Everyone benefits from HSE support to SHEP Training.

Thank you for your interest in training, or further training, with SHEP. We appreciate that the cost of courses is a significant issue and our philosophy is to keep our training as affordable and as accessible as possible. Because we are supported by the HSE, all courses are subsidised. Every participant benefits because without the financial support from the HSE the standard course fee for all courses would be significantly higher. We believe our training offers tremendous value for money.

What do SHEP courses cost?

For information on the fees payable by participants for SHEP courses please read Important Information on SHEP Fees, Reduced Fees, Funded Place and Payment Methods (April 2016).

You can spread the payments over a number of months

Depending on the course you may be able spread the payments over a number of months. Our preference is to receive the balance of the fee in one payment when the course place is being offered. We appreciate this is not possible for everyone. For the moment, for most courses, SHEP operates an interest-free Fees Payment Plan. This means that the cost of the course may be paid over a number of months (though not longer than the length of the course) on a monthly basis, by standing order. If this option is available, and if you wish to apply for it, you will need to complete a Payment Plan Form (which you will receive with your letter of offer) and return it to SHEP before the course commences.

You may be able to get some grant support

Some participants have been supported by their employers or by their Local Development Partnership to undertake training with SHEP. Some participants have received assistance from FÁS/the Department of Social Protection. St Vincent de Paul have also provided support to some applicants who met certain requirements. We encourage you to make your own enquiries.

SHEP offers a Reduced Fee rate for some courses

SHEP recognises that for some people, the course fee, even though it is a subsidised fee, may still be prohibitive. The SHEP Bursary Fund (to which people and companies have made donations) is a small fund which helps us to make some of our courses more accessible to those facing financial difficulties. The number of reduced fee places available for any SHEP course will depend on money available in the SHEP Bursary Fund. Priority is generally given to SHEP’s foundation level courses (the SHEP Certificate in Personal Development; and the SHEP Certificate in Social Awareness and Community Empowerment) and any QQI- accredited courses offered by SHEP.

Exceptionally, a funded place may be available

On some occasions, through state funding or other grants, we are able to offer a small number of people a funded place. This is very exceptional.  For example, in recent years SHEP has applied each year to the Department of Social Protection for a grant to support a small number of participants on each SHEP Cert in Personal Development Course.

(For example in 2016 North and East Kerry Development Partnership (NEKD) has grant supported a limited number of fully subsidised places for residents of the cetain areas on the Kerry Social Awarness and Community Empowerment course)

Eligibility for Reduced Fee Rate

Only certain people will be eligible to apply for a reduced fee or a funded place. Because the amount of funding available is rather limited, you may only apply to SHEP for the reduced fee/ funded place if you are in receipt of one of the following Social Welfare benefits/allowances:

  • Job Seekers Benefit
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Illness Benefit
  • Carers Benefit
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Disability Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Blind Persons Allowance
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  • One parent Family Payment
  • Carers Allowance

(i.e. not State Pension, Guardian’s Payment; Widows/Widower or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension; Pre-Retirement Allowance).

There is a very limited amount of money available in the SHEP Bursary Fund for reduced fees. We cannot guarantee therefore that all applicants will be successful. Please note reduced fees will be awarded to those who meet the eligibility criteria on a ‘first-come, first–served’ basis. Early applications have an advantage.

How do I apply for a Reduced Fee or Funded Place?

To apply, you must complete and submit the standard Course Application Form and also enclose the following:

  •  A completed Reduced Fee / Funded Place Application Form
  • Evidence of your receipt of the relevant Social Welfare payment.
  • The standard booking deposit (€50).  No applications will be accepted without the  booking deposit.

The booking deposit will only be refunded:

  1. i) if you are not offered a course place;
  2. ii) if you apply for a reduced fee/ funded place and you are unsuccessful; or

iii) if you are offered a place but are unable to accept it owing to serious illness or a family bereavement.

Otherwise the booking deposit is non-refundable

All of the applications for reduced fees/ funded places will be assessed by the Director. All applicants will be contacted by letter soon afterwards. (It is important to note that while a person may be granted a reduced fee, this is not the same as being offered a place on a course). For those who don’t qualify for a reduced fee or a funded place it’s important to remember that, for most courses, a payment plan can be arranged to pay the remainder of the fee in instalments over the duration of the course. Details of how to do this will be enclosed with the course place offer.

You must apply for each course

It is important to note that reduced fees or funded places must be applied for each time you apply for a course – if you received a reduced fee or a funded place previously you must apply for it again for your next course and there is no guarantee you will be successful.

Reduced Fee or Funded Place Application Form

To view and/or download an application form to apply for a concession please Reduced Fee Funded Place Appplication Form (2016).

What happens if you have financial difficulties?

The Project understands that from time to time a participant may experience difficulties with the payment of fees. The Project will be as supportive as possible and will make every reasonable effort to accommodate participants with financial difficulties. However, if such a situation arises, it is essential for the participant to contact either the Financial Administrator, the relevant Training and Development Officer, or the Director (in confidence) as soon as possible so that a suitable arrangement can be put in place.

(Where the course involves assessment for QQI accreditation) a participant who has not paid for his/her course in full will not be recognised for assessment purposes.

A participant who has not paid the fee in full (and who has not made arrangements with SHEP to pay the balance) will not receive a Certificate (or a Statement of Attendance).