Grants Scheme Policy (“this Policy”)
This policy is effective for applications from 1 April 2023 and replaces the previous terms and conditions.
Date of review: 1 April 2023
Applications up to 1 April 2023 must adhere to the Grants Scheme terms and conditions.
This Policy promotes fairness and consistency and governs the Grants Scheme. It sets out key requirements and underpins the Grants Scheme principles and priorities.
The objective of CITB’s Grants Scheme is to meet skills demand and address and prevent skills gaps as underpinned by the Grants Scheme Principles. The Grants Scheme is funded by Industry through the CITB Levy and aims to ensure that these funds are invested well to meet Industry needs.
There is a high demand for grant and in order to meet the objective of the Grants Scheme, all applications will be assessed against our policies set out in both:
- this Grants Scheme policy; and
- the requirements specific to each grant type made available by CITB from time to time – for example Short course grants, Qualification grants, Travel to Train - Apprenticeship travel and accommodation grant and Apprenticeship grants;
together the “Grants Scheme”
All applications for grant must be for training that has been attended and/or achieved in accordance with this Policy and the applicable rules related to each grant type, the details of which can be found here.
- For the Grants Scheme to operate effectively, CITB must be able to forecast the spend required to support the Grants Scheme in any given year. There is a direct correlation between the amount of Levy paid by the Industry and the amount of grant made available by CITB. This amount is determined annually, where the amount of grant funding made available in a financial year will depend upon the amount of Levy received by CITB from the Industry in the previous year.
- To deliver and maintain the reliability of CITB’s annual forecast CITB will not, other than in exceptional circumstances and at CITB’s sole discretion consider or accommodate grant applications beyond the advertised grant deadlines specific to each grant type.
- The grant rates which CITB propose to pay are those rates shown within the requirements specific to each grant type. CITB may, at its sole discretion, at any time and for whatever reason reduce or increase these rates without notice.
- All CITB grants are discretionary in nature and any indication that grant is available, or any agreement to pay grant, may be withdrawn at any time at CITB’s sole discretion. This Policy and the requirements specific to each grant type set out the principles and criteria on which grant may be available and are not intended to be (nor will they form) a contractual offer or a contract between CITB and the Employer.
- CITB may at any time withdraw the Grants Scheme in its entirety or revise this Policy and/or any of the specific conditions of each grant type in whole or in part, without notice.
- CITB’s decision is final on all matters concerning the interpretation and application of the Grants Scheme.
Subject to the following, employers in the construction industry registered with CITB (“Employers”) are entitled to apply for grant for training and achievements from the date they are first registered. This eligibility to access the Grants Scheme also extends to Employers who are not required to pay the Levy by virtue of the applicable Small Business Levy Exemption threshold
4.1 Newly registered employers
- Employers newly registered with CITB may apply for apprenticeship attendance grants for the 12-month period prior to the Employer’s registration date and all other grants from the date of registration subject to the Employer’s compliance with the requirements set out in section 3 above.
4.2 Submission of Levy Returns and Payment of Levy
- CITB operates on the basis of No Levy, No Grant meaning that without exception Employers must complete and submit all Levy Return(s) in accordance with the dates set out below AND where applicable pay, or have Direct Debit arrangements in place to pay, any and all bona fide Levy Assessment before grant payments are released. For the avoidance of doubt, non-compliance with this requirement will result in grants being blocked until the Levy payment is made or withdrawn if Levy payment is not received when due.
- The Levy Return is issued in May each year (subject to any changes applied by CITB at its sole discretion) and this must be completed by the Employer and received by CITB on or before 30 June of the same year in order for the Employer to be eligible to receive / continue to receive grant. Failure to comply with this date will result in all grant payments being blocked until the Levy Return has been received by CITB. Should the Levy Return issued that year, used to assess the next Levy, remain outstanding on 30 November of that year, all grant payments held by CITB will be withdrawn, and the Employer will be ineligible for any further grant payments until April of the following year.
- From April each year, prior to the issuing of the new Levy Return, Employers whose grant application has been approved, who have paid their Levy Assessment and who have completed and submitted the most recent Levy Return (together with any other outstanding Levy Returns), are eligible to receive grant.
