Eligibility for Provider Improvement Fund courses

The Provider Improvement Fund is funded by the European Social Fund and the LCR Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund. The programme is free to qualifying learning providers.

To qualify for a free place on a Provider Improvement Fund (PIF) course, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be employed by a learning provider who has headquarters and/or training premises located in Liverpool City Region (which comprises the six local authorities of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral)
  • Your employer should be delivering learning programmes locally to Liverpool City Region employers and learners
  • Be resident in Liverpool City Region but provided your employer is located in the Liverpool City Region, you can be resident in other or surrounding areas

In addition, the learning provider you work for must not have received more than £187,000 in state aid over the last three years. This will be the case for most learning providers. Once you have booked onto a PIF course/CPD session, GMLPF will be in touch to ascertain the amount of state aid your employer has received and go through the relevant paperwork with you.

More information on State Aid is available below.

What is State Aid?

State aid is any advantage granted by public authorities through state resources on a selective basis to any organisations that could potentially distort competition and trade. The definition of state aid is very broad because ‘an advantage’ can take many forms. It is anything which an undertaking (an organisation engaged in economic activity) could not get on the open market.

State aid rules

State aid rules can (among other things) apply to the following:

  • grants
  • loans
  • tax breaks, including enhanced capital allowances
  • the use or sale of a state asset for free or at less than market price

Click here for a more in-depth overview of State Aid. Whilst this is a withdrawn document as the UK has left the EU, State Aid rules still apply to this project as it’s funded by ESF.