FAQs

It may be worth taking a moment to read the FAQs below for information about the application process and tips for making a strong application.

FAQS

Who can apply for grants?

Continuing professional development (CPD) grants are available to occupational therapists who have graduated from a programme approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

We do not fund pre-registration education.

Do I have to be working in the NHS?

We know that occupational therapists work in many different settings and for many different employers, or indeed may be self-employed. This breadth of practice is a strength for the profession and we welcome applications from occupational therapists practising in any setting.

Can we apply as a group or only as an individual

We are very happy to accept applications from individuals or from groups. If you are a group use the same application form as individuals. Decide on a contact person and use their details at the beginning of the form. You will be able make clear in your answers that the application is for a group.

What type of professional development opportunities do you offer grants for?

We are open to receiving requests for a wide range of learning experiences. This includes traditional, formal learning at university, courses endorsed by the College of Occupational Therapists or training provided by other organisations.
However, we also welcome applications for learning that may have been designed by you to meet your particular development needs. You will still need to show that the learning has clear objectives and will impact on your professional development, delivery of your service or development of the profession. An example of this might be a study tour. Other examples include organisations who have designed bespoke training for their service which is then delivered in-house so more therapists can participate in the event. Another example is an application we have received from a learning set of therapists who specialise in assistive technology and wanted to supplement their online discussion forum with a meeting to discuss research, new resources, suppliers and case studies.

We encourage you to think creatively about your personal / professional development and that of your organisation.

How soon should I apply?

It’s important for you to know we do not provide retrospective grants, that is a grant for CPD opportunities that have already taken place. We expect you to apply for a grant in plenty of time before you intend to participate in your CPD activity so please plan appropriately.

A lead time of at least two months is expected for requests less than £2000 and at least three months for requests more than £2000.

Can I start to complete the application on line and then return to it later?

Unfortunately not. We recommend that you read all the questions and think about your answers before starting to apply.
If you are interrupted briefly, do not close your browser. You can leave the application page open for a short period without losing the information you have already entered.

How does the application process work?

Once you apply through the website portal the Trust Secretary will reply to let you know your application has been received.
Members of the CPD Panel will be notified of your application and will independently review each application. Each Panel member will score your application against agreed criteria. These criteria consider:

  • how closely your request is aligned to the Trust strategy. We suggest you look at the strategy before you complete your application. The application can be found here;
  • how participating in the development opportunity will help you meet the occupational needs of your service users;
  • how participating in the development opportunity will promote development of yourself, your service or the profession;
  • how you plan to share your learning so others can also benefit from the grant we give you;
  • your own resourcefulness in seeking support for the learning and your personal commitment to the opportunity.

The questions in the application are designed to help you answer these points. You may want to think about each of the questions before completing the form so you can give your best answers.
A ‘total score’ is collected for your application and grants are made based on your score. See “How much information on the cost do I need to provide?” below.

Once a decision has been made, the Secretary will notify you by email at the address you provided on the application. Within the following two weeks you will receive a letter that gives you formal notification of the award and your responsibilities to the Trust following your CPD. A cheque will be included with this letter for the grant amount. This step make take up to two weeks as dual signatures are needed on all Trust cheques, which takes a short time to arrange.

Do I have to do anything after I receive a grant and participate in my CPD?

The Panel and the trustees value hearing about your CPD and how you feel it benefitted you, your service or the profession. In addition, it is important for them as it ‘closes the loop’: did they make a wise decision when they awarded you the grant? Did your learning help us to fulfil our Charitable Purpose? Answering these questions and others is an important aspect of our governance and will help us with future decision. Therefore, we ask you to complete our feedback form within two months following your learning event.

The feedback form asks for a summary paragraph and we may use this on our website to illustrate how people have used their awards. You can opt on the form to remain anonymous, if you wish.

Where can I find the feedback form?

A link to our feedback form can be found below. Please return it by email to secretary@elizabethcasson.org.uk within two months of completing you CPD.

Feedback Proforma_August 2017

Who is on the CPD Panel?

The Panel is formed by three of our trustees who are also occupational therapists. Keep this in mind as you apply – you are talking to OT colleagues who understand occupational therapy so it is appropriate to use our professional language.

What makes a good application?

The Trust’s Charitable Purpose is the ‘furtherance of occupational therapy’. As such, a strong application will be framed around ‘occupation’. This is true for all areas of occupational therapy practice. Remember, the Panel is formed by experienced occupational therapists – you are addressing your peers and can write as such.

How much can I ask for?

In the past, the Trust has made CPD grants for as little as £150 to as much as £10 000. As you can imagine, the more that is requested, the stronger you must make your case when you apply.

The Continuing Professional Development Panel has the authority to award grants up to £2000. The process is slightly different for larger requests. For requests over £2000, the Panel will review your application and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Board will then vote on whether to accept the recommendation, or they may make a recommendation of their own. This extra step in the process may add up to 8 weeks to the application process – be sure to plan for this when applying.

How much information on the cost of my CPD do I need to provide?

It is important you tell us how much the CPD event will cost you. This includes not only the cost of the event itself but also travel, accommodation, any study materials, time without pay, etc. It is important for us to know the full cost as we decide how much to award you based on a percentage calculation of the total cost for the event, using the ‘score’ for your answers to determine the percentage.

How soon will I hear the outcome of my application?

If you are asking for less than £2000, we try to give you an answer within 2 weeks after the next Panel review date. The dates the Panel meets is shown on the ‘apply for funding page’.

Occasionally we may ask you for more information which may add some delay. Again, it is important to plan well ahead to allow for potential delays.

If you are asking for more than £2000 it may take up to 8 weeks longer, i.e. up to 10 weeks after the date the Panel reviews your application. This is because larger grants must receive approval from the Board of Trustees.

If I’m awarded a grant, how soon will I receive the funds?

Once a decision has been made, the Secretary will notify you by email at the address you provided on the application. Within the next two weeks you will receive a letter that gives you formal notification of the award and your responsibilities to the Trust following your CPD. A cheque will be included with this letter for the grant amount. This step takes up to two weeks as dual signatures are needed on all Trust cheques, which takes a short time to arrange.

I have a question that isn’t listed here. What should I do?

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and to help you with your application or discuss the CPD you would like to do. Please email Pam Anderson at secretary@elizabethcasson.org.uk. If you would like to speak with someone, please email Pam your number and she will return your call. It will help if you can suggest convenient times to speak.

Any further questions?

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