Guidelines for applicants to employment relations education contestable fund

To help us assess applications please use our application template and return it to us by the due date.

Download the Guide for Applicants Application Form [PDF 176KB] to complete and email it back to us at

What is the ERE Contestable Fund?

The Employment Relations Education (ERE) Contestable Fund supports employment relations and health and safety education programmes. In particular:

  • The aim of employment relations education is to increase skills and knowledge of employment relations matters to enable employers, employees and unions to deal with each other in good faith and build productive relationships
  • The aim of health and safety education and training is to promote co-operation among employers, employees and unions in health and safety management, especially by facilitating the constructive input of the persons doing the work.

Applications are assessed by an advisory committee which then makes recommendations to the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety.

How much money is available and how many projects will be funded?

The Fund has a value of $500,000. This may be allocated to several proposals or just one. The advisory committee will consider how best to allocate the funding available.

Priorities for Funding

Currently, priorities for funding are health and safety training and education programmes directed either universally or at the agriculture, forestry, construction, manufacturing and fishing industries.

For more information regarding the 2016/17 funding round see the Guide for Applicants [PDF 176KB].

What can ERE grants be used for?

A range of educational activities have been funded to date from the ERE Fund. Most commonly the ERE Fund has supported the development and delivery of short courses and relevant resources to support these, however the Committee will consider other methods that can effectively raise the capability and capacity of employers and employees, and meet the criteria for the ERE Fund.

Grants will not be provided to meet any costs that are or can be funded from other sources.

Can we submit a funding proposal for a programme of work that will be completed over more than one financial or calendar year?

Yes, but funding contracts will only be offered for the 2016/2017 financial year. There is no guarantee of funding for 2017/18, or out years.

Funding proposals applications should be made for programmes of work that will be completed or become self-sustaining during the 2016/2017 financial year.

What should we know about making an application relating to a new programme?

A significant number of ERE programmes have already been developed and approved. Please check the list of existing ERE approved courses before considering whether to apply. The aim of the Fund is to ensure a range of programmes, courses and providers are available to meet a broad range of needs.

Proposals that overlap with programmes that have already been funded may be less successful than those that add value in priority or new areas, or to reach at risk or new groups of participants. If you intend to provide an existing programme, please ensure you have permission from the existing provider. See our list of all ERE approved courses and the guidelines for using existing courses.

What should we know about applications relating to programmes under the Employment Relations Act?
If you are applying for funding to develop and deliver a course under the Employment Relations Act or under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, the course either:

  • must have already been approved under the Employment Relations Act or the Health and Safety in Employment Act, or
  • be submitted for approval once it is developed. Successful applicants to the fund will be required to obtain course approval as part of their funding contracts.

For grant funding applications under the Employment Relations Act that relate to the development of programmes, refer to the criteria for ERE course approval and the criteria below for guidance.

What should we know about applications relating to programmes under the Health and Safety at Work Act?
If you are applying for grant funding to develop and deliver a programme(s) under the Health and Safety at Work Act, the programme must be certified under the New Zealand Qualifications Authority unit standard 29315. For more information see NZQA.

What are the criteria for assessing grant funding applications?

Criterion Weighting

Technical merit (fit for purpose)


The applicant’s programme assists workers, PCBUs, health and safety representatives and/or unions to understand and meet the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, by promoting the availability and provision of advice, information, education, and training in relation to work health and safety

The applicant’s programme meets a demonstrable market gap that is unlikely to be met by other existing programmes

The applicant’s programme is needed by participants in the market to improve health and safety practice across the workforce and/or support increased capacity and capabilities of participants in the health and safety system

Capability of the provider to deliver


The applicant has a positive track record in delivering similar programmes

The applicant demonstrates the integrity of its operational and financial systems

The applicant has sufficient size and staff qualifications relevant to delivering the programme

The applicant has appropriate processes to measure outcomes

Value for money (based on whole-of-life cost)


The applicant demonstrates a level of financial commitment to contributory funding

The applicant’s programme demonstrates good value for money when considering the total costs over its lifetime

The applicant plans for the programme to be sustainable and self-funded in the future or, has a defined end date for their programme (please note, there is no guarantee of further funding or arrangements with criteria the same as or similar to these).

