Bud Apprenticeship Management Platform
Bud provides a fully integrated software solution for the management and delivery of apprenticeship programmes. Bud’s flexible approach provides an end-to-end solution whether it be programme design, curriculum development, learner engagement, improving compliance, increasing efficiency or funding management, we support our customers to focus on the delivery of exceptional training.
- End-to-end management and delivery of apprenticeships
- Programme design, e-learning, standards/qualifications assessment criteria mapping
- Online enrolment, electronic paperwork, initial assessments, LRS integration, digital signatures
- Automated learning plans, E-portfolio, VLE, web-access, mobile access, learner access
- Built-in funding calculations and automated funding outcomes
- Automated ESFA ILR Funding claim file
- Built-in compliance guidance, tracking and reporting
- Real-time reporting, workload planner and business intelligence dashboards
- Built-in online support, user training videos and user guides
- Single system for the management and delivery of apprenticeships
- Design and deliver learning programmes including resources in one system
- Fast, simple and compliant eligibility and enrolment process
- Simple and intuitive initial skills and LRS integration
- Electronic paperwork, digital signatures and funding claim in one place
- Dynamically generated learning plan with fully integrated VLE and e-portfolio
- Intuitive, engaging platform guiding learners (and tracking progress) to EPA
- Fully integrated learner/trainer messaging
- Effective progress tracking against standards, qualifications and off-the-job training requirements
- Interactive real-time reporting and business intelligence dashboards
£1 to £6 per unit per month
- Free trial available
0117 440 0300
|Software add-on or extension||Yes, but can also be used as a standalone service|
|What software services is the service an extension to||
Bud is a complete, end-to-end platform for the management and delivery of apprenticeships.
However, should transition be required or existing software systems supporting apprenticeships need to be retained, Bud can operate in a more modular format working with legacy systems and providing key elements of the overall apprenticeship delivery.
|Cloud deployment model||Public cloud|
|Email or online ticketing support||Email or online ticketing|
|Support response times||The Bud Service team categorise support requests relative to the severity of the issue. This categorisation is detailed within the SLA with agreed target response times during business hours. For P1 requests (ie major loss of functionality), for example, the target response time is within 30 minutes, for a P3 issue (ie non-critical) the target is to respond within 4 hours. In the past 6 months Bud has met all required target response times.|
|User can manage status and priority of support tickets||Yes|
|Online ticketing support accessibility||WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549|
|Phone support availability||9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday|
|Web chat support||Web chat|
|Web chat support availability||9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday|
|Web chat support accessibility standard||None or don’t know|
|How the web chat support is accessible||Web chat is available between the user and the Client of Bud via a third party integration with Zendesk.|
|Web chat accessibility testing||Accessibility and assistive technology for web chat is specified within Zendesk’s information pages.|
|Onsite support||Yes, at extra cost|
Bud services are supported by an in-house Service Desk during business hours (8am - 6pm). Support tickets can be logged through the integrated Support portal or via email. Each customer is provided a designated Service Agent who can be contacted by the customer's nominated Service Owner by telephone. Further escalation contact numbers are also provided.
Issues are managed through ZenDesk Support, which integrates the ITIL framework, automation and service management needed to address customer requests. The Bud Service Team investigates tickets raised, and can escalate to product specialists and development (all based in the same office) to ensure accurate, helpful communications, and speedy issue resolution. Dedicated development resources are assigned to monitor services and assist with issue investigation every day.
We provide a self-service Knowledge Centre with key word search functionality to direct users to helpful information to assist with queries.
Out of hours and onsite support can be booked in advance, subject to additional costs.
|Support available to third parties||Yes|
Onboarding and offboarding
Bud implementation is planned and delivered according to each customer's scale, situation, and subsequent requirements. This is discussed and agreed in principle within the Service Agreement. This includes Setup, Training, and any additional services procured such as consultancy or project management.
We work with customer's Implementation Team (subject matter expert) to plan and deliver the details, which may include: in-person or interactive training workshops and webinars; structured pilot testing and feedback; business process mapping; curriculum consultancy; and business change consultancy services.
We provide a customer-specific 'Welcome to Bud' information pack to the Implementation Team, including the agreed Plan, Setup templates, and links to further supportive resources from our online modularised Knowledge Centre - a portal of process and system user materials, including training videos.
|End-of-contract data extraction||Bud maintains a data portability policy that provides machine readable formats for data export in .csv or .json or .xml.|
At the end of the contract Bud will provide the ability for (and support for) extraction of key customer-specific data within 60 business days at no cost, prior to customer-specific data being deleted from Bud.
If it is requested that Bud Archive rather than delete customer-specific data, access can be provided for a fee on an annual basis.
Additional support can be agreed according to customer requirements, subject to the rate-card for those additional services.
Using the service
|Web browser interface||Yes|
|Application to install||No|
|Designed for use on mobile devices||Yes|
|Differences between the mobile and desktop service||Bud uses responsive web design to make our service accessible on mobiles. Bud adopts a mobile first strategy to ensure all features are available via mobile.|
|Accessibility standards||WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549|
|Accessibility testing||Bud has been tested using assistive technology assessment tools and Bud is actively engaging to users of assistive technology|
|What users can and can't do using the API||
Bud provides the ability to perform any action via the API, e.g. add and edit applicants, retrieve learner information and update learners.
