Training Providers can view COVID-19 FAQs below, offering advice, support and relevant contact information for the National Third Sector Fund.

These FAQs were last updated on 01/05/2020.


What is SDS doing to support providers?

SDS continues to work closely with awarding bodies, partners and Scottish Government to quickly respond to issues arising from the pandemic to support providers, apprentices, young people and employers. 

We have written to providers to express our commitment to supporting and protecting training provision in Scotland. We will be contacting apprentices directly to provide reassurance about completing their training. 


How can I support individuals who are feeling stressed or anxious?

There is a range of information and resources on supporting mental well-being on the My World of Work website at Well-being Support.
Learners may also be experiencing a wide range of personal issues during this time such as bereavement, addiction or domestic abuse. The BBC Action Line provides information on a wide range of topics so it may be beneficial to promote this to your learners to allow them to access information and support if they need it.

Should individuals continue their NTSF programmes while the Coronavirus pandemic is ongoing?

We encourage everyone – providers, employers and individuals – to follow Government guidelines on Coronavirus. The Scottish Government’s latest information and advice is available online at: Public health advice can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS Inform

What steps will be taken to support NTSF training and placements?

SDS is in discussion with Scottish Government regarding measures to support contract holders and sustain the training infrastructure.  

There are also wider discussions between the UK and Scottish Governments about what business support packages may become available in the near future.       

We appreciate the urgency of the situation, and as you will appreciate, these matters are complex. We hope to update you further as soon as we can. 

Who should we notify of any changes to our programme delivery due to the Coronavirus pandemic?

Please contact your NTSF delivery executive to notify us of any disruption to your service. This includes whether participation on NTSF programmes will be affected by either sickness, self-isolation or employers suspending work placements. 
We are keen that any disruption does not lead to individuals disengaging, and therefore request that you inform where participants have been told not to attend training centres or meet outreach workers in the community.

Are there arrangements for amending current documentation (including ESF) if we are unable to meet face to face for signatures? (Updated 01/05/2020)

Updated guidance on ESF evidence requirements is published and regularly updated on the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 advice and guidance area for European Structural and Investment Funds. 

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that ESF evidence requires a “wet signature” to be obtained. 

If you are unable to achieve this at present, you are required to obtain "wet signatures" after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted on all documentation relating to that period.  

SDS will inform all Delivery Organisations when restrictions are lifted and “wet signatures” need to be gathered. 

Where you have been unable to collect “wet signatures”, evidence of attempts to get a signature are acceptable. 

ESF Managing Authority (Scottish Government) requires that three attempts must be made within one month of COVID-19 restrictions being lifted. The attempts can be evidenced by emails, letter or a written log that a telephone call has taken place. 

For ESF queries please contact 




I have some questions that are not currently answered by these FAQs – who can support me?

If you have any questions or issues not addressed by the guidance on this page, please email