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IMPORTANT NOTES AFFECTING ALL FRAMEWORK DEVELOPERS:
Changes to the AFO site to support Higher Apprenticeships have now been implemented.
To develop a framework you need to have an Apprenticeship frameworks online account.
The framework issuer can invite you to create an account when you have submitted an expression of interest to develop a framework.
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Transition arrangements for existing frameworks on AFO
Current Apprenticeship frameworks at levels 2 and 3 (without Higher Apprenticeship routes)
1. As there are no changes relating to the mandatory requirements for Intermediate and Advanced Level frameworks under SASE, there is no immediate requirement to update these frameworks after 6 April 2013.
2. Any changes that you do require to be made to level 2 and 3 frameworks, after 6 April 2013, will need to reflect the new naming convention for the title of the framework which must say "Intermediate and Advanced Level Apprenticeship in xxx (if Levels 2 and 3 are combined).
3. AFO will retain the content of existing frameworks at Levels 2 and 3 (i.e. frameworks will not be archived) which can be revised and / or edited in the usual manner to update content and to incorporate the new naming convention.
Current Apprenticeship frameworks which combine Intermediate, Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships
4. If there are any revisions made to the Level 2 and 3 routes, after 6 April 2013, then the change of framework title will also need to be made to reflect the new naming convention (see point 2 above).
5. If there are no changes being made to the Level 4 and 5 routes, then these framework levels do NOT need to comply with the new SASE requirements until 5 April 2014.
6. If there are changes being made to the Level 4 and 5 routes after 6 April 2013, then these will need to be created in a separate Higher Apprenticeship framework document using AFO. The new naming convention "Higher Apprenticeship in xxx - Levels 4 and 5) must be followed and the framework content must be compliant with the recent changes to SASE. (NB: We are currently looking into options to make this process easier for framework developers who already have Higher Apprenticeship information on AFO, within combined framework documents. For example, a framework copy or cut and paste facility).
7. Where a separate Higher Apprenticeship framework is created for Levels 4 and 5 as per point 6 (i.e. which were originally part of a combined levels framework), the Level 4 and 5 sections must be deleted from the Level 2 and 3 framework document on AFO. To delete an entire level and all its pathways (e.g. Level 4 or 5) simply uncheck the box next to that level on the 'Select / Edit level' screen in the Framework Creator on AFO. A warning message will be displayed asking you to confirm that you want to delete the level and its associated pathways.
Current Higher Apprenticeship framework at Levels 4 and/or 5 which are NOT currently combined with Level 2 and 3 frameworks
8. For current Higher Apprenticeship frameworks, the policy intent is that frameworks at Levels 4 and 5 have one year to become SASE compliant (i.e. by 5 April 2014), subject to any other further policy changes relating to Apprenticeships that may have to be complied with.
9. Any existing frameworks at Levels 4 and/or 5 which are revised after 6 April 2013 MUST meet the new SASE requirements, regardless of the type of revision, even if it is just a minor change of adding a new qualification. The new naming convention must be followed. e.g. "Higher Apprenticeship in xx - Levels 4, 5, 6 or 7.
10. Any new frameworks created on AFO for Levels 4 -7, after 6 April 2013, must meet the new SASE requirements for Higher Apprenticeships and following the new naming convention e.g. "Higher Apprenticeship in xx - Levels 4, 5, 6 or 7. The online guidance and tips within AFO has been updated to reflect any changes in the way that framework developers should be completing the AFO template for the different levels of Apprenticeship. There are no functional or field name changes to AFO templates per se. For example, Level 4 and Level 5 are functionally the same as before and with all the same form fields as previously existed. However, the change is that these now require to be completed differently for the different levels of Apprenticeship. Also, the new Level 6 and Level 7 (for England) format will be identical to the current (and future) Level 4 and Level 5 format, taking account of the new SASE requirements for Higher Apprenticeships.