The ESFA have released the first in-year QARs based on the ILR data submitted in R10 and we've updated PICS to reflect the changes to the calculations.
Please read our blog post for the full implication of the changes and links to the ESFA guidance.
The next stage of our Phone system upgrade has arrived a little earlier than planned and, unfortunately, we have little control over the switch over date and time.
This means that at some point tomorrow, 2nd July, between 10am and 3pm, we will be without phone connections for 30-60 minutes. We are very sorry for this inconvenience, but emails will be working fine during this period and we will of course be back to full operation as soon as we can.
Thank you for bearing with us through this system migration.
We are pleased to announce the release of our new online course, PICS AdHoc Reporting. The content of this course includes a detailed introduction of how AdHoc works, along with how to get the most out of your bespoke reporting in PICS by producing both spreadsheet and interactive pivot table outputs.
The course includes a series of lessons using videos, documentation, and other resources to support your learning experience. Each registration on the course lasts for 3 months, giving you plenty of time to make full use of the content.
Please be aware that there could be some disruption to our phone service on Tuesday 18th June, as our current system is due to be replaced on that day. We’ve been advised that any disruption should be very minor, but we wanted to forewarn you.
Our key phone numbers will remain the same but you may notice differences in the way that your calls are handled. And yes, we’ll finally have on-hold music!
A further reminder will be issued on Monday 17th June.
We are pleased to announce that on April 10th we will be running another new, extended webinar to cover the functionality and features of the PICS AdHoc reporting facility. The content will include a detailed introduction of how AdHoc works, along with how to get the most out of your bespoke reporting in PICS by producing both spreadsheet and interactive pivot table outputs. This webinar is suitable for those who have experience of working with PICS, who would like to develop or improve their knowledge and use of AdHoc reporting.
As announced last week in the Chancellor’s Spring statement, the employer contribution for apprenticeships will be reduced to 5% for new starts from 1st April onward. Whilst the move had previously been announced in the Chancellor’s Budget, no implementation date had been set.
In response to this surprise announcement, we have adjusted both our validation and funding calculations, and version 15.20.008.01 of PICS will include these changes.
We are very pleased to be sponsoring the AELP's latest round of workshops, Successfully Delivering an Apprenticeship for New Providers. We have already attended several of these events and think they are invaluable for any of you who are just getting ready for your first Ofsted inspections. These events are open for everyone, not just members. Further details are available below.
The ESFA recently released version 3 of the 2017 Qualification Achievement Rates (QAR) specification, and in the next release of PICS, the Achievement Rates report will include these changes. These are:
The “exclude early leavers” rule no longer applies to Trailblazers (Apprenticeship report only)
The rules for deriving qualification type for Minimum Standards have been updated (Education and Training report only)
New Option to exclude Reported Overdue-Planned-Breaks
We have identified some cases where the ESFA has excluded overdue-planned-breaks in the QARs if they are still reported in the ILR, so to allow providers to successfully reconcile their data we have added new option to mimic this behaviour. This option is available on the Report Options tab in the Achievement Rates report, and is titled Exclude Overdue Plan’d Breaks if Rep. If ticked, PICS will not identify any aim as an “Overdue planned break” if it is contained within an episode which does not have a Programme End Date (on the PICS Episode tab), and is therefore still included in the ILR export.