Off The Job Hours Log Webinar

We have introduced enhanced Off The Job Hours logging, so that Off The Job Hours can be recorded as a learner progresses through an activity, as well as through bulk entries at the point of submissions.

Individual, timed and dated, occurrences can be recorded throughout activity progress. Learners can submit their own Off The Job Hours on an activity, to be marked by their trainer.

If you missed our webinar, you can watch it below:


Please note you can download the slide deck from the presentation at the bottom of this article


For full details, please see Off The Job Hours Log articles:

Off The Job Hours Log for Trainers

Off The Job Hours Log - Bulk Entries for Trainers

Off The Job Hours Log for Learners

Off The Job Hours Log - Bulk Entries for Learners



Q) What are the date limits on when OTJH can be added?

The date entered must be after the start date of the apprenticeship, and on or before the date of entry of the hours. Hours that will happen in the future cannot be added.


Q: Where does the learner log OTJH that do not relate to a planned activity? E.g., workplace practice, supervisions, etc.

We recommend creating activities in Bud for these. Even where it is not specific coursework to be completed, workplace activity can still form a part of the Training Plan. This will then allow you to add OTJH logs against those activities.


Q) Can I view OTJH log entries across all activities at once, for audit purposes or for the employer?

Not at the moment. Each OTJH log is contained within the individual activity. We are aware that a combined view of all OTJH logs would be useful to help with audit compliance and we will consider further developments in the future.


Q: If the hours are changed in the sign-up documents Training Plan will this feed through to the activity so that the planned hours are the same as the Training Plan documentation for when OTJ is agreed?

During enrolment you can edit the planned hours associated with each activity (read more here). This will then be reflected on your Training Plan document and in your learning plan. This can only be done during initial enrolment. Once the learner has been signed up, you will not be able to edit the planned hours for an activity through the enrolment process.


Q: For transferred learners, how can we add bulk covers already covered?

We recommend creating an activity for the pre-transfer period. You can then add a bulk OTJH entry for all of the training completed before the learner transferred to you.


Q: Can learners add comments to the entry when logging their own OTJH?

Learners cannot add comments to the entry directly, but they can submit a message on the activity to provide more detail about their hours. This will help the trainer to determine if the entries can count towards OTJH or not.


Q: Will employers be able to see the logs?

No. The logs are only available to the trainer and the learner. We will consider extending this to employer users in the future.


Q: Has this process been reviewed by the ESFA/DfE for approval?

Unfortunately, the ESFA do not communicate with software providers on topics as specific as this. However, we have used the ESFA’s template and OTJH Guide to help us with our design decisions. We have also spoken to auditors who approve of the functionality. We are confident that this functionality meets the ESFA requirements.


Q: Can evidence be added to each entry to confirm that it is OTJH?

Learners can submit evidence for the activity in the same way as before. If they choose to do this as part of their OTJH logging then that is a process you can implement. But learners do not have the option to add evidence directly to each OTJH entry they make.


Q: Can OTJH be added for cohorts of learners or through the group learning functionality?

No, at the moment this remains as an individual learner basis. We will be introducing the ability to add OTJH on Group activities when we add “Complete” functionality within Group Learning.


Q: Will the date of OTJ log entries be used to indicate the most recent engagement/activity of the learner for reporting / warnings / etc. across the system? Will this include hours logged even if the activity has not yet been completed?

We are currently reviewing brining the OTJHs into the data warehouse, which will include hours logged before the activity is completed. Once this has been completed we will then review our current metrics. This notification will not go to the dashboard.


Q: If a learner adds an OTJH entry, how will the trainer know what the activity relates to?

The OTJH log is linked to each individual activity, so the submissions the learner makes will relate to the Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviour mapped to that activity.

We have followed the example provided in the ESFA’s collection template. Note 3 on the template: This would be a broad description of the activity (e.g. Module 1, Lesson 1) to enable a cross-check against the training plan. Please do not simply put 'off-the-job training'.

If your trainers would like more specific details concerning the activity associated with the OTJH entry, we recommend that you use either the submission or the message functionality so that learners can provide more details.



Q: Do the OTJH logged in the activities update the actual OTJH metrics on the dashboard?

Yes. The learner’s actual OTJH metrics will be updated once the trainer has approved the OTJH entries.


Q: Will trainers be notified when a learner has added an OTJH entry to an activity?

No. We decided not to add trainer notifications for learner entries as this would result in too many notifications for the trainer. If your trainers would like to receive notifications for OTJH entries, we recommend that you implement a process where the learner also messages the trainer once they have added new entries.


Q: Will users be able to add OTJH entries that are in increments smaller than one hour.

For now, entries will have a minimum of 1 hour. We are aware for the need to add smaller increments and will consider further developments in the future.


Q: How does the new OTJ log function interact with activities that have SCORM learning resources, which may or may not be configured to auto-complete an activity?

Hours spent on a SCORM activity are automatically added to the log as an approved bulk entry. As these hours are rounded up or down to the nearest hour, an entry is only created if more than 30 minutes is spent on the activity.


Q: What happens to the OTJH log when learners are in a status other than “in progress”?learning statuses can(gateway, EPA)

OTJH entries can be made and amended while learners are in progress, or in break or withdrawal requested/approved status. The log becomes read-only for learners who are on an approved break, withdrawn, or completed. When learners are in EPA, new activities can be created which hours can be added to.


Q: Are overlapping entries prevented from being added to logs on separate activities?

For now, overlapping entries are only prevented within the log for each individual activity – there is no validation to ensure that the same timeslot cannot be added across multiple activities. We will look into preventing all overlapping OTJH timeslots across activities in the future.


Q: Will the OTJH only be shown for new learners?

No, the OTJH log can be used for existing learners as well, on all new activities, as well as existing activities that do not yet have any submissions.


Q: Do all pending hours need to be approved before an activity is closed?

No. An activity can be marked as “complete” by the trainer, and they can still approve any remaining pending hours while awaiting confirmation by the learner. If the learner confirms completion while there are still pending hours, the OTJH log becomes read-only, and these pending hours can no longer be approved.


Which roles can approve OTJH in the log?

Trainers and Ops Managers can approve and create OTJH entries.


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