An Employer is able to apply for grants in respect of construction industry related training undertaken by and engaged by (as applicable):
- directly employed staff (including apprentices registered for PAYE) on the payroll;
- any sub-contractors (including both net and gross-paid HMRC CIS sub-contractors);
- sole traders and partnerships; and
provided they are working at the time of the training for the Employer making the application and that CITB grant support has not already been received for the particular training / qualification; and that the Employer has:
- identified the need for training;
- organised the training; and
- accepted the cost of the training.
An Employer may authorise third party training providers and/or colleges providing services to the Employer to complete a grant application on their behalf. Where the Employer so authorises, the responsibility to ensure that applications are made in accordance with this Policy and to repay any grants received as a result of an error by the third party remains with the Employer.
To apply for grant, applicants should visit CITB’s website. The requirements specific to each grant type should be checked prior to submitting an application as some grants operate restrictions.
Grants are available for:
- apprenticeships (attendance and achievement);
- travel and accommodation for apprentices (Travel to Train – Apprenticeship travel and accommodation grant);
- short courses (achievement); and
- qualifications (attendance and achievement)
Only training related to the construction industry and listed on CITB’s website qualifies for grant. These training programmes, which include health and safety courses and non-construction related training such as management and supervisory courses specifically tailored for the construction industry, have been approved because:
- they meet industry agreed standards;
- are priority areas for grant funding; and
- align with the Industrial Training legislation.
If a course or qualification is not listed on our website please use the relevant form to submit it for evaluation
Eligibility for apprenticeships grant is subject to compliance with all applicable laws, statutes, regulations and codes relating to apprenticeships in addition to the current Apprenticeship Rules, Standards, Specifications and Guidance applicable in England, Scotland or Wales. It is the Employer’s responsibility to ensure that the Apprenticeship complies with all the applicable requirements.
The design of English apprenticeship frameworks are governed by the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) and the design of English apprenticeship standards are governed by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. Both must be delivered in accordance with the current Apprenticeship Funding Rules.
Welsh apprenticeships are governed by The Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for Wales (SASW).
Apprenticeship, Higher and Graduate Apprenticeship Grants in all three nations are restricted to PAYE registered employees only due to the long-term nature of the training to ensure a stable pattern of employment throughout the programme.
If an apprentice changes Employer during their apprenticeship, attendance and achievement grants will be paid pro-rata according to the proportion of the total training package completed with each Employer.
For the avoidance of doubt, CITB reserves the right to only grant fund apprenticeship training models that it considers, at its sole discretion, provide the appropriate level of quality to individuals and Industry, in terms of content, duration of training and where the intention is for the apprentice to acquire substantive/significant new skills.
Any apprenticeship delivery models that aim to qualify for CITB grants but deviate from the standard Government Apprenticeship Models in the three nations (whereby all training is delivered within an apprenticeship whilst the apprentice is in continuous employment), should be submitted in advance to CITB for consideration as to whether they qualify for grant. Failure to do so may result in grant applications being rejected.
CITB reserves the right to exclude any applications for reimbursement of transport and accommodation costs that CITB considers, at its sole discretion, to be excessive.
- CITB will only reimburse travel costs for standard class travel.
- Any applications for reimbursement of travel costs which exceed £750 per apprentice over a three month period will be referred to a CITB Senior Manager for exceptional authorisation.
- Applications must not be submitted where other external funding is available to support travel and accommodation costs for apprentices. Any application submitted where other external funding is available to support travel and accommodation costs will be rejected by CITB.
- The Employer accepts full responsibility for their apprentice and such responsibility includes, but is not limited to, conducting the necessary due diligence to ensure private vehicles for work and training purposes have in place valid insurance and MOT certification. For the avoidance of doubt, CITB shall bear no cost in respect of these responsibilities.
- The Employer must bear the full cost associated with any cancellations / no-shows at accommodation or any costs arising from additional charges made by the accommodation provider (e.g. room service, breakages etc).
- The application for the apprentice’s reimbursement of travel costs must be submitted by the Employer.
- The Employer will be required to adhere to (and to ensure that the eligible apprentice adheres to) the CITB Code of Conduct for Apprentices in Accommodation.
- CITB will only pay for accommodation where the apprentice abides by CITB’s Code of Conduct (PDF, 214KB). Where this is not met, we do not reimburse any accommodation costs and will refuse any future applications for that apprentice.
CITB shall pay grants in accordance with the requirements specific to each grant type set out on CITB’s website. Time for payment is not of the essence and CITB reserves it right to make payment as and when Grants Scheme funds are available.
