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Personal and Professional Development


This fund supports the achievement of accredited vocational qualifications where the qualification is directly relevant to your role and supported by your department. All vocational areas are covered, including technical, IT, engineering, accounting, administration, horticulture, museums and galleries. Qualifications may include NVQs, HNCs, or equivalent.

Apprenticeship Levy

Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in May 2017, it is likely that the vocational qualification you wish to undertake will be part of an Apprenticeship Standard at the appropriate level.  For all those undertaking an apprenticeship, full funding for the agreed qualification is available via the Apprenticeship Levy.

Before applying to the Vocational Training Fund, please check with your manager and/or PPD to identify if there is an appropriate apprenticeship that you could undertake.

If an apprenticeship is not suitable, there may be funding from the Vocational Training Fund.

Vocational Training Fund

The contribution from the Vocational Training Fund towards the cost of your training will depend on whether the course is:

  • An accredited training course leading to a qualification up to the revised NVQ Level 5 on the National Qualification Framework (NVQ5 is broadly equivalent to Higher National Certificate or Diploma). In this instance the vocational training fund will contribute up to 100% of the costs incurred in a financial year to a maximum of £800.


  • A short course of strategic importance eg Health & Safety. In these cases up to a 50% contribution may be made. These applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Funding is approved on an annual basis and therefore for longer courses, an application must be made each year that funding is requested. Where the full cost of the course cannot be met by the Vocational Training Fund, your department will be asked to pay the balance.

You may undertake a programme through part-time day release, evening study or distance learning. Programmes that require any time away from work will need to be agreed by your department.

How to apply

  1. Contact your manager or departmental administrator to obtain their support.
  2. Complete the application form PD5, (also available from your Departmental Administrator or from PPD).
  3. Return the form to PPD.
  4. PPD will contact you to arrange an interview and to make a decision about funding.


The Finance Training section within the Finance Division provides accredited vocational training including AAT qualifications.