IOL, BAPA and AHOEC have met with NCS Trust (NCST) in recent weeks regarding the future provision of the NCS scheme, in particular for the Autumn of 2020 and the Summer of 2021. As a result, they have issued the following advice relating to contractual commitments during the Covid-19 crisis, which may be relevant to SWOAPG Members:
“IOL, BAPA and AHOEC believes that providers should carefully consider every contract they engage in, (not just ICG/NCST) and consider what is sustainable for their own business. Providers should if necessary, seek their own advice and consider the commitments made to signing any and every contract, bearing in mind the payment conditions and room for changes if (for example) participant numbers change. This is especially relevant given the level of uncertainty relating to Covid19 related constraints in coming months and potential changes to good practice guidance.”
In relation to the NCS programme in particular, the organisations have released the following joint statement:
“It is our shared understanding that Invasion Camp Group (ICG), acting on behalf of NCST have sent out letters of variation to providers holding contracts for 2020, and that providers should review these letters and where necessary, for the sustainable future of your business, negotiate terms before signing the variation letter. It appears this action allows ICG to negotiate a more formal deed of variation which itself must be signed and returned before September 1st, 2020.
“NCST have decided to remove any residential element from the Autumn 2020 programme. Whilst it is still hoped that social distancing rules may be relaxed before Autumn delivery, no-one can be certain, so this should form part of your considerations when discussing any non-residential Autumn 2020 delivery development with NCST & ICG.
“On 30th April ICGT issued cancellations of the services requested for Summer and Autumn 2020, on behalf of NCST. We understand that this cancellation does not stop letters of variation being signed. It is our further understanding that if providers are unable to reach agreement or do not wish to retain involvement in the NCS programme in Autumn 2020 or Summer 2021, that they should inform ICG and return deposit funds already paid (subject to consideration of sunk costs) by September 30th.”