Training Links Programme, 2018 - 2019

Training Links 2018 - 2019

The Wheel is now inviting applications for funding under the Training Links programme from networks which will develop, deliver, monitor and evaluate innovative training and development solutions for their sphere of interest.

  • It is anticipated that between 10 -15 networks will be chosen and will receive grants of between €5,000 (minimum) and €25,000 (maximum) each
  • Applications are welcome from new, existing and previously funded networks (including networks that may not have been successful in securing funding in earlier calls).
  • A balance in the area of work of the training links networks will be sought so that as wide a range of activities as possible will be covered including disability, community development, health, social enterprise, education & training, children, human rights & justice, arts & culture, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and volunteerism.
  • Please note: this list is not exclusive and applications from other areas of work are welcomed. Refer Section A 1.8 in the Application Pack document (see below).

Any community and voluntary sector organisation based in the Republic of Ireland is welcome to apply as the Lead Organisation for the Training Networks programme.   The Lead Organisation must have consulted and agreed with at least 9 other organisations (giving a minimum total of 10 organisations) to be named as network members in the application document.

Completed application forms must be submitted to before 5pm on Tuesday, 10 April 2018.

Download application pack here >>

Please read on for details and to download application documents.


  1. Overview of Training Links
  2. About Training Links Grants
  3. About Training Networks
  4. Programme Objectives
  5. Eligibility Criteria
  6. Selection Criteria
  7. Application Process
  8. Support


Training Links: An Overview
Since 2009, The Wheel’s Training Links Programme has had a unique position in Ireland in supporting and promoting training and upskilling of employees, volunteers, board members, and recruits throughout charity, community and voluntary sector organisations, helping to meet needs and requirements in training and upskilling for employment opportunities and related support structures.
As part of The Wheel’s strategic objectives and key actions for the 2018-2019 period, continued access for the sector and it’s organisations to funding for training and upskilling, is at the core of those objectives.  
The successful Training Networks will be substantially funded by The Wheel (i.e. to a maximum of 80% of total budget costs). Funding comes from the National Training Fund and is available over the period of the programme to develop and implement strategic, innovative and cost-effective training and development solutions for its members, which they would be not be in a position to undertake as effectively on their own. 
In addition to the provision of substantial financial subsidies to the Training Networks - directed at training provision - this programme provides much-needed opportunities for sectoral co-operation and shared learning. 
View networks funded under previous Training Links programmes here.

Training Grants

What is a Training Grant?

  • The Wheel will provide Training Network grants in the range of €5,000 to €25,000, on a phased basis – over an eighteen-month period 2018 - 2019.
  • As there is a total fund of €150,000 available it may be the case that some groups receive a grant that is less than they applied for.  If this is the case, the Training Network will be required to submit a revised training plan and budget for approval.
  • This grant is for the development of the Training Network, the creation, implementation and evaluation of its training plan and fulfilling all other programme requirements.
  • All Networks must have a Network Committee which will oversee the development of the training plan and the work of the network. The Network Committee should be comprised of some or all of the members of the network.
  • Each network will also be required to nominate a ‘Network Coordinator’ who will have the capacity and time to undertake the work associated with the programme and who will also act as the main point of contact and financial accountability with The Wheel.
  • The first grant instalment will be paid by Friday 25th May 2018.
  • Successful applicants will contribute matching funding of at least 20% which may be cash or in-kind (e.g. such as providing staff support to the network).
  • Advice, support and guidance from The Wheel will be available at all stages to the Training Networks.
  • Payment of the grant to successful networks is subject to the receipt of ongoing funding from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills. 

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Training Networks

What is a Training Network?

A Training Network is a group of community and voluntary sector organisations that are independently run and governed and who decide to come together to co-operate as a group in order to undertake training that they may not be able to do individually.   

  • The Training network identifies a Network Coordinator (most likely, but not necessarily, a person associated with the Lead Organisation) to co-ordinate network activities and have overall responsibility for the project.
  • The Lead Organisation is the main applicant for the Training Links funding.  It will have overall responsibility for meeting the Training Links Network objectives, co-ordination of network activities for the member organisations listed in the application document, monitoring of progress and targets, and evaluation of all training delivered.  It also holds accountability for all funding received and associated reporting to The Wheel.
  • The Training Network’s member organisations share in the decision-making, design and implementation of training (i.e. training developed by the network members for the network members). This is facilitated through the establishment of the Network Committee to oversee the work of the Network and to guide and support the work of the Network Coordinator.
  • The member organisations of the Training Network must be stand-alone organisations, independently run and governed.  The full network cannot purely be branches of an organisation. A minimum of ten members is required for eligibility. There is no maximum number of organisations that can be members of a Training Network; however, the network must be a manageable size for the Network Coordinator.
  • Training Networks may be from the same town or area (regional); may be involved in similar activities (sectoral); or may all be involved in a specific subject (theme).
  • Training Networks considered for this programme can be existing networks within the community and voluntary sector or new networks developed to take part in this programme.

