​Information for new Centres

Once providers have completed the Centre Approval process and registered as a Centre, the first question that is often asked is ‘how do I draw down funding for NCFE CACHE qualifications?’ This section deals with the two public funding bodies who Centres will most regularly deal with:

The Education Funding Agency (for learners aged 16-19)
The Skills Funding Agency (for learners aged 19+, and apprentices aged 16+)

Accessing funding for learners aged 16-19

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) funds FE colleges, sixth-form colleges, sixth-forms in schools and academies to provide study programmes for:

  • learners aged 16 to 19
  • learners up to the age of 25 when they have a Learning Disability Assessment (LDA) or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • 14-16 year olds who are directly enrolled in eligible FE institutions
  • home-educated learners of compulsory school age at any FE college.

Learners are funded at the same basic funding rate per academic year, currently £4000 for 16 and 17 year olds and £3300 for 18 year olds, depending on the size of their Study Programme. Further information about Study Programmes can be found on the Department for Education website.

Setting up a new EFA contract is only open to commercial and charitable providers (CCPs) that currently hold (or receive in the course of the year) an Ofsted rating of grade 1 outstanding for overall effectiveness. As this can be prohibitive, subcontracting is often the preferred method of drawing down funding for new providers. Providers without an EFA contract can approach providers who already have a direct EFA contract or funding agreement and express their interest in working with them as a sub-contractor. Should you choose to subcontract, the Lists of providers in receipt of EFA allocations are available on the GOV.UK website; the requirements for sub-contracting are also available on the website.

A range of information and guidance relating to 16-19 market entry for providers is available on the Gov.uk website, and should be referred to by all new Centres looking to deliver qualifications to 16-19 year olds.

Accessing funding for learners aged 19+

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has a dedicated page for providers on their website which explains the procedure for registering with them, applying to be on the Register of Training Organisations and drawing down funding for eligible learners. It also explains the procedure for subcontracting. You can operate as a lead contractor (if your organisational turnover is £500K per year or more) or as a subcontractor. Subcontractors have to pay a management fee (usually between 5%-30% of the total funding amount) to a lead provider for drawing down funding, which is one of the disadvantages of subcontracting.

Once you are registered as a Centre, on the Register of Training Organisations and approved to offer our qualifications (including those within Traineeships and Apprenticeships) you can explore the opportunities for contracting and drawing down public funding. A list of which qualifications are approved for funding for the different age groups of learners can be found on the funding page of our website.