There are 2 new systems to tender for NHS apprenticeships

The new systems have been created by the NHS London Procurement Partnership (LPP) and NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS).

LPP uses a dynamic purchasing system, and NHS SBS has introduced an apprenticeship training services framework. Both are electronic platforms that are used to tender for goods and services. Different areas of the public sector already use similar systems, and now the NHS has introduced a new category for the provision of apprenticeship training providers.

WHY WERE THEY INTRODUCED?

As the UK’s largest employer, the NHS now has to pay the apprenticeship levy to cover the cost of apprenticeship training, assessment and certification. Public sector bodies also have to comply with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 when selecting a training provider and end-point assessment provider. The ESFA’s Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) doesn’t comply with these rules, so organisations can’t simply select a provider from the Register – that’s why the new systems have been introduced.

While it’s really important that NHS trusts put their apprenticeship levy to good use, the new systems make sure NHS Trusts get the best value for money. The levy is essentially tax-payers’ money, so everyone is responsible for making sure it’s spent in the most efficient way.

HOW DO THEY WORK?

Training providers, HEIs and colleges can apply to either, or both. For the LLP DPS, all suppliers must be listed on the RoATP and meet a series of quality assurance rules to qualify. To be listed on the NHS SBS apprenticeship training services framework, providers must meet various industry standards – including being on the RoATP and achieving an Ofsted review of level 3 or above.

NHS trusts and other public sector users and buyers can access apprenticeship providers via these systems. All providers are pre-qualified, so contracts can be negotiated and won quickly and easily – especially if it’s both parties’ chosen route. With the NHS SBS framework, customers can contract directly with their preferred supplier on the framework.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Provider flexibility – new suppliers can apply to the systems and bid for contracts.

Geographic coverage – providers can supply to all regions and sub-regions of England.

HOW DO TRAINING PROVIDERS APPLY?

We recommend training providers apply to both systems as different trusts and public sector bodies will use different ones.

The NHS London Procurement Partnership:

You can register your organisation on the LPP website at any time, and complete an online selection questionnaire. The LPP will let you know the outcome of your application within 10 working days – if you meet the minimum evaluation criteria, you’ll be added to the DPS. If you fail, you can reapply at any time once any non-conformance issues have been rectified.

If successful, you then need to register your categories and regions here. When these have been verified by LPP, you’ll then be made available for buyers to see and invite you to any mini competitions for which you are eligible.

NHS Shared Business Services:

NHS SBS has a registration window for suppliers every 3 months, and the next window is planned for the end of September 2017. To apply to become a provider on the NHS SBS framework – or if you have any queries – contact Christopher Robson at [email protected] or 0161 212 2420. He’ll be able to provide further information. Suppliers may also find it useful to register on the EU Supply e-tendering portal here.

As we mentioned, the new procurement platforms are pretty similar. So, to help you tell them apart, we’ve created a comparison chart with all the subtle differences.

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