What is the new qualification you are offering training for? We have just received £298,190 from the European Social Fund to create a new qualification for voluntary sector employees involved in managing grants from government departments and Europe.
We call such staff 'internal verifiers' and the training we are offering is known as Managing Projects Successfully - it's free to charities because of the grant. We already run a course for external verifiers who work with the recipients of grants.
How can people benefit from this course? According to recent Home Office research, 94 per cent of charities that receive grants have systems for service delivery but only 57 per cent have adequate systems for project management. In other words, 43 per cent of charities are giving little or no thought to the fact that the funder will require compliance with various regulations.
Why might a charity fail to manage a grant properly? We have come across examples where the bid is kept in the chief executive's desk and the rest of the people in the charity haven't even seen it, so they don't know what's required of them.
What happens if a charity fails to comply with the regulations? There is a risk that the funder will demand repayment of a portion, or even all, of the original grant. The ESF requires all organisations to keep all relevant documentation until 2014, and may conduct a spot-check through the verification and audit team to ensure this has been done.
What kind of documentation is a charity expected to keep? I worked with one charity that had received funding to set up a course in conjunction with a local university. When I asked to see the register of attendance, I was told it had been burnt by the university. This is the sort of thing charities need to be really careful about.
For more information about the courses, call 01629 583916.