Employability Fund Training Providers can view COVID-19 interim measures below, offering advice, support and relevant contact information.

COVID Interim Measures are short term measures to support Providers to continue delivering their services. Interim Measures are not included in the EF Rules 2020-21 (as extended from 1 April 2022).  All COVID measures are published on this page.

Where Providers can still meet their obligations as detailed in the EF Rules 2020-21 (as extended from 1 April 2022), they should continue to do this. COVID Interim Measures should only be used as a last resort for Providers who are unable to meet the published EF Rules due to COVID.

The COVID Interim Measures have been in place from 1 April 2020 and have been extended to 30 September 2022. You can find the EF Rules 2020-21 (as extended to 31 March 2023) here. Please ensure you review this document and associated Appendices.

Providers must continue to input all information to FIPS timeously, keep all documentation required, and ensure these are available to upload to FIPS on request. 

EF Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4 – delivery

With effect from 26 April 2021, as part of DWP Train and Progress the length of time that Universal Credit ( UC) claimants in the intensive work search group across GB can spend on full-time work-related training courses has been extended from up to 8 weeks to up to 12 weeks as part of their work-search activity. This directly relates to EF Rules (Part 2 paragraph 3.5.1).

Through discussion with DWP Policy and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) it has been agreed that this change can be applied, where appropriate, retrospectively to Employability Fund training that a DWP participant have been referred to from 26 April. Excluding NTTF and existing interim measures regarding Work Experience.

This change has been introduced to provide greater flexibility to allow UC participants to attend a wider range of work-focused training courses which lead to job prospects.

You will be aware that we already have flexibilities in lengths of training in Scotland and this is in addition to that.

  • At present we have agreement that a claimant aged 25 and over can, under Employability Fund (EF) attend 8 weeks’ full time work related training and also up to 8 weeks on Work Experience (WE). The extension can be applied to the 8 weeks training to extend that to 12 weeks, the WE element will remain the same. SDS has agreed with DWP that the TP will make contact with the claimant’s Work Coach (WC) if they feel that an extra 4 weeks on training would further benefit them in securing employment and if agreement is reached you will send a EF Change of Circumstances form to the DWP WC. To extend a Participant’s end date on FIPS you must update the ITP to include the robust rationale for the extension
  • Claimants aged 24 and under will continue to have a maximum length of stay of up to 26 weeks but DWP have requested Providers notify the claimants Work Coach if the training element extends beyond 8 weeks. This is to allow DWP to accurately monitor activity in Scotland.

EF Stage 3 outputs

During the COVID – 19 interim measures period, SDS has expanded the output measure options for Stage 3 to include SCQF credit rated personal development provision of at least 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF Level 4 or above.  This flexibility does not apply to the Group Award where employer opinion is integral to attainment of at least 34 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4.

Work Experience 

SDS have relaxed the mandatory requirement for work experience at Stage 2 and 3 and are currently reviewing the impact on the delivery of the Certificate of Work Readiness at Stage 3.

Please read Part 3, paragraph 3.3.7 of the EF Rules 2020-21 (as extended from 1 April 2022) to see what we accept for signatures.

If Providers are unable to gain signatures in the ways listed in the EF Rules, then as a last resort, they should follow the guidance below:  

Provider Email in Lieu of Signature:

There must be prior contact with all relevant parties to collect the information to enable the EF documentation to be fully completed.

The Provider must send an email to the Participant or Employer with the relevant E-Mail Confirmation Statement (found below) and the relevant document(s) attached or inserted to the email.

This sent email acts as the Providers signature for the named document(s) and supports the audit trail. Where both the Participant and Employers signature are required (e.g. Appendix 11) on the named document(s), this can be sent as one e-mail to both signatories.

The provider can attach or embed all relevant documents and email confirmations statements within the one email.