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Objectives for New Programme

The Training Links programme 2018 – 2019 has the following objectives:

  • To promote increased participation in training and up-skilling activities in order to build skills, improve adaptability and long-term employability of those currently working and those hoping to work in the sector.
  • To promote and support a cohesive and organisational-led approach to training and learning especially within small and medium organisations, enabling increased awareness of and access to training options through the establishment of Training Networks across the sector.
  • To promote and encourage collaboration within and between networks of members so that ideas, initiatives and best practice in training and development can be identified and shared, resulting in cost-effective and innovative solutions to joint training needs.
  • To facilitate the provision of quality customised training by supporting the development of new, or innovative, or flexible training methodologies, in order to deliver more relevant, effective, efficient and user-friendly training solutions.

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Eligibility Criteria
  • The Lead Organisation is an independently run and governed community and voluntary sector organisation based in the Republic of Ireland.
  • All proposed members of the network are independently run and governed community and voluntary organisations based on the island of Ireland.
  • A Network Committee is in place for each network, aligned with the network’s focus, i.e. organisation-led training.
  • There is an identified person to co-ordinate the work of the Training Network and it is demonstrated in the application that the network coordinator is available as a resource to the network.
  • The budget included in the application form abides by the financial guidelines detailed in Section C of the Application Form.
  • The application includes matching funding from the proposed Training Network of at least 20% ofthe total project budget which may be cash or in-kind.
  • The Lead Organisation in the network application has relevant legal status, e.g. Limited Company, Company Limited by Guarantee; Registered Charity, Unincorporated Association; Trust, etc.  Each member organisation of the network must be able to demonstrate that it has its own governance in place, i.e. that they are not branches of another organisation.  A Network comprising branches of an organisation is not eligible, even if they are independently constituted.
  • The minimum number of independent organisations/members involved in the network must be at least 10 and based on the island of Ireland.
  • The application form has been completed in full - with due regard to the Guidelines contained in this document (page 23) and the Training Links Programme Objectives.

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Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria

There are three overall Selection Criteria:
  1. Strategic Criteria; are the core training and networking principles contained in the application. They address the key performance factors necessary to be a successful training links network.
  2. Operational Criteria; looks at the process and methods of achieving the network’s strategies, including cost-effectiveness, network management and evaluation factors. 
  3. Wider Impact; focuses on what is developed and/or delivered by the network, what is shared as well as what can be continued after the network’s training links funding ceases.

Selection Criteria

Sub Criteria 

Strategic Criteria
  • An organisation-led network (min 10 members)
  • Relevancy of training activities to members
  • Impact on up-skilling and employability
  • Sectoral or thematic focus of training and up-skilling.
Operational Criteria
  • Capacity to deliver, manage, report and evaluate the Training Links project
  • Financial efficiencies, degree of matched funding, and value for money in training and financial management
  • Clarity of aims and objectives of the training network.
Wider Impact
  • Sharing/cascade of training to a wider group or audience within/outside of the network
  • Sustainability of the network after funding ceases
  • Accreditation of training / or if new/different training/products – how that can be continued into the future as a result of the funding.
Total 100%

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Application Process

Application Process

  1. The Training Network Lead Organisation must make the application to The Wheel on behalf of the network’s member organisations using the Training Links Application Form 2018 (see below).
  2. Application forms should be completed with due regard to the information and advice on the website and in the guidelines for the application process.
  3. Completed application forms must be submitted to before 5pm on Tuesday, 10 April 2018.
  4. Both existing community and voluntary sector networks and new networks are encouraged to apply.  With an existing network, the network members will already be in place.  With a new and developing network, the Lead Organisation and the Network Co-ordinator will develop the network, facilitate the creation of a Training Plan and invite members to participate.
  5. The assessment process to identify successful applicants will be carried out by an independent selection process against the Training Links Selection Criteria (a copy of which is contained in this Application Pack and is also above).  
  6. Successful applicants will be notified on or before Friday, 27 April 2018 and will be paid the first tranche of funding on Friday 25 May – subject to signed contracts being received by The Wheel – by Friday, 11 May 2018.
  7. Project delivery, monitoring and evaluation will take place from Monday, 11 June 2018 to Friday, 2 November 2019.
  8. A final project report must be completed and submitted by each network by Monday, 30 September 2019.
  9. Relevant dates are outlined in the Training Links Timetable, Section 7, page 10 in the applicaiton pack document (see below).
  10. Support, advice or guidance required will be available from The Wheel to all applicants at all stages of the process.  

Application Form & Supporting Documents

Download complete application pack >>

Quick Reference Documents:

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Available Support

If you require further advice or support in preparing your Training Links application, please contact Bridie Corrigan Matthews:

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The Wheel Summit 2018