template will be complete by CCS in the event that a bidder fails to meet the financial threshold set for RM6102 as detailed in the READ First DPS Needs document. The financial assessment template will be used by CCS Commercial Finance team when completing the financial assessment. Bidders are not required to complete a financial assessment template as part of the DMP process.
Answered
Jul-18-2019 08:35
Does the apprenticeship provider complete the Financial Assessment Template?
Attachment 3 - Financial Assessment Template is for information only. The financial assessment template will be complete by CCS in the event that a bidder fails to meet the financial threshold set for RM6102 as detailed in the READ First DPS Needs document. The financial assessment template will be used by CCS Commercial Finance team when completing the financial assessment. Bidders are not required to complete a financial assessment template as part of the DMP process.
Answered
Jul-15-2019 23:29
4. The "Read First" document indicates in section 3 that we need to complete the generic prospectus and the individual prospectus and pricing matrix for every apprenticeship standard we want to provide training for. However the generic and individual prospectus documents are only available as pdf templates which can't be edited. Please can you advise if we need to submit the prospectuses as part of our application, and if so, where we can find an amendable version of the templates?
CCS can confirm the PDF prospectus templates within the bid pack are for information only, to provide bidders with detail of what information they are expected to provide as part of their RM6102 DMP submission, thus enabling bidders to prepare in advance of accessing the portal. However, the prospectus requirements is built in to the RM6102 portal, which bidders will complete electronically as part of their Selection Questionnaire. Please read the READ First DPS Needs document which forms part of the bid pack for full details on how to apply for the RM6102 DMP.
Answered
Jul-12-2019 08:51
We are asked to submit pricing matrix for each apprenticeship standard we offer. However, we deliver Level 7 Accounting/Taxation Professional standard and the price may vary depending on the professional qualification employer selects to cover the knowledge element of the standard. Can you please advise whether we can submit various version of the pricing matrix for this standard based on the professional qualification selected (e.g. ICAEW, ACCA or CIMA). Thank you.
CCS can confirm that the RM6102 DMP portal only allows for one pricing matrix to be uploaded for one Apprenticeship Standard and/ or Framework and not multiple matrix's for one Apprenticeship Standard and/ or Framework to support different professional qualifications. In this instance, suppliers should detail as part of their prospectus the different qualifications they have available per Apprenticeship Standard and/ or Framework. Customers may include the requirement to demonstrate multiple or specific qualifications to support a Apprenticeship Standard and/ or Framework as part of a standard award procedure.
Answered
Jul-12-2019 08:40
We are currently completing our SQ. Re Q133, we are unable to provide the contact details for the example we have provided as the client has declined to allow us to share that information. The information for the contract is available from the ESFA, would the CCS be able to source this information here instead?
CCS can confirm that Q133 is NOT APPLICABLE and therefore does not require a response. Please refer to the READ First DPS Needs document within the bid pack for all 'Not Applicable' questions, which can be located in section 9.
Answered
Jul-02-2019 11:06
CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS: Call Off Contract Terms for Apprenticeship Training Dynamic Marketplace (RM6102) Contract Schedule 4 - Security - Security Management Plan Please confirm if a Security Management Plan is a requirement of the call off Contract Terms. Clause 23.1 of the main Contract Terms and the wording in Annex 1 of Contract Schedule 4 indicate that a Contract Management Plan will be needed if required by a Customer. However the wording in paragraphs 4.1 and 4.3 of Contract Schedule 4 would appear to indicate that it is an absolute obligation to provide one. Please could some clarify be provided on this point.
CCS can confirm that the default position is that a security plan is required but clause 23.1 and the placeholder in schedule 4 makes it clear that the Customer has the ability to opt out of the requirement.
