National Training Programme (NTP) contracted learning providers will need to meet a number of operational requirements as part of the day-to-day running of the training contract.

Quality Assurance

Find detailed information for providers on the SDS Quality Assurance process and key documentation at our Work Based Learning Quality Assurance & Improvement Hub.

Quality Assurance and Improvement Framework Arrangements 2021-22

Training administration

All contract entries, trainee data and claims are managed on the SDS database, Funding Information and Processing System (FIPS).

It is essential that information is input accurately and on time, so that we can at any time compile meaningful reports from the system.

This is a key requirement for all contractors and strict adherence to guidelines is required for various reasons:

  • overall performance is managed based on the statistics retrieved from the system, which you input
  • it allows us to supply progress reports to discuss with you at contract management meetings
  • decisions on future funding will take these statistics into account
  • if the system is not reflecting actual performance, then the success of national training programmes could be misrepresented and their future compromised

You will be asked to ensure that a minimum of two individuals are trained and fully conversant with all data processing.

The system is internet based and the minimum specification for hardware is available on request.

European Social Funding (ESF) applications

SDS may from time to time submit network wide applications for ESF to support NTP funding.

If you intend using the national programme funding contribution as match funding for your own ESF applications, you should provide details of this in your proposals. It is important also to note that in this situation, you must at all times observe the programme operating rules.


A review of performance will be carried out by SDS throughout the duration of NTP contracts.

Various aspects of delivery will be covered, including:

  • Published key performance levels will be used to measure provider performance
  • Quantitative achievements against targets - you will be expected to reach agreed achievement levels by an agreed time
  • Quality of delivery - you should include details on how you plan to develop the quality of training delivery for national training programmes in your Quality Development Plans (QDPs) 
  • Equal opportunities practice
  • Linkages between SDS NTPs
  • Progress towards achieving positive outcomes
  • Quality of customer journeys

In addition to recording all positive outcomes, SDS will record progression of clients from one national programme to another. For example, if you are delivering the Employability Fund, we will review how effectively you assist clients to progress on to Modern Apprenticeships.

Contract managers will also review how successfully learning providers assist trainees/employees to progress on to non SDS funded training, education or job outcomes.


The contract period will be from April 2019 until the end of March 2020, unless otherwise stated.