As you all know, it’s Black Friday tomorrow where the whole world turns into a frenzy of alleged bargain hunting for those things you never knew that you needed, but did you know that next Tuesday is ‘Giving Tuesday’. It is a national day of giving back and doing good things for charity right after the untrammeled consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can choose to support any charity you want, in any way that you see fit. So get out there and do good stuff!
Not a lot of any great interest happened on this day. So, who did Princess Leia say “Why you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder!” to? No prizes for guessing.
New participant eligibility and evidence guidance Please find attached the latest version of the participant eligibility and evidence guide. For partners on the Steps Forward and/or Engagement into Learning projects, rest assured that Grantham College and Children’s Links will be issuing exactly the same guidance as we have worked together on producing this in order to ensure consistency!
There have been a few changes to previous guidance, so do please read it carefully. These changes include – but are NOT limited to – clarification around exit dates and the 4 week window, the evidence needed for a Jobsearch outcome and the warning that a learning or education outcome cannot be counted if BBO has funded the course in question.
There have been some questions surrounding the use of electronic signatures. Please note that all three lead partners have agreed that these will not be accepted as the funder is not at all keen, and it makes the paperwork much more ‘audit proof’.
A final point is to remind partners that there is specified wording required on any paperwork that you are certifying as being a true copy. This wording is in the guidance, and the funder have failed a number of files recently for not meeting this minimum requirement for certification. Any documents that have been insufficiently certified will need correcting, rescanning to the MWS file and the old version deleted from MWS.
Participant Data Spreadsheet The funder has said that they want all partners to be able to evidence that they are maintaining their participant records throughout the quarter. In order to achieve this, we need all partners to run the MWS/ Aptem participant data report once a month and to check the data is correct and aligns exactly with what is on the hard copy records. I only need you to send me a copy of this report at the end of the quarter with the rest of the quarterly reporting information, but you will need to keep the copies of each month’s report in case of audit (I will be doing spot checks on occasion as part of our data checking processes). This should not really create any additional work as partners have been asked to run these reports for a number of months now – the only difference should be that you will be expected to submit them. Please note that failure to submit this report could lead to funding being withheld as this is a requirement of the funder. (In the highly unlikely event that any partner has not been running this report, I’ve attached the How To guide. Though I’m sure none of you will need it…..) Steps Forward/ Engagement into Learning will also be requiring all partners to do the same.
Particular points that partners are asked to check and correct on MWS are: That the start date on the paperwork and the start date in the report are the same That the employment status (economically inactive or unemployed) is correctly recorded The length of time unemployed matches on both paperwork and report Exits are correctly recorded in terms of outcomes and dates Whether somebody has a disability or work limiting condition is correct: earlier files in particular may be incorrect due to changes of paperwork in the first year Educational attainment is correct (again, there may be some discrepancies particularly on earlier enrolments)
As the project has been running for nearly 18 months it’s quite disappointing that we are still failing file checks on points as basic as this. Please remember that if audited by the funders, one incorrect file could lead to extrapolation and significant clawback of funding. It is partners’ responsibility to ensure that their files and reports are correct and continued failure to do so may lead to payments being withheld or made in arrears.
Quarterly narrative reporting and case studies It seems a few partners missed the new, shorter narrative reporting form that was sent out last quarter. Please find a copy of this form attached. Again, it is also being used by Steps Forward/ Engagement into Learning, so although a separate report will need submitting to each project lead by partners on multiple projects, the format will be the same. Please can I remind partners again that as part of the Service Level Agreement, a quarterly case study is expected. The case study form is currently being revamped for us by Children’s Links and will be circulated before Christmas in time for the end of the quarter. We are being pushed by the funder to submit case studies and currently the cupboard is somewhat bare (with apologies to those partners who have been submitting them regularly!).
Framework – change of staff. Please be advised that as of 30/11/2017 Heidi Fish will be handing over the management of the MOVE contract for Framework to Dave Hallam, Dave is currently managing BBO for the Opportunity and Change and Towards Work contracts in Nottingham so has a lot of knowledge and experience. Heidi will be working on the new Work and Health Programme across Nottingham and the county and looking forward to some new challenges. Many thanks to Heidi for all the work she’s done for the project.
Delivery Group Minutes Minutes for the South group have been placed on the MOVE website for partner’s perusal. The minutes for the North group are undergoing review and will be put onto the site when they are approved.
Meetings reminder Both the PMB and the two cluster groups for Lincoln and Boston and South Holland are being held in December. Eventbrite invitations have been sent out to invitees, so please respond, either by accepting the invitation, or by sending me your apologies.