Learning from the Past to Preserve our Future


About funding for SAPs and EWPs

We deliver SAP, EWP & NVQ Level 3 qualifications on behalf of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) from our Training Centre in Clifford on the Wales / Herefordshire Border.

The Traditional Building Skills Company are the UK holders of the CITB Service Level Agreement (SLA)  Specialist Applied-Skills Programmes (SAPs) in Heritage Wood Occupations (HWO) and Heritage Stone Masonry (HSM).

What are SAPs and EWPs?

The Specialist Applied-Skills Programmes (SAPs) in Heritage Stonemasonry and Wood Occupations were all devised to address the existing lack of a government funded Apprenticeship Framework for these specialist occupations. A SAP programme takes the form of two intensive 10 day courses run out of our training centre in Clifford, combined with compilation of a portfolio of evidence and formal assessment for the NVQ3 qualification.

SAP funding information

Experienced Worker Programmes (WEPs) are carefully designed courses also aimed at addressing gaps in the existing NVQ training framework. They aim to raise the professional standards in that individual sector e.g. the Heritage Stonemasonry sector, while also minimising the amount of time required for the candidate to be off site. Intensive modular training to improve existing skill levels and work towards achievement of the appropriate NVQ is achieved through either a 10 day intensive course for typical candidates or 5 day for exceptional candidates i.e. those with a great deal of demonstrable experience and skills.  The candidate will have a maximum of 12 months to complete the training and VQ assessment.

SUP funding information

Both the SAPs and EWPs recognise the distinctive recruitment models of Heritage employers as often attracting older candidates from diverse backgrounds with a wide range of subsidiary knowledge and skills. They allow such candidates a gateway to NVQ3 qualifications, while the EWP also encourages recruitment back into the industry of experienced operatives with some existing skills who may have been made recently unemployed.

Eligibility for CITB funding

Due to the lack of an existing NVQ3 framework in Heritage Occupations such as Wood and Stonemasonry, no Government financial support is available. To encourage employers to train and qualify their staff, the CITB have made available additional funding to offset the costs of training attendance and assessment fees to what it terms ‘in-scope’ employers.  An employer regarded as ‘in-scope’ is one registered with CITB-Construction Skills who fulfils all relevant Grant Scheme conditions.

By contrast firms regarded as ‘in-scope excluded’ are not eligible for grant. These include firms who have no direct employees, labour only sub-contractors, or agency staff; such a situation is typical of many sole traders and partnerships. A limited company is by definition an employer to the extent that they employ at least one director and company secretary.

To claim this grant:

  • the candidate will be an employee or labour only contractor of a CITB registered company, or be self employed and CITB registered
  • levy must be paid to the CITB if organisation turnover is above £80,000
  • a company will only qualify for funding once they have correctly submitted their annual levy return
  • a self employed candidate must employ at least one other person
  • the candidate cannot already hold a NVQ3 qualification

For more information:

  • read the CITB guide to eligibility
  • contact National Specialists for details of how to apply, the eligibility criteria and consideration and approval of additional programmes. National Specialists work across all four nations in the United Kingdom and can be contacted in England, Wales and Northern Ireland  through email: enquiry.nsac@citb.co.uk or on telephone: 0300 456 5561. For Scotland email: NSAC.Scotland@citb.co.uk or telephone 0300 456 8728.
  • you will need to complete and submit further grant claim forms at various stages throughout the training programme. A copy of the grant form is available here Grant claim form (PDF, 166 KB).

Other sources of funding

Bursary schemes

Candidates following a bursary scheme receive a guaranteed tax free income and full funding for training. A range of bursary schemes are available, all with slightly different criteria for entry and conditions of employment. For more information see:

Ad hoc funding

Unfortunately it is very difficult for the self employed to currently get funding. We are working hard with our partner organisations to change this as we believe that such self starters are exactly the people who should be getting the encouragement of funding to aid them in their ambitions; after all, as the construction company owners of tomorrow who better to furnish with the knowledge and skills to conserve our precious built heritage and make sure things increasingly get done ‘the right way’?

If you are self-employed do get in touch and we’ll let you know what your current options are.