Important Information on SHEP Fees, Reduced Fees, Funded Places & Payment Methods

Introduction
Thank you for your interest in training, or further training, with SHEP.  Our philosophy is to keep our training as affordable and as accessible as possible. The vast majority of our courses have a participant fee which we try to keep to a minimum (and in the main the fees charged have not increased since 2008). We believe our training offers tremendous value for money. In general, the training fee to each participant is less than €8 per hour.

Because we are core-funded by the HSE, all SHEP courses are subsidised. Every participant benefits from this HSE support because without it the standard course fee for all courses would be significantly higher.

The HSE core grant to SHEP is used to cover most of the coordination and administration costs of SHEP courses. Fees collected from participants are used to pay the costs of the two Facilitators (and where applicable the module Facilitators ) who co-facilitate the course and to contribute towards costs such as supervision, promotion, administration and the presentation of certificates.

In order to make the courses accessible to those less well-off we also offer (in so far as possible) a Reduced Fee and in limited cases a Funded Place.  We also offer an interest-free Fees Payment Plan option.

The payment of fees is arranged between the participant and the SHEP Finance Team who can be contacted if you have a query. It is a deliberate policy in SHEP not to involve Facilitators in the collection of participant fees: this is to allow the Facilitators to focus on their work with participants. However, should you experience difficulty, the important thing is to talk to someone in the Project and this may include approaching a Facilitators if this is what you wish to do.

Depending on the course you may be able to 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. This can now be done online. 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 you wish to apply for it, please fill in the Application for Payment Plan, which you receive with your letter/email of offer and return to SHEP by the agreed date before course commences.

You may be able to source some grant support yourself

Some participants have been supported by their employers or by their Local Development Partnership to undertake training with SHEP. Other participants have received assistance from the Department of Social Protection. St Vincent de Paul has also provided support to some applicants who met certain requirements. SHEP cannot make such applications on behalf of participants, but we encourage you to make your own enquiries.

 

SHEP offers a Reduced Fee 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. We also get some funding from the HSE each year to support concessions. The number of Reduced Fee places available for any SHEP course will depend on money available in the SHEP Bursary Fund, along with any funding available from the HSE. Priority is generally given to SHEP’s two foundation courses (the SHEP Certificate in Personal Development and the SHEP Certificate in Social Awareness and Community Empowerment).

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. 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 Certificate in Personal Development Course.

Eligibility to apply for a Funded Place

You may only apply to SHEP for the Funded Place if you are in receipt of one of the following Social Welfare benefits/allowances and are in Cork or Kerry DSP geographical area.

  • Blind Pension
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Carer’s Benefit
  • Covid19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
  • Deserted Wives Benefit or Allowance
  • Disability Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Fish Assist
  • Illness Benefit (for 12 months or more)
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Incapacity Supplement
  • Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Jobs Seekers Transitional Payment
  • Job Seeker’s Benefit
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Part-time Job Incentive
  • Prisoner Wife’s Allowance
  • Qualified Adult (One of the listed qualified payments)
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance 
  • Widow/ Widowers Contributory or Non-Contributory Pension
  • Work Placement Experience Programme

We cannot guarantee that all applicants will be successful. Please note funded places will be awarded to those who meet the eligibility criteria on a ‘first-come, first–served’ basis. Early applications have an advantage.

 

 Eligibility to apply for a Reduced Fee place

You may apply for a Reduced Fee place if you are

  1. A social welfare recipient
  2. A full-time student or
  3. If you are experiencing financial hardship.

Criteria are as follows:

  • A social welfare recipient- provide PPSN and name of payment
  • Full-time student: you may apply for a reduced fee place by submitting a letter setting out your case and name the course and college you are attending.
  • Financial hardship: if you are in difficult financial circumstances, you may apply for a reduced fee place by submitting a letter setting out your case.

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 to apply for a Reduced Fee

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

  • PPSN and name of social welfare payment
  • Name of college and course being undertaken
  • A letter setting out your case for a Reduced fee Place

How to apply for a Funded Place

  • PPSN and name of social welfare payment

How applications are processed

All of the applications for Reduced Fee places will be assessed by the Director. All applicants for Reduced Fee places will be notified of the result when course places are offered.  For those who don’t qualify for a Reduced Fee. It is 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. SHEP now has the ability to take online payments via the SHEP website – all major credit and debit cards accepted.

You must apply for each course

It is important to note that Reduced Fee 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.

 

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 Finance Team, the relevant Training and Development Officer (in confidence) as soon as possible so that a suitable arrangement can be put in place.

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).

 What happens if you leave the course before it ends?

It is the policy of The Social and Health Education Project that if a participant leaves the course before it ends he/she is liable to pay in full the cost of training delivered up to his/her last date of attendance, as well as a sum amounting to 20% of the cost of the remainder of the course.

 Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance

Thank you again for your interest in SHEP training. If you are unsure about any of this and need assistance please don’t hesitate to ring us at the main office on

(021) 4666180 main office Cork

(087) 7728089 for courses run in Kerry