ESF Guidance Updates


The following ESF Action Notes have been circulated to Grant recipients

ESF Action Note (008/17) – ESF and Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) funding

YEI funding can continue to be spent by 2023 as long as the ESF 2014-20 programme fulfills its targets.

ESF Action Note (009/17) – ESF and Housing Costs

Provides new guidance for using ESF for housing costs in some circumstances


TAP briefing note below regarding the ESF Action Note 006/17 ESF and the Apprenticeship Levy.

ESF Apprenticeship Levy briefing note


The Financial Table Annex’s for outline and full applications for ESF projects have been updated to version 3. Changes to the guidance have been highlighted below but this list is not extensive and there may be other alterations.

The updated guidance can be found under the Outline Application and Full Application sections of the ESIF webpage on the website.


The ESF National Eligibility Rules have been updated to version 5

Changes to guidance have been highlighted below but this list is not exhaustive and there may be other alterations. A full read through of the updated documents is recommended to ensure that any other amendments are not missed.

  • Document amended to clearly outline the rules for both national and local CFO’s around match funding.
  • Paragraph 6.41 has been changed to explicitly cover National CFOs and match funding.
  • Paragraph 6.42 has undergone minor changes.
  • Paragraph 6.43 has recently been added to the document to cover Local CFOs and match funding.



European Structural and Investment Funds National Procurement Requirements has been updated to version 5.

Changes have been made to Chapter 6, in particular the National Rules.

  • A paragraph at section 25 about delegated grant has been removed and footnote 45 at p.36 has been added.
    This should clarify for everyone following the national rules; “The route followed is based on the full value of the contract and not linked to the amount of ERDF involved, the value of the grant or the project intervention rate”. These changes are effective from the date of publication and are not retrospective.


ESF Cross Cutting Themes Guidance for sustainable development and equality version 1 has been published.

ESF Underperformance methodology has been updated to version 4

  • There is an added sentence stating:

“Although the Project Change Request is usually used to amend targets below 15%, the Managing Authority may choose to use the methodology to assess the value of these changes.”
This can then be seen on the example tab, which includes three outputs with a variance of less than 15%, but have still been accorded a weighting of 5%.

European Social Fund 2014 to 2020 anti-fraud policy version 1 has also been published.


A revised version of the European Social Fund scoring framework (version 4, dated 17/01/2017) has been published on the website. It has been updated to make it clear that it relates to Funding Calls only. Also revised version of the ESF underperformance policy (version 4, dated 17 January 2017) This now includes a link to appendix 2 (underperformance methodology).