Total weightings


What will happen if our application is successful or unsuccessful?

If your application is successful, you will be invited to enter into negotiations with the Crown for a funding agreement that setting out the agreed outputs. The matters covered by the funding agreement will include, but not be limited to:

  • accountability for money granted – you, as the grantees are required to account in specific detail for all money granted
  • other funding – grantees must disclose any other funding they receive for the project or similar work during the period of the funding agreement.
  • contract timeframes – any changes to the timeframes agreed in a funding agreement must be negotiated with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
  • target audience/target numbers of participants reached - grantees must report on how successful they are in reaching their intended target audience. They must account for any significant gap between the target number of participants and actual numbers. Grantees will be required to explain what steps they took to reach their targets and to show that they used their best endeavours to do so.
  • resources - if grantees indicate that the grant is to be shared with another person or group working on the project, the funding agreement will include a requirement that grantees report how the sharing of the grant is being accomplished.

No legal relationship exists between an applicant and the Crown until a funding agreement is executed between them.

An example funding agreement template can be found here: General Funding Agreement [PDF 170KB]

If your application be unsuccessful you will be advised of the reasons why your proposal was unsuccessful. You will be informed at the same time as successful applicants are advised.

How will we demonstrate we are delivering our programme?

Each successful grant will be monitored through to a project’s (or the agreement’s) completion. You, as the grantee will be required to provide progress reports and a full report on completion. Funding will be staged based on the completion of satisfactory progress reports as set out in a funding agreement between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on behalf of the Crown and you as the grantee.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment requires grantees to inform the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment at any stage during the course of the funding agreement of any major activity or problem that may affect the project or funding agreement or both. Satisfactory progress must be demonstrated in the progress report for funding to continue for the duration of the contract.

Please note that a full list, and an outline, of all courses approved under the Employment Relations Act or the Health and Safety at Work Act, is held by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. This is publicly available to interested parties, including employers and potential providers. Having this available reduces the likelihood of duplication of resources and provides material to support best practice principles.

How do we apply?

Your application should describe your proposal and how it meets the criteria above.  There is an application form to download, complete,  and submit by email by Tuesday 21 June, 2016. The application form includes instructions.

You are encouraged to follow the Guide for Applicants [PDF 176KB] which sets out the information you should include in your application.

Please ensure your application identifies a contact person and their full contact details (including their address, phone number and email address).
You must email your application to

You can get further information from the Executive Officer ERE.

Examples of programme costs which may be funded

As a general principle, funding will cover programme development and running costs incurred by the provider. Incidental costs such as the transport and accommodation of people taking part in the training are excluded. The list below gives examples of some of the costs that may be funded.

Development of programme

  • Needs analysis of the target audience and subject
  • Initiative eg course design
  • Specific resource production
  • Costs of internal approval and quality assurance processes; and
  • Research into components of course content.

Costs of delivery

  • Training and preparation of trainers
  • Trainers' travel to/from venue
  • Venue hire
  • Equipment hire such as overhead projectors or white board
  • Cost of resources made available to participants; and
  • Refreshments during the programme.

Costs of assessment, evaluation and reporting

  • Trainers' time in assessment and evaluation of participants' training outcomes
  • Purchase of independent assessment and moderation; and
  • Organisational assessment of group outcomes.
  • Records of participants attending.

Other possible costs

  • Additional meeting costs to develop joint proposals between organisations, for example, planning meetings involving employer, unions and a provider, which require travel for some participants.

Please note:
Given the competition for grant funding, priority will be given to costs that directly relate to developing and delivering programmes, rather than associated costs such as refreshments, equipment or overheads.

Funding will not be provided for promotion or advertising nor for the attendance costs of participants, such as travel to the venue.

All funding amounts sought should be expressed as exclusive of GST. GST will be added to payments.