Service accounts can be setup and configured for each integration required.
|API documentation formats||Open API (also known as Swagger)|
|API sandbox or test environment||Yes|
|Description of customisation||
Bud provides the ability to customise in the following areas:
- Feature switching: customers can choose which elements of the service to utilise
- Permissions: there are fine-grained permissions that are customisable for all users of the service
- Programme Design: customers are able to design and create their own programme of learning and learning resources
|Independence of resources||Bud uses Microsoft Azure auto-scaling rules to horizontally scale the deployment when high load is placed on the system. This allows us to cope with demand and scale to ensure we provide consistently high quality service levels to all our clients.|
|Service usage metrics||Yes|
|Metrics types||Bud provides real-time dashboards within the system. These include strategic KPI information, and role-customised dashboards that link into actionable areas of the system.|
|Supplier type||Not a reseller|
|Staff security clearance||Staff screening not performed|
|Government security clearance||None|
|Knowledge of data storage and processing locations||Yes|
|Data storage and processing locations||
|User control over data storage and processing locations||No|
|Datacentre security standards||Complies with a recognised standard (for example CSA CCM version 3.0)|
|Penetration testing frequency||At least once a year|
|Penetration testing approach||‘IT Health Check’ performed by a CHECK service provider|
|Protecting data at rest||
|Data sanitisation process||Yes|
|Data sanitisation type||Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation|
|Equipment disposal approach||A third-party destruction service|
Data importing and exporting
|Data export approach||
Bud provides an extract in XML format for the ILR funding claim submission to the ESFA's hub.
Bud also provides export capability for applicant, employer, site, learner and funding information in .csv format. This is managed by Bud's security system so users can only export data that they are authorised to access.
|Data export formats||
|Other data export formats||XML|
|Data import formats||CSV|
|Data protection between buyer and supplier networks||TLS (version 1.2 or above)|
|Data protection within supplier network||TLS (version 1.2 or above)|
Availability and resilience
|Guaranteed availability||Bud guarantees at least 99% service availability during business hours. Bud provides Service Credits where we fail to deliver minimum availability during a month, proportionate to the monthly fees and discounted from monthly invoicing.|
|Approach to resilience||Bud utilises Azure for all production hosting. Globally redundant storage is utilised as standard as well as Bud-managed nightly and weekly backups held in separate Azure storage accounts|
|Outage reporting||Email alerts: Bud will email the Outage distribution list of customer contacts, and direct them to our updates dashboard. On the updates dashboard information is posted up to restoration. This is held within our online Knowledge Centre portal, hosted through an external platform that sits outside of Bud IT services.|
Identity and authentication
|User authentication needed||Yes|
|User authentication||Username or password|
|Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels||All management access is controlled via Bud's Azure Active Directory. Bud utilise security groups to manage resource access.|
|Access restriction testing frequency||At least once a year|
|Management access authentication||2-factor authentication|
Audit information for users
|Access to user activity audit information||You control when users can access audit information|
|How long user audit data is stored for||At least 12 months|
|Access to supplier activity audit information||Users have access to real-time audit information|
|How long supplier audit data is stored for||At least 12 months|
|How long system logs are stored for||At least 12 months|
Standards and certifications
|ISO/IEC 27001 certification||No|
|ISO 28000:2007 certification||No|
|CSA STAR certification||Yes|
|CSA STAR accreditation date||09/05/2018|
|CSA STAR certification level||Level 1: CSA STAR Self-Assessment|
|What the CSA STAR doesn’t cover||None|
|Other security certifications||Yes|
|Any other security certifications||
|Named board-level person responsible for service security||Yes|
|Security governance certified||Yes|
|Security governance standards||Other|
|Other security governance standards||Cyber Security Essentials PLUS. Information security is a core part of Bud's operational activities where a minimum access approach is always applied.|
|Information security policies and processes||Bud has a comprehensive set of information security policies and processes. These are owned and managed by IT and governed via IT systems (e.g. Mobile Device Management).|
|Configuration and change management standard||Supplier-defined controls|
|Configuration and change management approach||
Our software services are modularised, and continuously enhanced through a well-defined Change Control process. This is controlled through Product Steering meetings involving internal product development, market and customer specialists.
Requested changes are logged for analysis, decisions and prioritisation. This involves engaging internal specialists and customers for feedback. Agreed changes are then Scheduled, Developed, Quality Assured, and Released.
We have a fast-track development route to ensure speedy resolution of Emergency & High importance issues, involving subject matter experts from each Product Development function.
All code changes are pool-requested and peer-reviewed, which includes reviewing for security performance and architecture conformance.
|Vulnerability management type||Supplier-defined controls|
|Vulnerability management approach||Bud utilises advanced threat detection on Azure, all services are managed services patched by Microsoft. All laptops are required to be on a minimum version of operating systems (enforced with Mobile Device Management). Potential threats are assessed at development time, constantly and via penetration testing.|
|Protective monitoring type||Supplier-defined controls|
|Protective monitoring approach||Bud makes use of Microsoft Azure's advanced auditing and threat detection service. Alerts from the service are automatically raised to the Bud technical team.|
|Incident management type||Supplier-defined controls|
|Incident management approach||Bud has a Data Breach and Incident Management policy outlining processes for managing and reporting on incidents.|
|Approach to secure software development best practice||Independent review of processes (for example CESG CPA Build Standard, ISO/IEC 27034, ISO/IEC 27001 or CSA CCM v3.0)|
Public sector networks
|Connection to public sector networks||No|
|Price||£1 to £6 per unit per month|
|Discount for educational organisations||No|
|Free trial available||Yes|
|Description of free trial||Bud's trial version provides access to a standard deployment of a full version of the service for a period of 14 days. Custom configuration and trial periods are available upon request and subject to specific client requirements.|