Answered
Jun-27-2019 10:38
CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS: Call Off Contract Terms for Apprenticeship Training Dynamic Marketplace (RM6102) Contract Schedule 3, Clause 3.1 - Contract Charges, Payment and Invoicing Please confirm if the reference in lines 1-2 of clause 3.1 to "paragraph 5 of this Contract Schedule 3 (Reimbursable Expenses)" is correct. The bidder can find no reference to '(Reimbursable Expenses)' in paragraph 5.
Thank you for highlighting this inconsistency. The contract does not make provision for Reimbursable Expenses as all contract prices (and ESFA funding) will be set at the start of the Contract. Which is why there is no later reference to Reimbursable Expenses or any obligations connected to Reimbursable Expenses. The Contract will be amended as follows: Clause 3.1 of Schedule 3 - the words Except as expressly set out in paragraph 5 of this Contract Schedule 3 (Reimbursable Expenses), will be deleted. Schedule 1 Definitions - within the definition of "Costs" section (d) to be deleted entirely. Schedule 1 Definitions - within the definition of "Open Book Data" the words Reimbursable Expenses, if allowed under the Contract Order Form will be deleted. CCS will issue a notification via the SRS portal once the revised Contract Terms have been uploaded to the RM6102 Bid pack.
Answered
Jun-27-2019 10:35
CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS: Call Off Contract Terms for Apprenticeship Training Dynamic Marketplace (RM6102) Clauses 23.25 to 23.39 inclusive and Contract Schedule 8 - Data Protection The bidder believes that there will be a controller to controller relationship (and not a controller to processor or even a Joint Controller relationship) between a Customer and the bidder under the definitions set out in the current data protection legislation. The bidder is a higher education institution and a public body. Where a Customer is processing the Personal Data of the apprentices as employees it will be the controller and where the bidder is processing the Personal Data of the apprentices as students of the bidder on credit bearing programmes, the bidder will be the controller. The bidder cannot assume the role of data processor where it is deciding the purposes and means of data collection. In the case of the delivery of a course or programme, where it will be in position to decide what data is needed in order to deliver that course and administer an award, it will not be acting on the instructions of another party in the vast majority of cases. The bidder has its own obligations to administer awards and these cannot practically be dictated by a Customer. The bidder will have a direct relationship with data subjects, which may (and it should be assumed) extend to a relationship of confidence. For example, if a student were to declare a disability to it or access its confidential wellbeing services or any form of pastoral care (including information that may be provided in confidence to tutors for example) the bidder would not be able to provide/delete all data on the instructions of the Data Controller in these instances. In all these instances, the bidder would not 'ask consent' from the Controller before collecting any new data that may be gathered as part of this relationship with the bidder - this is not logical or workable. If data subjects exercised rights in relation to their data, it would not be possible to provide data of this nature to a Customer on demand without potentially breaching the duty of confidence. The data that will be required during the lifecycle of a delivered course, while definable to a degree, is very likely to be unpredictable. It would very much be dependent on what services the student accesses during their time on the course and, again, the purposes and means will ultimately be decided by the bidder in those instances. Students may also go onto (and would likely be invited) to become Alumni after their course ends. Again, it is the bidder that is responsible for this onward processing of data for its own purposes. The bidder also retains student records for other autonomous purposes connected to its public tasks and verifying studies that students have undertaken, again, this is not under the control of another party. The bidder also has its own retention periods in respect of this which would conflict with any requirements to delete data at the end of the service provision or similar. The bidder is strongly of the view that it will not be a data processor (or even joint controller) as a result of being a 'supplier' of apprenticeship training services. The parties are acting as separate Data Controllers, who will share information for the purposes of meeting the aims of the scheme. This does mean the contractual clauses need to cover an understanding of what data will or must be shared, due diligence by both parties in terms of the security of data, and robust measures in place to communicate in instances of breach, exercising of rights and privacy notices. For the above reasons the bidder believes the terms in clauses 23.25-23.39 (Data Protection) do not reflect the reality of what would actually be a controller to controller data processing scenario, or that they are ultimately in the best interests of the apprentices themselves. If the bidder is successful, please advise if the provisions of clauses 23.25-23.39 and Contract Schedule 8 could be adjusted by Customers to reflect controller to controller data protection provisions.
