The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), the government body accountable for funding for apprenticeships, outline the evidence we are required to collect from employers and apprentices prior to enrolment onto an apprenticeship programme.

Failure to provide the appropriate evidence during onboarding will result in us being unable to progress the apprenticeship application so it is important that you are aware of the steps involved in the onboarding process.

To ensure your apprentice(s) are onboarded smoothly we have outlined the key steps in the guide below:

Apprentice(s) onboarding steps

Step 1: Initial enquiry

An employer wishing to enroll an apprentice onto a Degree Apprenticeship programme would first register their interest by contacting the Apprenticeship Team ( The team will schedule an initial meeting with the Business Development Manager to provide you more information about the programme and discuss the roles and responsibilities of employing an apprentice.

They will help you determine whether the programme is relevant to your organisation and ensure that the potential apprentice meet the eligibility criteria below:

Eligibility criteria:

  • Have the right to work in England
  • Spend at least 50% of their working hours in England
  • Employed in a full-time role, contracted to minimum 30hrs per week
  • Be employed in a role relevant to the apprenticeship programme
  • Maths and English GCSE: minimum Grade C/4 or equivalent
  • Applicants must meet any specific entry requirements for the apprenticeship standard

Step 2: Request for Services

The Request for Services Form is completed by the employer when they have decided to place an apprentice onto one of our Degree Apprenticeship programmes. This form allows us to collate key information about your company and the potential apprentice. We also use this to ensure that the applicant is eligible for an apprenticeship programme.

You can find the link to the online Request for Services form for each School below:

As part of the Request for Services process you will also be prompted to return the following via email:

Health and Safety form: please sign with a wet or electronic signature and return as a Word document - we are unable to accept a typed signature for audit purposes. Once completed this form is valid for 3 years.

Employer Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance: this is normally a combined policy - it is unlikely that you will have a separate PLI certificate, so a copy of the relevant page from the policy schedule or confirmation from your broker will be fine. Certificates are valid for 12 months.

Register for Digital Apprenticeship Services (funding)

Both levy payers and small employers will need to set up a Digital Apprenticeship Services account in order to arrange funding for the programme.

Our internal Funding Team ( are here to support you with this and will make contact with you to make arrangements on your digital account.

Step 3: The Application

Once the Request for Services form has been received the employer will be sent the link to the application form. It is the employer's responsibility to forward the application link onto the applicant. This is to make sure that the application link is received ONLY by the applicant that you have put forward. It's a good idea to add the deadline to your own diary and follow up with your employee to ensure that this is completed in a timely manner.

The applicant will receive an automated email acknowledgement once the application is submitted. At this point, the application is reviewed by the admissions team, to assess the applicant against the programme eligibility criteria. Maths and English GCSE certificates (minimum grade C/4 or equivalent) must be produced at this stage in order for the application to progress.

The admissions team may be in touch if they require any further information.

Step 4: Apprentice Onboarding

Shortly after submitting the application the apprentice will be prompted to start their onboarding. They will receive an invite to APTEM, the management information system the University uses to onboard apprentices and ensure compliance requirements are met prior to enrolment. The user-friendly platform automatically guides the apprentice through the onboarding requirements using the 'onboarding wizard' and allow the user to electronically sign the apprenticeship documentation.

It is advisable to allocate time for your employee to complete the onboarding steps as their application cannot progress until all their actions are complete.

Step 5: Employer Onboarding

Once the apprentice has completed their part of the onboarding we will be in touch with the employer (either line manager or apprenticeship lead) to sign the apprenticeship paperwork. You will receive an invitation to APTEM, where you will need to set up your account and add your signature to the Apprenticeship Agreement and the Training Plan (formerly known as Commitment Statement). The apprentice always has to sign these documents before the employer so if the documents aren’t showing in your APTEM dashboard, yet it means that the apprentice has yet to sign them. Both documents will then be countersigned by the Training Provider.

Apprenticeship Agreement – this document is used to confirm employer arrangements between the apprentice and the employer.

Training Plan (previously known as Commitment Statement) – this document includes the planned delivery content of the course, schedule for training and details the roles and responsibilities of the apprentice, employer and training provider.

Apprenticeship Services Contract - Once both the apprentice and the employer have completed the onboarding in APTEM, an employer contract will be sent to you for review and signature via email. The contract will require an electronic or wet signature. We are unable to accept a typed signature for audit purposes. Please return this as soon as possible as the apprentice will not be able to enrol until the apprenticeship documentation is signed and verified.

Step 6: Registration

Following onboarding the apprentice's application will be reviewed by the Programme Team, and they will be in touch if they require further information. The apprentice should look out for their offer letter from the Admissions Team. Registration details will be issued approximately 2-3 weeks before the programme is due to start and will come direct from the Registration Team.