The Apprenticeship Service

The apprenticeship service is the government portal for managing apprenticeship programmes.  Employers use it to:

  • View details on levy funds
  • Create and manage funding reservations or levy transfers
  • Create and manage apprenticeship records
  • Recruit for apprentice positions
  • Find apprenticeship training and providers
  • Provide feedback on training providers
  • Apply for the Hire a New Apprentice Incentive

Before you start, you will need:

  • Access to the internet and your email account
  • The sign in details for your organisation’s Government Gateway account that is linked to the PAYE scheme that the apprentice is under

Note: the apprentice must be included in the PAYE scheme that is declared in the apprenticeship service account.  The Educational and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will cross-check this with HMRC PAYE data.

There are further instructions you will need to read if:

To create an account:

  1. Visit
  2. Click Create account
  3. Enter your details, review the terms and conditions and click Set me up
  4. A code will be sent to the email address you entered (it may take a few minutes to come
    through). Enter this code on the webpage and click Continue.

    Note: For steps 5 and 6, you will be given the option to skip or complete later. Skipping
    either step will disable your option to reserve funding

  5. You will be asked to enter PAYE information. If you have your Government Gateway details,
    select that option and click Continue. Log in, check the details and click These details are
    correct. PAYE schemes associated with that account will be added
  6. You will be asked if you want to review the employer agreement now or later. Choose to
    view now, read the agreement and chose the appropriate option and click Continue

Your account is now set up and you will be taken to the Apprenticeship Service home page.
You can access this page at any time by going to

You can manage every aspect of your apprenticeships through the Apprenticeship Service.  Alternatively, you can allow Starting Off to enter some of the details for you. By doing this, we will create your recruitment advertisement for you, and once an apprentice is found, we will reserve funding and populate their details and the details of the course too (this is known as a cohort).

All cohort and recruitment records we create go to you for approval before becoming live, so you remain in complete control.

Whilst we must have your authorisation to recruit on your behalf, if you prefer to create cohort records yourself, Starting Off will send you the necessary details and instructions via email once recruitment is complete and we have signed the apprentice up to the course.

To allow Starting Off to recruit and create cohorts:

  1. Log in to your Apprenticeship Service account:
  2. Select the link for Your Training Providers, then click Add a new training provider
  3. Enter 10027655 in the UKPRN field and click Continue
  4. Confirm Starting Off (Northampton) Limited is showing, then select Yes, use STARTING OFF (NORTHAMPTON) LIMITED and click Continue
  5. It will show that we have been added as a training provider. Select Set permissions for this training provider and click Continue
  6. Change the permissions to Allow for both Add apprentice records and Recruit apprentices then click Set permissions
  7. Check the details are correct then click Confirm

Note: If you have give permission for Starting Off to create cohorts on your behalf, we will complete this process for you.

To create a reservation for an apprenticeship programme:

  1. Log in to your Apprenticeship Service account:
  2. Select the link for Your Funding Reservations, then click Reserve Funding (or Reserve More Funding if you already have some reservations)
  3. You will be asked if you know the apprenticeship training the apprentice will take, select Yes and then use the search box to find the name of the Apprenticeship Standard and click Continue.  Starting Off offer the following standards:

    • Accounts / Finance Assistant - Level 2
    • Assistant accountant - Level 3
    • Professional accounting / taxation technician - Level 4
    • Business Administrator - Level 3
    • Customer service practitioner - Level 2
    • Customer service specialist - Level 3
    • Digital marketer - Level 3
    • Information communications technician - Level 3
    • Team leader / supervisor - Level 3

  4. Select the month the apprentice will start
  5. Click Confirm
  6. Read the confirmation then select Reserve funding now to finish

Once the start visit has taken place, you will have the necessary details to add the apprentice record to the reservation.

  1. Log in to your Apprenticeship Service account:
  2. Select the link for Your Funding Reservations. Your existing reservations will be listed. If
    there are none showing, you will have to reserve funding first.
  3. Find the relevant reservation and click Add Apprentice
  4. Enter 10027655 in the UK Provider Reference Number field and click Continue
  5. Confirm Starting Off (Northampton) Limited is showing, then select Yes, use STARTING OFF
    (NORTHAMPTON) LIMITED and click Continue
  6. You will be asked again if you would like Starting Off to enter the apprentice details, if you still want to do this yourself, select that option and click Continue
  7. Enter the Firstname, Surname and DOB of the learner
  8. Confirm the Apprenticeship training course is correct
  9. Enter the Planned training start month and Expected training end month
  10. Enter the Total agreed price. This is the full cost of training and end point assessment as per the Apprenticeship Learning Agreement
  11. Click Save and Continue
  12. Check the details are correct and then select to approve the details and notify the training provider
  13. Starting Off will then check the details and add the unique learner number (ULN).
  14. The record will then go back to you to give final approval before going live

Below are some basic guides for common tasks on the apprenticeship service.  Further guidance and information can be found on the website or on the ESFA official YouTube channel which you can find links for at the bottom of this page

Service Overview page giving an overview of the apprenticeship service

Visit page

Help articles

List of all employer help pages on

Visit page

Help videos

A playlist of all employer related videos from the Department for Education YouTube page

Visit page

If you have any queries related to the Apprenticeship Service then you can also contact our administration team using this form: