Use FIPS to administer and claim payments for Modern, Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships, Employability Fund, ITA and SERI participants.

FIPS Licensing

FIPS is a cloud-based solution from Microsoft which will always have the latest features available providing best value for SDS and its customers.  It also requires an annual licence fee for each user. 

Training Providers will be invoiced for the period from 01-04-19 to 31-03-20.  The cost of this will be £271.83 per year (inc. VAT) per user (£16.52 – April + £23.21 – May - March).  This is a one off payment charged at the beginning of the financial year.  Any additional licences requested throughout the year will incur a licence fee from the month of creation to March 2020.  This will be at a rate of £23.21 (inc. VAT) per month.   

Training Providers should have requested the correct number of licences as they will not be able to obtain a refund for licences. Should providers have a change of staff they will be able to effectively “exchange” a licence for a different user without additional charge by notifying SDS of the changes using the FIPS User Request Form – In Year Additions and Amendments form below.

More information

FIPS technical specification requirements

To maximise the benefits of FIPS, check you have the minimum technical specification and have set up the correct user permissions:

Verification by individuals and employers 

FIPS enables SDS to better automate processes, and will also provide greater assurance around the use of public funding. This topic has featured in the news recently due to the publication of the National Audit Office’s report on Apprenticeships in England.

A key change is that all starts and payments made will be verified by the individual or their employer in response to automated emails/SMS messages and reminders.

Training providers will be able to track and prompt individuals to respond using the system alerts. It is important that your induction processes and review/assessment meetings with apprentices will make them aware of the importance of responding to emails/SMS texts.

This feature of FIPS will not be in use for Employability Fund. 

How-to guides and presentations

Accessing FIPS for the first time? Read the following guide:

Quarterly Progress Review Payment Plans Guidance:

SDS have created a handful of how-to guides to supplement the video guides below:

Use this presentation to work through the FIPS validation process for MA: 

We've created a series of FIPS video guides to help you process Modern Apprenticeships, Foundation Apprenticeships, Employability Fund and Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Initiative.

FIPS Modern Apprenticeship Focus Group

Below are the Terms of Reference and Minutes for the FIPS MA Focus Group.