CITB may at its sole discretion, at any time, and for whatever reason, including in exceptional circumstances such as a decrease in statutory Levy income, reduce grant payments and/or rates proportionally or withdraw them completely including in relation to any apprenticeship training that has already commenced or has been completed. In this instance, CITB shall use reasonable endeavours to inform Employers of these changes.
Grant payments may be reduced, withheld or reclaimed, for example if CITB is not satisfied that adequate training has been given or that individuals for whom grant is applied for are not employed by the Employer to whom the grant application relates. CITB will reclaim (and take appropriate action for) any grant issued as a result of deliberate manipulation, falsification of records or fraud.
The Employer agrees to promptly repay to CITB any money incorrectly paid to them either as a result of an administrative error or otherwise. This includes (without limitation) situations where either an incorrect sum of money has been paid or where funds have been paid in error or where at CITB’s sole discretion it has determined that this Policy has not been complied with.
Any overpayment of grant or grant found to be paid in error for any reason by CITB, shall be repayable immediately on demand.
9.1 Payments excluding Travel to Train – Apprenticeship travel and accommodation
Confirmation of an approved grant application will be through an Employer’s Online Account Portal (External link - Opens in a new tab or window) and/or remittance advice only. For the avoidance of doubt, any other confirmation will not be valid or recognised by CITB.
As already mentioned, CITB’s Grants Scheme is discretionary in nature and funded by Industry through the CITB Levy. CITB’s current financial operating system automatically sets off grant against any outstanding Levy liability.
Employers must complete and submit all Levy Returns in accordance with the deadlines and pay or have Direct Debit arrangements in place to pay, all outstanding Levy before any grant shall be released for payment.
Grant payments for training lasting more than 12 months will use rates fixed from the year in which the training began.
Grant payments shall be paid to the Employer’s nominated bank account via Bacs Direct Credit, regardless of whether an application is submitted by an Employer or third party. It is the Employer’s responsibility to update CITB of any changes to their bank account details.
9.2 Payments for Travel to Train – Apprenticeship travel and accommodation
CITB requires a copy of all the relevant evidence of travel, accommodation and attendance covering the period of the application. Such evidence includes, but is not limited to, train tickets, screenshots of bookings made via an App, booking confirmations emails or documents and college timetables.
Submission of travel and/or accommodation applications does not guarantee approval and any rejections will be notified to the Employer.
The Employer will reimburse any charges, costs and expenses arising as a consequence of a breach of the CITB Code of Conduct for Apprentices in Accommodation.
Payments for travel and accommodation shall be paid to the Employer’s nominated bank account via Bacs Direct Credit. It is the Employer’s responsibility to update CITB of any changes to their bank account details.
Employers shall keep and maintain for 3 years from the end of the tax year to which they relate, full and accurate records of grant applications including:
- proof the Employer identified the need for training, organised the training and accepted the cost of the training and proof of payment for the training (where applicable);
- payroll records for all employees including relevant Full Payment Submissions (FPS), P60s, P11s;
- payment records for all subcontractors including relevant CIS300 documentation, online contractor monthly returns and invoices;
- evidence of off the job training where applicable;
- evidence of training which has taken or is taking place (e.g. attendance records and certificates of achievement).
Further evidence may be required to support an application for some types of grant and Employers should check the requirements specific to each grant type prior to submitting an application.
Employers shall afford CITB, its representatives and auditors such access to those records as may be required in connection with this Policy and section 6 of the Industrial Training Act 1982. Employers who fail to comply shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine.
The information provided to CITB (“the Information”) will be collected and processed for the purpose of administering the Grants which also enables CITB to fulfil its statutory functions (and purposes incidental to those functions) as set out in the Industrial Training Act 1982.
The Information will be held securely and will not be disclosed to third parties other than as described above and in accordance with the CITB Privacy Notice.
For further information explaining the data subject’s rights and how the Information may be used by CITB, please refer to the CITB Privacy Notice.
CITB reserves the right to reject any application for grant that in its opinion does not meet this Policy or the requirements specific to each grant type or does not meet or further the statutory or charitable functions of CITB.
You can appeal if your application for grant is rejected. Our Grants Scheme Team will consider your appeal and notify you of the outcome within the time period set out in the Grants Scheme Appeal Policy.
Appeal by email or letter only with supporting evidence to:
Grants Scheme Team
CITB Box 30