The Competence Fund

At Aarhus University competence development is highly prioritised. As a supplement to the local funds, it is possible to apply for funding from the Competence Fund once a year.

The purpose of the agreement on strategic and systematic competence development in government institutions is to commit management and employees to prioritise increased competence development. Both management and employees must assume responsibility for increased competence development to safeguard the institution’s needs as well as the individual and professional development of the employees.

All members of staff at Aarhus University can apply for funding for specific competence development activities. 

An allocation committee appointed by HSU (Main Liaison Committee) is responsible for allocation and prioritisation of funding from the Competence Fund during the annual round of applications.

When submitting an application to the Competence Fund, you also agree to receiving and completing an evaluation form from the Competence Fund.    

When allocating funds from the Competence Fund, the following is prioritised

  • long-term courses. However, there is no minimum requirement to the duration of the course.
  • that the applications are soundly based locally which is demonstrated through a 50 % co-financing from the employee’s own department.
  • that the application is based on an individual development plan for the employee who is applying for funding. The development plan must be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor.
  • that the funding is used for relevant general and professional further training and education. 
  • that the funding is allocated to different staff groups and departments.
  • that collective activities which run across disciplines and/or involve several employees have high priority.

The application must include the following

  • Development plan
    A development plan is a description of the employee’s competences and the activities which are to be initiated in order for the employee to develop professionally and personally. It should describe which role the activity plays in connection with the employee’s development plans. The development plan is prepared in cooperation with the employee’s immediate supervisor.

    With regard to group applications, the development plan should describe the activity’s role in connection with the development plans of the individual employees and how the activity will support the development of the group/department.

    The development plan may be described in the application form or in a separate attachment. 
  • Course description
    A course description which describes the content and the purpose of the competence development activity should be enclosed.

    It is not sufficient to include a link to the training programme or the course. 
  • Budget (may be omitted, if the only expense is the course fee).
    The budget should be enclosed and contain an outline of the expected expenses in connection with the competence development activity e.g. course fee/teaching fee, consultancy, materials, travel expenses, board and lodging etc.

    It is possible to apply for funding to cover all expenses except for payroll costs for employees or for substitutes for employees who participate in a competence development activity.

    In order to ensure the department’s support for the specific activity, the university requires co-financing from the department (approx. 50 % of the total costs). 
  • List of participants (only for group applications)
    A list with the names of the employees who participate in the competence development activity should be enclosed when a group application is submitted. Please add AU ID and unit number for each employee on the list. If the group is composed of employees from different departments the manager's name as well as e-mail address for each employee on the list of participants.
  • Approval
    The manager confirms that:
    - the activity is part of the individual development plan for the employee in question.
    - co-financing is in place.

The Competence Fund does not cover

  • applications concerning activities with total costs under DKK 6.000. Total costs include course fees, travel expenses, board and lodging etc.
  • contributions to cover payroll costs for employees or to substitute for employees who participate in a competence development activity.
  • travel expenses in connection with activities held in Denmark must be covered locally and not be included in the total cost.
  • expenses in connection with courses already in progress or courses which have been completed. This means that if a course/training programme has been completed or has started before a response to the application has been received, costs cannot be covered by the Competence Fund.
  • PhD courses which are free of charge as a result of the national cooperation on courses. In addition, it is not possible to apply for funding for other PhD programme elements e.g. generic PhD courses and other elements, for which we receive basic funding and which therefore should be covered by the graduate schools.
  • applications from PhD students on part A of a 4+4 degree programme.
  • courses where travel expenses make up the main part of the cost. These expenses should be covered by a local travel account/annual budget. 
  • co-financing of organisational development activities such as strategy days, theme days etc.

What makes a good group application?

A good group application applies for funding to activities that strengthen the participants’ professional competences and cooperation for all participants. The group can be a department, section or professional field. It is important that the application stresses which professional competences the course/activity will contribute to, and how it support the cohesiveness within the group.  Furthermore, it is important that it clearly states how the competence development activity is aligned with the participants’ individual competence development plan.

Examples of applications that previously has been granted include subject specific language courses for departments and institutes or project management courses with focus on establishing a common project culture at specific institutes. 

In other words, a group application is not a pooling of identical individual competence development activities, just as a group application must be for an already defined group of participants.

FAQ

  • Who can apply?
    All employees at Aarhus University.
     
  • When is it possible to apply for funding from the Competence Fund?
    Applications can be submitted from mid-October to mid-December. The funding will be available in the coming calendar year.
     
  • When will I receive a response to my application?
    As a rule, the application will be processed before the end of January.
     
  • Is it possible to apply for funding for all types of courses/training programmes?
    Yes, if the course matches the Competence Fund’s and HSU’s (Main Liaison Committee) principles and guidelines.
     
  • Is it possible to apply for funding for competence development activities which have already been completed?
    No, it is only possible to apply for funding for courses/activities which will be held the coming year.  
     
  • Is there a minimum amount?
    Yes. The allocation committee has decided that it is only possible to apply for funding for activities where the total costs exceed DKK 10,000. It is expected that it is possible for the individual departments to find the money for less expensive activities themselves. 
     
  • Is it possible to apply for funding to cover the total fee for a high-level education e.g. a professional Master’s degree programme or a diploma degree programme?
    Yes, but it is only possible to apply for funding for the part of the degree programme which is held the coming year. During the next round of applications, it is therefore necessary to apply again for funding to cover the part of the degree programme which is held the following year. In other words, it is necessary to apply for funding once every year until the degree programme has been completed. 
     
  • Is it possible to apply for funding for a course even though you do not know the exact dates?
    Yes, but please note that the funding only covers competence development activities which are held during the coming calendar year.
     
  • What is a development plan?
    A development plan is a description of the employee’s competences and the activities which are to be initiated in order for the employee to develop professionally and personally. It should describe which role the activity plays in connection with the employee’s development plans. The development plan is prepared in cooperation with the employee’s immediate supervisor.
     
  • Should I enclose a development plan with my application?
    The application form may contain a short description of the development plan or the development plan may be a separate attachment.
     
  • In order to ensure that I get a place on the course, can I register for the course while I wait for the response to my application?
    As a rule, you can register for the course, but please note the deadline for withdrawing your registration as you may still be charged if you register for a course even though your application ends up being rejected. It is your responsibility to withdraw from the course in time and you/your department is liable for the amount in the event of late cancellation.
     
  • Is it possible to submit a group application for the same type of course even though the participants wish to take the course at different locations?
    Yes, if the same course is held in different cities and it is financially advantageous for Aarhus University, a group application can cover several locations.  
     
  • Is it possible to apply with certain reservations, because the budget for next year has not yet been released?
    No. When submitting the application, the department commits itself to completing the competence development activity described in the application and to cover approx. 50 % of the total costs. Unfortunately, it is a premise for everybody at AU that the budget has not been released when we reach the application deadline. 
     
  • Should my manager sign the application form?
    No, but you must have your manager’s approval and then state name and email address in the application form.
1425304 / i40