Calculating Off The Job hours


This article provides guidance on how to calculate Off The Job hours based on Bud's current logic.

How to: Calculate Off The Job hours:

Please note: ESFA updated guidance - Valid from 19th March 2024

In the ESFA Update: 6th March 2024 there was a further clarification on the rounding used by the ESFA in their new OTJH calculation template.

A calculator has been created to help providers check compliance with the policy. To keep this as simple as possible, the start point (duration in weeks) and the end point (minimum number of off-the-job hours hours) are rounded to a full number. Statutory leave is not rounded.

Bud have made further adjustments to the calculation used (detailed below) which will take effect from the planned release on 19th March 2024. 

ESFA Training plan template Updates - Valid from 6th March 2024:

Following the release of the ESFA’s Training Plan Template 23_24 Rules V1 in late 2023, we have made modifications to our existing min-OTJH calculation in enrolment to ensure that the output precisely matches the ESFA’s calculations used on Tab 4 of the document. The publication of this document has provided clarity regarding the precise calculation the ESFA uses, and the rounding applied to input and output values which was previously not publicised.


New Enrolments: The updated calculation will automatically be used on any Apprenticeship enrolment started after the release date of 6th March 2024.​

“In progress” enrolments: Where an enrolment was started prior to 6th March 2024, but not completed until after this date then selecting the “re-calculate OTJH” option will ensure that the latest calculation is applied to the values produced and documented.​

Enrolments completed before the 6th March 2024 (Optional): Should providers wish to recalculate the min-OTJH value for a learner who has already enrolled, then this can be achieved by entering the enrolment edit-flow and clicking the “re-calculate OTJH” option. If they subsequently regenerate the enrolment documents, then these should update to reflect the change applied.


ESFA Funding Rules Updates July 2022: 

For full time apprenticeship learners with a start date on or after 01/08/2022 the new minimum requirement is 20% of a 30 hour week (even where the apprentice works more than 30 hours per week for an employer) equating to an average of 6 hours of off-the-job training per week. Those who work fewer than 30 hours per week will still have their minimum OTJH recorded as 20% of their working time.


Bud’s key understanding of Off The Job hours

Bud’s current understanding of the rules around off the job (OTJ) training is as follows:

  • At least 20% of the Apprentices contracted hours must be spent OTJ training. The training cannot be solely delivered by distance learning.
  • A detailed list of activities should be present, which clearly states the allocation of OTJ hours and the total must be at least 20%
  • Overview of OTJ hours should be clearly displayed in the training plan (formerly commitment statement)
  • Calculating OTJ hours should be consistent throughout the Apprentices programme
  • Statutory holiday, of 28 days per year, should be excluded from the OTJ calculation
  • For standards, OTJ hours only apply to the practical period of the apprenticeship, i.e. the EPA period is excluded from the calculation. 

Bud’s approach to calculations

The calculations are based on the number of hours the apprentice works and are rounded where appropriate.

OTJ hours are calculated as follows:

End of Practical Period Date - Start Date (+1 day) = Duration in Days
Duration in Days / 7 = Duration in Weeks (rounded to nearest whole number)
Duration in Weeks - (Duration in Weeks / 1.1207) = Prorated holiday in Weeks (rounded to one decimal place)
(Duration in Weeks - Prorated holiday in Weeks) * Hours worked per week * 0.2 = Minimum OTJ hours required (rounded to nearest whole hour)

*All values in the final calculation are rounded to the nearest whole number except for Prorated holiday in Weeks which is to one decimal place.


For a Standards Programme, starting on 22/05/2019 with the end of practical period being 22/11/2020, where the apprentice works 25 hours per week, we would calculate:

22/11/2020 - 22/05/2019 (+1 day) = 551 day duration
551 / 7 = 79 Weeks Duration (Rounded to nearest whole number)
(79 - (79/1.1207) = 8.5 weeks holiday (Rounded to one decimal place)
(79 - 8.5) * 25 * 0.2 = 353 OTJ hours required (rounded to the nearest whole hour)

NB: Hours worked per week use a maximum of 30 hours if the start date is on or after 1 August 2022.


When adding activities to a given programme, the following text is shown to indicate how many OTJ hours have been added to activities and the number required to meet the 20% target:

“Planned Off-the-job training hours of all activities:

XX hrs of required YY hrs

This is based on a MM month programme, an apprentice working a 37.5 hour week and excludes 28 days statutory holiday per annum.”

XX = sum of hours included across all activities for a given programmes

YY = calculated number of OTJ Hours required

MM = minimum duration for a programme 

Training Plan (formerly Commitment Statement)

The following text is present on the Training Plan:

“As you work XX hours per week and your planned programme is for XX weeks, the number of planned Off The Job training hours you must complete is XX.”

Learning Portal

Each Activity displays the number of OTJ hours as set out in the initial programme design.

When an Activity is complete the planned OTJ hours will be marked off as complete. The progression measure, OTJ hours, will be appropriately incremented.

Should an Individual Learning Plan not have more than 20% OTJ hours the following message will be present:

“Your planned number of Off The Job training is XX hours, the minimum for the programme is YY hours.”





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