CCS can confirm the contract's data protection obligations apply narrowly and only to the data supplied as part of the specific apprenticeship training provider services and that issues of Alumni association etc are matter solely between the potential supplier and the student. CCS could adopt the position that, there is a wide discretion within the Contract terms to draw up a data controller/data processor or joint controller agreement which could address some of the issues.
Answered
Jun-27-2019 10:33
CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS: Call Off Contract Terms for Apprenticeship Training Dynamic Marketplace (RM6102) Clause 1.4 - Definitions and Interpretations In the event of any conflict between the call off Contract Terms and the DMP Agreement, the wording indicates that any conflict will be resolved in accordance with the following order of precedence: (a) Contract Order Form; (b) Contract Terms; (c) DMP Agreement. This appears to conflict with the wording in clause 1.2.3 (Interpretation) of the DMP Agreement which indicates that in the event of any conflict the provisions of the DMP Agreement will prevail over the Contract Terms (or Contract as they are referred to the in DMP Agreement), save for any permitted refinement to the template order form and contract terms. Please can the Authority clarify whether the call off Contract Terms prevail over the DMP Agreement or vice versa.
CCS can confirm that the Contract Terms require an amendement, which will be undertaken in due course. Clause 1.4 of the contract terms shall read following the amendment as follows: In the event of and only to the extent of any conflict between the Contract Order Form, the Contract Terms and the provisions of the DMP Agreement, the conflict shall be resolved in accordance with the following order of precedence: a) The DMP Agreement; b) the Contract Order Form; and c) the Contract Terms.
Answered
Jun-27-2019 10:31
But how do we update our contact details? People can't contact us otherwise... Also, how do we get on the "Apprenticeships Training and Related Services" framework?
Please refer to the READ First DPS Needs document which can be accessed via Contracts Finder in the RM6102 Bid Pack for full instructions of how to apply update your answers including your contact details in the RM6102 DMP if they are incorrect.
Answered
Jun-27-2019 10:29
Hello, We are requested to complete a Pricing Matrix for each Standard we deliver. If a free EPA resit is not covered by our proposed fees, we are asked to "include a price and provide details of the costs that will be incurred in the below text box." I'm struggling to see how this can be answered, since there are too many variables. It is the Employer's responsibility to choose an EPAO and the fees for retakes vary from one EPAO to another. In addition, fees vary depending on the module that needs to be retaken and for the Standards we offer, can vary in cost between £20 - £350. Retake fees are for negotiation between the EPAO and the Employer, with our support. Therefore, since we have no fixed fee per Standard for EPA retakes, can we keep the cost as £0.00 and then add an explanation as to why this is within the text box provided? Or is it mandated to include a fee. Thank you in advance. Kind regards, Daniel
In such circumstances an explanation is permissable in the text box provided.
Answered
Jun-19-2019 09:57
Within the RM6102 Customer Needs document, section 3.5 Digital Delivery outlines the requirements of bidders and their systems. I also note that whilst bidders do not need to have the EN301 549 standard, the "LMS system must have functionality to meet key accessibility elements of the standard". Please could you provide a list of the key elements that we are expected meet?
"In addition to the requirements set out in Customer Needs document, section 3.5 Digital Delivery - The Supplier shall work with Contacting Authorities to ensure the user experience for Apprenticeship learning feels seamless. Once the Apprenticeship has started, the Apprentice may access their learning via the Suppliers Learning Management System (LMS), which will be required to be compatible with Contracting Authority IT systems. The Supplier shall ensure that their LMS can be modified to meet the specific Information Technology (IT) requirements of individual Contracting Authorities. Details shall be defined within a Contracting Authority's Call Off Contract, established under DMP Agreement."
Answered
Jun-19-2019 09:53
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