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Getting an employer account on the Apprenticeship Service


All apprenticeships are now managed through the Government’s Apprenticeship Service application. If you want to take on an apprentice, you’ll need an account on this service. If you are levy-paying organisation, it is highly likely that you will already be on the Apprenticeship Service and the following will not apply to you. In common with many apprenticeship training providers, we are finding that small- and micro- businesses (who are non-levy paying) are having difficulties in getting an account; the stumbling block appears to be related to the PAYE reference that is needed. This guide aims to help you get registered on the Apprenticeship Service or be able to find the information you need to get registered. Please read this all the way through before creating your account!

Overview of the Process

In order to register on the Apprenticeship Service, you will need to:

1. Register

2. Add your PAYE scheme

3. Confirm your organisational details


In order to register on the Apprenticeship Service, all you require is a valid email address to which a code will be sent to you. To register for an account, you can do a Google Search for ‘Manage Apprenticeships’, or click here.

Adding a PAYE Scheme

To add this, you will need to be registered as an employer and have the relevant:

· Government Gateway credentials – or –

· a PAYE Scheme Reference Number and Accounts Office Reference Number.

Confirm Organisation Details

You may also need to know the following information:

· Your companies house number

· Your charity number

· Your public body name

Employer Agreement

Once the following steps have been completed, you will be prompted to accept the Employer Agreement, after which your account will be created on the Apprenticeship Service.

Simplifying The Process

If you are not on the Apprenticeship Service already, the easiest thing to do is… do nothing! If you give us your valid email address, we will email an invite from within the Apprenticeship Service – this means some information will already be completed for you and accessing the system for the first time is easier.

For this to work, please let our Apprenticeship Co-ordinator know the following:

  • Your organisation’s name
  • The name of the person that will have access to your Apprenticeship Service account
  • The valid email address for that person.

PAYE Schemes

Many of the issues faced by small- and micro- employers seem to be related to the PAYE reference number required. This can be where a sole trader has decided to take on an apprentice and then needs to inform HMRC that they are now an employer (as the apprentice must be employed).

If your business has no employees then you may not have a PAYE Scheme Reference Number. To get that number, you’ll have to visit (or search on the internet for “register as employer”) to complete that registration. You must register on here (if needed)…

  • Before you register on the Apprenticeship Service
  • Before the first pay-day (think carefully about the start date for the apprentice – the Apprenticeship Co-ordinator will help you here, as you will need to leave around 3-8 weeks to complete this part of the process).

When you visit, you’ll be given two choices… make sure you choose the appropriate type of business!

  1. Limited company with between 1 and 9 directors -or –
  2. Other types of business. Select this choice if you are a sole trader, partnership or limited company with 10 or more directors.

Whichever option you choose, follow through the various pages… there are so many options depending on how you answer, that it’s just not possible to go through them here. Be assured though, that the website does a very good job of leading you through the information required (and you can go back and change it any stage, if needed).

Make sure that you log into the Government Gateway using your company – not your personal – credentials, where appropriate.


If you are a levy-paying employer (pay bill greater than £3m), then these instructions won’t apply to you. If you are a non-levy, small / micro business, who is not on the Apprenticeship Service, then…

  1. Have you registered with HMRC as an employer?
  2. Are you already registered on the Apprenticeship Service?
    • Yes – log in and reserve funds for your apprentice!
    • No – provide the Apprenticeship Co-ordinator with the relevant details and wait until we have sent you an invite. You can then continue to register at

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