Participant and/or Employer Email in Lieu of Signature:

The Participant and/or Employer must then positively respond to the email which confirms they have read, understood and contributed as appropriate to each named document. There is no mandatory wording for the reply email, however, emojis will not be accepted. This email acts as the Participant and/or Employers signature and must be retained with the named document as evidence.

For compliance purposes, you must ensure the correct EF document is attached along with the correct email confirmation statement as this acts as proof of the signatures.

Please remember to retain your original emails as if your emails do not meet the expected standard, further evidence may be requested from Payment Assurance.

The email must be from a unique email address as outlined in the EF Rules.

Providers are required to use the following statements for each document:

EF Eligibility Confirmation 21/22 (Appendix 2) where the EF Provider is the EF referring organisation or completing the EFEC on behalf of DWP.

Required signatures: Participant and EF Referring Organisation signature

Description: This email contains the EF Eligibility Confirmation for the Employability Fund. If you respond positively to this email you confirm that you have been referred to the Employability Fund with the support of your referring organisation and that you have read and understood the eligibility confirmation form.

Providers are required to use the following statements for each document:   

EF Training Agreement 21/22   

Required signatures: Participant and EF Provider signature   

Description: This email contains the Training Agreement for the Employability Fund. If you respond positively to this email, you confirm that you will undertake the Employability Fund with the support of your Provider and that you have read and understood the agreement.    

Equalities Monitoring Form 21/22 (Appendix 7) 

Required signatures: Participant signature  

Description: This email contains the Equalities Monitoring Form. If you respond positively to this email you confirm that you have read and completed this and understand that for equality monitoring purposes, the Provider will input the information to an SDS system and then destroy the hard copy of the form.    Your data will be held securely and confidentially, and will only be used for reporting purposes, further information can be found in the SDS Privacy Notice.

Individual Training Plan (ITP) 21/22 (Appendix 3) 

Required signatures: Participant and EF Provider signature   

Description: This email contains an ITP for the Employability Fund. If you respond positively to this email, you confirm that you have agreed the content (either at the start of training, review or completion of training) of the ITP with the support of your Provider and that you have read and understood the ITP.  

Start/Leaver Notification and Change of Circumstance Form 21/22  (Appendix 5 and 6) 

Required signatures: Participant and EF Provider signature   

These documents are specifically designed to update the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  The Start/Leaver notification and Change of Circumstance forms must be completed as outlined in the EF Rules 2020-21(as extended to 31 March 2022), emailed to the local Jobcentre and copied to the DWP District Contact. 

Progression from EF to MA 21/22 (Appendix 10)  

Required signatures: Participant MA Provider Signature and EF Provider signature   

Description: This email contains the Progression from EF to MA declaration form for the Employability Fund. If you respond positively to this email, you confirm that you have progressed to a MA and that you have read and agree with the Progression from EF to MA declaration form.  

Progression from EF to a Job or Self-employment 21/22 (Appendix 11)  

Required signatures: Participant, Employer and EF Provider signature   

Description: This email contains the Progression from EF to a job or self-employment declaration form for the Employability Fund. If you respond positively to this email, you confirm that you have progressed to a job or self-employment and that you have read and agree with the Progression from EF to job or self-employment declaration form.  

Progression from EF to a Sustained Job or Self-employment 21/22 (Appendix 12)  

Required signatures: Participant, Employer and EF Provider signature   

Description: This email contains the Progression from EF to a sustained job or self-employment declaration form for the Employability Fund. If you respond positively to this email, you confirm that you have progressed to a sustained job or self-employment and that you have read and agree with the Progression from EF to a sustained job or self-employment declaration form.

Here is an example of an acceptable email audit trail evidence.

Next Steps   

If you have any questions or issues not addressed by the guidance above, please contact your SIA in the first instance.    

We continue to liaise with the Scottish Training Federation and the Scottish Government on measures to support contract holders through this uncertain period. 

We urge you to follow the Scottish Government’s latest information and advice on Coronavirus at gov.scot/coronavirus. Public health advice can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS Inform.