Register of Training Organisations
The Register of Training Organisations (RTO) is a list of organisations that have passed the due diligence part of the Skills Funding Agency’s (SFA’s) market-entry pre-qualification process.
This process requires organisations to be on the Register if they
- are directly funded by the SFA, or
- hold (or wish to enter into) SFA sub-contracts with an aggregate value of more than £100,000, or
- wish to compete for contracts for delivery of education and training services funded by the SFA
The RTO is now open and closes on 3rd July 2015, at 5 p.m. The current opening IS a ‘refresh’. This means that even if your organisation is already listed on the register, you must refresh information if you wish to remain on it.
For this refresh, the SFA have updated their processes and there are significant changes.
There are now two sets of questions:
Due Diligence questions (including financial health): All organisations must complete and pass these in order to appear on the register
Capacity and Capability questions: Organisations must complete and pass these if they want to compete for funding/ contract opportunities. (Direct contract holders must pass these to be eligible for growth in the future.)
NB – Organisations required to be on the register due to the aggregate value of sub-contracts, but NOT wishing to compete for direct contracts do NOT need to complete and pass Capacity and Capability questions.
Should VOLA members apply to be on the Register?
VOLA has always cautioned smaller member organisations over spending time and energy on this PQQ: even if accepted onto the RTO, it is unlikely our smaller members would be able to bid for contracts on their own due to limited capacity and geographical reach compared to the financial value/ scale of the tender opportunities.
As the current version of the questionnaire is more extensive than the previous one, this advice still stands. Although a potential advantage of being on the RTO is that you would directly get new information relating to relevant tenders, enabling you to approach potential leads with a view to contributing to their supply chain, we would advise members to carefully consider the effort of applying to be on the register just for this reason – you would get this information via VOLA, as well as through existing relationships you may have with other potential leads.
The only organisations we feel should consider applying to join the register are those who are involved in, or very likely to become involved in, delivery of SFA contracts as a sub-contractor, or those that are realistically likely to bid directly. The SFA now requires all sub-contracting partners to be declared, and tenders have to indicate whether proposed sub-contractors are on the Register or not; where your aggregate subcontract value (i.e. the total if you sub-contract to different organisations) is over £100,000, you MUST be on the Register before contracts can be awarded to any lead provider naming you as a delivery partner.
You can apply to be on the Register through the e-tendering Bravo Solutions web portal. The link to SFA guidance about the Register of Training Organisations, including the Register itself can be found here. If you want to discuss this with us, please contact the VOLA office on 0151 920 0726 x 215.