MHA | Post-16 Audit Code of Practice 2024

Post-16 Audit Code of Practice 2024

Posted on: April 17th 2024 · read

FE HE Digest Summer 2024 4

As with the College Accounts Direction, our expectation for change with regards to the Post-16 Audit Code of Practice (ACoP) 2024 was low and we were not disappointed – indeed there was a welcome relaxation that might have passed you by....

Firstly, let's deal with the run of the mill items in the 2024 ACoP:

  • As with the CAD, references to the COVID supplementary bulletins have been dropped.
  • The term 'funding agreement' has been replaced with 'accountability agreement'.
  • There is confirmation that the DfE will obtain an annual statement of assurance from each Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA)/GLA regarding the assurances they have gained over each provider. It also notes that findings from AEB funding audits will be shared between both bodies.
  • A link to the 2023 report on Assurance Reviews for 2021/22 has been included, which highlights the common ‘compliance issues’ found in order to help Colleges improve their compliance over funding claims.
  • The ESFA’s accounts submission requirements have been included in the ACoP for the first time – although there is nothing new in these requirements.

Finally, the welcome surprise! We knew that the DfE have been looking at the assurance framework in relation to separate grant funded programmes. They were responding to sector-wide concerns that disproportionate levels of assurance were being provided over specific funding steams. So it is welcome news that from 01 April 2024 onwards, the DfE will no longer require Colleges to complete and submit an audited Annex G return in respect of discrete areas of DfE funding.

There will be sample testing that may require a College to provide a return (akin to a funding audit) but unless selected the DfE will gain their assurance from the Accounting Officer's Statement of Regularity, Propriety and Compliance.

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This insight was previously published in our FE & HE Digest Summer 2024

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