Guide for SME's

Using the Apprenticeship Service – creating your account and adding provider permissions

Up until now, we have accessed funding from our Levy clients via the Apprenticeship Service (AS) and for our non-Levy clients (SMEs) via contracts with 3rd parties. However, towards the end of 2019, the DfE announced that the previous Apprenticeship funding scheme for Levy payers on the Apprenticeship Service (AS) would be rolled out on a controlled bases to SMEs in 2020.
On the 9th January they announced that the proposed scheme was now open. Keith Smith, Director – Apprenticeships, ESFA, advised that:
“The transition is starting with a test phase where those smaller employers, who feel they are ready, can take advantage of the new approach, accessing apprenticeships via the apprenticeship service and all the benefits it will offer. During this test phase (January to March), additional funding will be made available to fund up to 15,000 new starts through the service.” We have therefore drafted this guide to explain the process of registering on the new service and allowing us to help you get your new apprentices set up on the system prior to commencing their Apprenticeship.
Set out below is a flowchart summarising the process of registering on the AS:

The information that you will need in order to register an account:

Creating a user account:

Adding your Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme:

Confirming an organisation
(may be required):

Accepting the employer agreement

To be able to add PAYE schemes and/or accept the employer agreement, you must have authorisation to do so on behalf of their organisation. The user registering the account automatically becomes the account owner- you can add additional users, additional PAYE schemes and additional connected companies.


This link will take you directly to the portal for registering yourself as an employer on the AS: 

When you have created your account, you can go ahead and reserve funding. 

This is mandatory for all non-levy apprenticeship starts managed through the apprenticeship service 

In order to reserve funding, you will need to know: 

The following link provides guidance on the new process: 


If you are happy to allow us to look after the process of registering new apprentices onto the service for you, please complete the following steps. 


The next step in the journey is adding apprentice details. If you have already given us permission (as per Step 2) then we can go ahead and do this for you. We will only register apprentices for whom you have sent us an Apprenticeship Enrolment Request Form. 

If you really want to do it yourself, here are the steps: 

A full apprentice record needs to be created to enable provider payments 

For either route the system will ask for your final approval. 

We hope this all makes sense, but if you have any queries, do please feel free to phone us to talk it through on 01392 435349.